Bennett karen

Karen C. Bennett


Washington D.C.

1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Suite 1300 South
Washington, DC 20004
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Fax: +12025522369
J.D., University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, Denver, Colorado, 1997, Editor, Water Court Reporter
B.A., University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, 1993, Political Science, History
State Bar Licenses
District of Columbia
Court Admissions
U.S. District Ct., District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit

Karen C. Bennett


Karen C. Bennett is a Member in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office in the Environment, Energy & Natural Resources practice group where she represents clients on environmental and administrative law matters, focusing primarily on permitting, compliance, litigation and legislative and regulatory policy under the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Karen has also guided clients through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) cost recovery actions and appeals.

Karen is recognized as a skilled strategist, with experience in obtaining federal approvals for complex projects that face multi-front regulatory hurdles and public scrutiny, and often-times, conflict between state and federal regulatory agencies.

Prior to entering private practice, Karen was Vice President for Environmental Affairs at the National Mining Association (NMA), the Washington, D.C. based trade association that represents the coal and hardrock mining industry before Congress, the Administration, and regulatory agencies. Karen earned her J.D. from the University of Denver, College of Law, where she was the Editor of the Water Court Reporter, and is licensed to practice in the District of Columbia.


  • Co-author, "Washington, D.C." Texas A&M Journal of Property Law, Survey on Oil & Gas, Volume 5, 2018-2019
  • Co-author, "White House Deregulation Push Is Just Getting Started," Law 360, January 2018
  • Author, CWA Citizen Suits Seek to Erode the Permit Shield, National Association of Clean Water Agencies Legal Perspective, July 2016
  • Author, Avoid Project Delays by Understanding the National Historic Preservation Act, NSSGA Magazine, April 2016
  • Author, Obama's Coal Moratorium Likely To Have Long-Term Effects, Law360, February 11, 2016
  • Co-author, Redefining "Waters of the United States": Is EPA Undermining Cooperative Federalism?, The Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies, Engage Volume 16, Issue 1, May 5, 2015
  • Co-author, Lessons Learned from Coal, Oil & Gas Financial Journal, October 2012
  • Co-author, Environmental Update: Keeping the Issues Straight in the Mining Industry, Institute Proceedings, July 2012 


  • Speaker, "National Historic Preservation Act: Update on Efforts to Clarify Implementation", American Exploration & Mining Association, December 5, 2018.
  • Speaker, "Wetlands Law and Compliance", The American Institute of Architects Continuing Education Systems, June 14, 2018
  • Speaker, “Regulatory Reform: Now What?” Energy Mineral Law Foundation, Kentucky Mineral Law Conference, October 18-19, 2017
  • Speaker, “Changing the Regulatory Landscape Through Executive Action”, Tennessee Mining Association, October 2, 2017
  • Speaker, “Leveraging Natural Capital to Manage Risks and Create Opportunities for U.S. Sites” Webinar,  Karen C. Bennett and Jane C. Luxton, September 28, 2017
  • Speaker, “NEPA, Dealing with Potholes in the Regulatory Road”, ACEC Environment and Energy Committee Summer Meeting, August 23-24, 2017.
  • Speaker, "The State of Compensatory Mitigation," 2017 National Wetlands Awards, Environmental Law Institute, May 18, 2017
  • Speaker, ACEC Environment & Energy Committee Winter Meeting
  • Speaker, "Nexus Between Water Quality and Quantity," Arizona Rock Products Association, Critical Issues Forum, December 15, 2016
  • Speaker, 2016 National Clean Water Law Seminar, November 1, 2016
  • Speaker, "The EPA’s Growing Influence Over State and Federal Section 404 Permits," October 19, 2016
  • Speaker, “Hot Topics in Clean Water Law,” National Association of Clean Water Agencies, June 15, 2016
  • Speaker, "Waters of the U.S.' Impose New Impacts on Project Planning," EBI Fall Strategy Summit, October 2, 2015
  • Speaker, "Avoiding National Historic Preservation Act Problems," Environment Committee Meeting, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA), September 17, 2015
  • Guest, Joe Miller Radio Show, "Redefining Waters of the United States: Is EPA Undermining Cooperative Federalism?", May 19, 2015
  • Speaker, Proposed "Waters of the US" Rule, US House of Representatives, Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Washington, DC, April 2, 2014
  • Speaker, Changing Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Implication on Permitting, ICSC Strategic Leadership Summit, Washington, D.C.
Board of Trustees, Energy Mineral Law Foundation (EMLF)
Member, Board of Directors, Women’s Energy Network (WEN)
Member, Executive Committee, Federalist Society
Member, District of Columbia Bar Association

