Van Ness Feldman serves as general legal counsel to Cascade Water Alliance, a municipal corporation comprised of seven municipalities (five cities and two water and sewer districts) in the Puget Sound region that joined together to provide safe, clean, reliable water supply. We have assisted Cascade in meeting the challenges of a non-traditional public entity operating under the requirements of a public agency. With our assistance, Cascade acquired the White River-Lake Tapps Reservoir Project for future water supply and now operates the project under a complex system of federal, tribal, and local agreements and overlapping regulatory jurisdictions. Van Ness Feldman also assisted Cascade with acquiring rights for a proposed pipeline corridor to carry water purchased from the City of Tacoma.
Van Ness Feldman provides real estate, land use permitting and planning, environmental regulation, and public contracting and procurement advice to address maintenance and repair of diversion facilities along the White River, hundreds of miles of flumes, dikes surrounding Lake Tapps, and a century-old powerhouse facility. Management of the project has required further knowledge of governance (including attendance at all board meetings), budgeting, risk management, ethics, public records management, and public policy related to balancing public recreational access with potential Cascade liability. Further, Van Ness Feldman assists Cascade in all of its governance affairs and complex negotiations to manage existing intergovernmental agreements.