2022 Environmental Law Q&A
Lisa Spickler Goodwin
Hirschler Fleischer, Richmond
Title: Partner, environmental team leader
Other legal specialties: Commercial real estate
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Bucknell University; law degree, University of Richmond
Family: Connor, 21, and Emily, 19 (plus Rosie the Bernese Mountain Dog)
Career mentors: During every step of my career, I have tried to absorb knowledge and skills from those with whom I’ve worked — beginning with some exceptional law professors, to the judge for whom I clerked, to the partners and senior associates who took the time and effort to train me. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with some of the best!
Favorite thing about where you live: I recently moved to Church Hill from Midlothian, and I love being in such a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood with amazing restaurants and shops all within walking distance.
First legal job: Judicial law clerk in the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk Division
How do you address stormwater problems? Virginia’s stormwater program is evolving, which has had a significant effect on our developer clients and, in particular, solar developments. There has definitely been some confusion over interpretation and application of the regulations, and we have been coordinating with staff at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, consultants, trade organizations, localities and individual clients to assist with obtaining permits and sometimes to work through enforcement issues.
What future environmental regulations do you anticipate? New stormwater guidance and regulatory actions, DEQ’s streamlined permitting platform, wetlands permitting, including federal activities relating to the WOTUS Final Rule and the Supreme Court’s Sackett decision, and continued regulatory action at the state and federal level relating to PFAS. Many activities stemming from the Clean Water Act will impact development. Some of these changes should make things easier and/or faster for development … but there remains quite a bit of uncertainty.