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Michael B. Wigmore

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Wigmore, Michael B.


Mike is a partner in V&E’s Environmental practice. Mike represents conventional and renewable energy companies, oil and gas companies, trade associations, investors, and manufacturing clients with respect to public lands and natural resources matters in federal and state courts, before Congress, and before federal and state administrative agencies (including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the EPA) in matters arising under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), National Forest Management Act, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Rivers and Harbors Act, Clean Air Act (CAA), Oil Pollution Act (OPA), National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and related state statutes.

Mike has successfully represented clients in obtaining and defending in court permits and authorizations for such projects as high-voltage electric transmission lines, oil and gas development, undersea fiber optic cables, and waterfront commercial developments.

Prior to commencing the practice of law in 1990, Mike was a nuclear engineer with the General Electric Company/Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, where his responsibilities included plant operations and environmental compliance for a land-based naval nuclear submarine prototype.

According to Chambers USA, “Clients compliment [Mike’s] ability to combine ‘detailed knowledge of statutes, impending regulations and case law with sound business advice’” (2009) and “praise his ‘unbelievably good case-handling abilities’” (2010).

Representative Experience
Environmental Issues Related to Natural Resources and Energy Project Development
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  • Successfully defending several oil and gas companies in litigation in federal district court and the court of appeals brought by national environmental groups against a 2,000-well natural gas project and defeating a motion for preliminary injunctive relief seeking to halt development of the project pending review
  • Representing a major electric utility in obtaining all necessary permits for a 765-kV transmission line constructed across national forest land, a national scenic trail, an American Heritage River and an endangered species habitat, and successfully defending the permits in litigation brought by a national environmental group
  • Representing a major oil and gas company with respect to permitting and third-party liability issues relating to the use of hydraulic fracturing for the development of oil and gas resources from shale and other unconventional formations in Pennsylvania, Texas and the Rocky Mountain Front Region, and advising on fracking issues relating to the CWA, CAA, SDWA, ESA, FLPMA, NEPA, TSCA and applicable state laws
Environmental Litigation and Enforcement Defense
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  • Representing the nonoperating investors in the Macondo well with respect to all federal and state environmental and natural resources issues relating to the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Representing a pulp and paper facility located in the Southeast in a Clean Air Act/New Source Review enforcement action, which the U.S. Department of Justice declined to prosecute after an enforcement referral from the EPA
  • Representing a consolidated recycling and manufacturing facility in the Southeast in a series of four RCRA/CWA citizens suits filed in state and federal court, all of which were successfully resolved on motions to dismiss
Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Education and Professional Background
  • The George Washington University Law School, J.D., with high honors, order of the coif, 1990
  • United States Merchant Marine Academy, B.S., with highest honors, 1984
  • Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, New York, and Connecticut; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit; U.S. District Court, District of Columbia; U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
Professional Recognition
  • Chambers USA, Leading Lawyer in Environmental Law, 2009 - 2013
  • Best Lawyers, Leading Lawyer in Environmental Law, 2013 - 2014
  • Legal 500 in Environment Litigation and Environment: Transaction and Regulatory, 2013
Activities and Affiliations
  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Association of the District of Columbia
Publications and Presentations
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Michael B. Wigmore
2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 500 West
Washington, DC 20037-1701

Tel  +1.202.639.6778
Fax  +1.202.330.5328

Environmental Litigation and Enforcement

Environmental Regulation and Permitting