David J. Lazerwitz is Chair of Farella's Energy and Natural Resources industry group. He focuses his practice on federal and state environmental and natural resource laws, permitting, and land use matters, with an emphasis on the permitting, entitlements, and contractual requirements of large-scale renewable energy generation, energy storage, and infrastructure projects.
David advises public and private clients on a wide array of issues arising in the planning and construction of renewable and traditional energy generation facilities, electrical transmission, manufacturing, water services, and agricultural sectors. His compliance and permitting practice focuses on water quality, wetlands, environmental impact analysis, endangered species, hazardous waste, and federal public lands issues, and responding to agency inspections and administrative enforcement actions. He has extensive experience in all aspects of project and site development, from orchestrating overall permitting strategies for complex large-scale development projects to securing individual permits and approvals.
His involvement in project development begins at site selection. David guides his clients through analyzing the benefits and challenges of potential sites, including anticipated impacts, permitting and environmental review timelines, mitigation options and identifying and resolving potential project opposition. Once a site is chosen, he then works through federal, state, and local governmental review, permitting, and entitlement of the project. This frequently involves compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and/or National Environmental Policy Act review requirements, obtaining required permits under federal and state environmental and natural resources laws, and working with individual agencies to resolve specific issues and concerns.
David draws upon his project development experience to provide due diligence, purchase and sale agreement support, and counseling advice in connection with project equity and debt financing. He also is involved in negotiating and addressing permitting and environmental issues during project construction and operational phases, and advising companies in connection with site activities to ensure that the project remains in compliance with applicable permits.
David also possesses significant federal and state court litigation experience, including more than a dozen federal appellate arguments in environmental cases. In his litigation practice, he represents clients in actions arising pursuant to a wide range of environmental, natural resources, and public land laws. He also has extensive experience in defending federal citizen suit actions.
David takes great satisfaction in understanding the financial and operational needs and goals of his clients’ businesses, and is adept at working as part of an in-house and consultant team that may include a diverse range of professionals, including permitting specialists, developers, design engineers, interconnection specialists, and environmental health and safety teams. He is particularly skilled at identifying risks, developing a collaborative approach to resolve areas of disagreement, and working together with the client team and stakeholders to arrive at workable, economic solutions that meet the needs of all the stakeholders in a project.
Memberships and Affiliations
- Member, Environmental Law Program Advisory Board, Indiana University School of Law
- Member, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, American Bar Association
- Member, Steering Committee, Renewable Energy Speaker Series, Environmental Law Institute and UC Berkeley Center for Law, Energy and the Environment
- Member, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
- Former Attorney, Appellate Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice
- Served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Robert H. Henry on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit