Troutman Sanders LLP announced today that Richmond partner Brooks Smith has been named to The National Law Journal’s inaugural list of the top Energy & Environmental Trailblazers. The list features lawyers who have moved the needle in the ever-evolving energy and environmental landscape.
Smith was recognized for his work pioneering a new, market-based approach to water quality protection under the Clean Water Act. This approach, which involves the trading of water quality credits between and among sources, has proven to be far more than just a compliance tool for regulated parties. Instead, it has helped to facilitate meaningful collaboration between point and non-point sources of pollution, and accelerate the pace and scale of water quality restoration.
Smith’s work in the Ohio River Basin States of Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky won the coveted U.S. Water Prize, and his work in other watersheds has helped to avert protracted litigation between different sources of pollution, environmental groups and the government. Recognizing the need for more uniform, coherent and comprehensive national policies, Brooks and his team at Troutman Sanders launched the National Water Quality Trading Alliance in January 2014. The Alliance includes a consortium of leaders from the business, governmental, non-profit and regulated community who are focused on enhancing and expanding market-based opportunities for improving water quality.
Smith, who is a partner in Troutman Sanders Environmental and Natural Resources practice, is a top-ranked environmental and administrative lawyer. His practice focuses on a wide range of matters arising under the Clean Water Act, as well as other areas of environmental law. He has helped clients to develop and implement compliance assurance programs, as well as defend against agency enforcement actions and citizen lawsuits. Smith has participated in over 1,000 environmental audits, and managed scores of compliance investigations, response actions and self-disclosures. He has a diverse client base that includes national and regional trade groups, ad hoc coalitions, electric utilities, coal companies, manufacturers, water and wastewater authorities, developers and farmers.
He has written and spoken extensively on developments arising under the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws. In addition, he has chaired several national conferences and given more than 100 presentations to audiences across the United States and Canada.
Smith earned a J.D. from Vermont Law School and a B.A. from the University of Richmond.