Environment - Alaska Natural Resources

Van Ness Feldman has a unique and comprehensive understanding of federal and state laws, regulations, and policies that impact companies doing business in Alaska and represents clients on a broad range of issues, from energy and natural resources development to concerns of municipal and Native organizations. The firm has been involved in the drafting and enactment of many of Alaska’s landmark federal laws, have served as staff counsels to the Alaska Congressional delegation, or have served in a federal agency with oversight responsibility over Alaska natural resources and environmental issues. The firm’s attorneys and legislative professionals have excellent working relationships with the current Alaska Congressional delegation and other key policy makers in the Congress, executive branch agencies, and the State of Alaska government.


Van Ness Feldman has substantial interdisciplinary experience assisting our clients in Alaska in securing land use and environmental permits from federal and state agencies for energy and other development projects and in meeting critical environmental challenges.

With a practice focused on energy, environment, and natural resources, the firm counsels energy project developers and manufacturing companies in significant state and federal energy regulatory and environmental liability issues in Alaska. This includes counsel with respect to proposed regulations, preparation of complex permit applications, and actions involving regulatory decisions. The firm also provides advice and strategic counsel on hydroelectric matters including the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project—a proposed multi-billion dollar mega-project that, when constructed, will be the largest greenfield new dam project developed in the United States in nearly 50 years.  


Van Ness Feldman has deep experience advising clients on matters related to oil and gas development in the State of Alaska. The firm’s attorneys have been involved in every major federal energy and environmental law and regulation affecting the state since 1977, including providing counsel on the Alaska natural gas pipeline project, ensuring the delivery of natural gas to markets in the lower 48 states.  This significant representation involved negotiating with federal and state agencies and officials, and helping to create a legal and regulatory environment favorable to this important project. The firm monitored and drafted proposal language included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 on behalf of many of its Alaska clients, and also represents clients on federal oil and gas lease sale issues.

Other services include:

  • Monitoring the development of federal energy and environmental legislation and regulations.
  • Preparing advocacy documents for federal and state legislative hearings, including the preparation of testimony and drafting amendments.
  • Reviewing, analyzing and assessing federal and state proposed regulations, including preparing comments on proposed regulations.
  • Serving as strategic counsel with respect to permitting, and ensuring development of associated administrative records to support permitting decisions.
  • Preparing federal and state licenses and permit applications.


Van Ness Feldman understands the complexities and specialized needs of the commercial fishing industry in Alaska by helping navigate clients through some of today’s most complex, precedent-setting and controversial fisheries management issues. Our clients participate in virtually all sectors of Alaska’s commercial fishing industry, including commercial fishing and fish processing companies, commercial fishing associations and coalitions, and Native Alaskan Enterprises. The firm is highly skilled in the following areas related to fisheries and related operations:

  • American Fisheries Act and Magnuson-Stevens Act implementation and compliance
  • Fishery management council proceedings
  • Limited entry permits and individual fishing quota issues
  • Commercial transactions, including the formation and management of fishing co-operatives
  • Regulatory compliance, including enforcement proceedings and litigation
  • Design and development of legislative strategies
  • Regulatory accounting and financial reporting

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Richard A. Agnew

Partner and Chairman

Washington D.C.


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Tyson C. Kade

Of Counsel

Washington D.C.


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Jason Larrabee

Senior Policy Advisor

Washington D.C.


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Matthew A. Love




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Malcolm C. McLellan




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Melinda L. Meade Meyers


Washington D.C.


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Danielle B. Mercurio

Senior Policy and Industry Analyst

Washington D.C.


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Alan L. Mintz


Washington D.C.


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Tom Roberts


Washington D.C.


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Jonathan D. Simon


Washington D.C.


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Michael A. Swiger


Washington D.C.


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Andrew M. VanderJack


Washington D.C.


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Julia Scarpino Wood


Washington D.C.


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