Advise mining, energy development, and corporate clients on Clean Water Act Sections 402 and 404 and SMCRA permitting, US Army Corps of Engineers Jurisdictional Determinations and mitigation requirements, NEPA analysis, and NHPA Section 106 compliance and litigation

Advises corporate clients on CWA compliance, including voluntary detection and reporting

Advises large export terminal developers on NEPA, CWA, Section 106 and tribal consultation matters

Advise industry clients on water quality criterion development

Advise mining clients on environmental citizen suits and opposition tactics

Serve as counsel to national trade association on CWA policy and regulatory matters

Files amicus briefs on behalf of national trade associations in key CWA litigation 

Advise state regulators on CWA matters affecting mining states

Advises mining clients  on EPA financial assurance rulemaking 

Advise financial institutions on environmental due diligence for acquisitions

Federal Emergency Management Act (FEMA) recovery

Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) compliance counsel

Newsletter Alerts
EPA Makes Major Clean Water Act AnnouncementEPA Reduces Regulatory Enforcement Burden, Targets Compliance AssistanceNew Impetus for Improving the Natural Resource Damages Process?White House Kicks Off NEPA Reform Expedited Infrastructure Takes Another Step ForwardIn Major Change, Regulatory Reform Comes to Tax RegulationNew Momentum for Federal Infrastructure Initiatives and Regulatory ReformDeregulatory Statistics and Priorities are Highlighted in White House Fall 2017 Regulatory AgendaNew Concerns for Companies That Import or Manufacture "Toxic" ChemicalsLong-Awaited Commerce Department Regulatory Reform Report Spotlights Priority TargetsAdministration Invites Additional Public Comment on "Waters of the United States" Rulemaking New Executive Order on Infrastructure Ups the Ante on Streamlining the Environmental Review and Permitting ProcessU.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency Proposal to Rescind "Waters of the United States" Regulatory DefinitionU.S. Army Corps of Engineers Solicits Comments under E.O. 13777 "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda" Interior Department Announces Regulatory Reform Comment OpportunityThe Honest Act Inches Forward Amid ControversyBipartisan Senate Regulatory Accountability Act Adds Another Important Element to Reform EffortsEPA Doubles Down on Regulatory Reform Outreach, But is More Necessarily Better?EPA Seeks Input on Regulations to be Repealed, Replaced, or Modified Regulatory Reform: A Closer Look at Opportunities and ChallengesPresident Trump Orders Revisit of "Waters of the United States" RuleRegulatory Restructuring Initiatives Keep ComingNew Administration Orders Federal Agency Action to Reduce Regulatory Burden on ManufacturingTrump Administration Memorandum Imposes Regulatory Freeze Pending ReviewU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes New Mitigation PolicyCouncil on Environmental Quality Issues Final Greenhouse Gas Climate Change Guidance
"White House Regulation Push Is Just Getting Started" by Jane Luxton, Karen Bennett, Kenneth von Schaumburg and William Walsh for Law 360, January 11, 2018The State of Compensatory Mitigation, Environmental Law Institute"Regulatory Reform: A Closer Look at Opportunities and Challenges" by Karen Bennett, Jane Luxton, Kenneth von Schaumburg, and William Walsh for JD Supra, April 10, 2017"CWA Citizen Suits Seek to Erode the Permit Shield," by Karen Bennett for the National Association of Clean Water Agencies "Avoid Project Delays by Understanding the National Historic Preservation Act," by Karen Bennett for NSSGA Magazine, April 2016
The State of Compensatory Mitigation - Environmental Law InstituteNexus Between Water Quality and Quantity - Arizona Rock Products AssociationThe EPA’s Growing Influence Over State and Federal Section 404 PermitsWEBINAR: New Compensatory Mitigation Policies; Opportunities for Strategic, Market-Based Eco-Asset Projects
"Leveraging Natural Capital to Manage Risks and Create Opportunities for U.S. Sites" Webinar