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Environment & Natural Resources

Brattle offers clients a comprehensive, cutting-edge approach to the analysis of environmental and natural resource litigation and regulation.

Our environmental litigation and regulation team’s preeminence in environmental economics is complemented by the firm’s broader spectrum of knowledge in energy, finance, and regulatory consulting. Brattle’s acclaimed experts and wide-ranging knowledge allows us to skillfully and efficiently serve a full range of client needs.

Over the last decade, Brattle has assisted with some of the largest and most complex environmental litigation cases in the United States. We have worked with companies, law firms, and government entities throughout the United States on issues ranging from air quality to water management, and driven by all major environmental regulations including the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, RCRA, CERCLA, and occupational issues under OSHA.

For Brattle’s firm clients, we help manage liabilities, assess regulatory impacts, and develop business plans to take advantage of the changing regulatory environment. For our regulatory clients, we provide expert testimony and reports on topics related to the costs and benefits of Superfund cleanup initiatives, mining permits, and air quality regulations.

We also pride ourselves on approaching each situation creatively and with the correct tools. One of our strengths is in utilizing GIS software to compute geostatistics, develop cartographic and topologic models, and integrate spatial analyses with traditional consulting techniques.

Areas of Expertise


Below is a list of representative engagements for our Environment & Natural Resources practice.

Interstate water disputes
As part of a US Supreme Court matter of original jurisdiction, Brattle conducted a range of analyses to assess the economic value of water in a river basin subject to an interstate dispute. Brattle evaluated the costs and benefits of a host of urban and agricultural water conservation measures to highlight opportunities for an economically reasonable resolution.
Clean Water Act regulation for private companies
A Brattle expert provided key environmental economic research and testimony related to cost and time required to obtain a discharge permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.
"Deepwater Horizon" oil spill

The Brattle Group helped to resolve the extent of the economic loss that resulted from the closure and despoiling of recreational space along the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. A Brattle team assisted in the multi-year collection of significant observation and survey data from a large fraction of the publically accessible area of the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Brattle Experts & Consultants
Academic Advisors & Other Outside Experts
Maximilian Auffhammer
Academic Advisor
University of California, Berkeley
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Stephen F. Hamilton
Academic Advisor
California Polytechnic State University
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Joel Huber
Academic Advisor
Duke University
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Matthew E. Kahn
Academic Advisor
University of California, Los Angeles
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Gilbert E. Metcalf
Academic Advisor
Tufts University
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Kenneth Train
Academic Advisor
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The Stated Preference Method: Is it Reliable for Determining Natural Resource Damages? What are the Alternatives?
September 27, 2018
Mark P. Berkman, David L. Sunding, Daniel L. McFadden, Vic Adamowicz, Loren Dunn, and James Bruen
Presented at The Brattle Group's Webinar, "The Stated Preference Method: Is it Reliable for Determining Natural Resource Damages?"
The Accuracy of Benefits Transfer for Environmental Valuation
July 12, 2018
Mark P. Berkman, Gina Waterfield, and Martha Rogers
Published in Trends, Vol. 49 No. 6
Produced Water—Emerging Challenges, Risks, and Opportunities
May 05, 2016
Earl L. Hagström, Christopher Lyles, Mala Pattanayek, Bridgette DeShields, and Mark P. Berkman
Published in the Volume 28, Issue 2, of the Environmental Claims Journal
Comments on the New York DPS "Clean Energy Standard White Paper – Cost Study"
April 21, 2016
Prepared for the New York State IBEW Utility Labor Council, Rochester Building & Construction Trades Council, and Central and Northern New York Building & Construction Trades Council
The electricity–water nexus: is a crisis imminent?
January 21, 2016
Published in Water Policy
The Legal and Economic Implications of Hydraulic Fracturing Bans
December 15, 2015
Mark P. Berkman and Earl Hagström
Published in Hydraulic Fracturing: Environmental Issues
Comments on the Straw Proposal on behalf of the California Water Association
October 13, 2015
Presented at the CPUC Workshop Balanced Rates Rulemaking (R.) 11-11-008, San Francisco, CA
Surviving The Storm
March 2015
Mark P. Berkman and Stephen Lagos
Prepared for the Bay Area Council Economic Institute
Valuing Urban Water Shortages
Published in the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists
Infrastructure Needs, Water Regulation, Financing Options and Areas of Improvements: Issues as Basis for Discussion
December 05, 2014
Presented to the First Workshop on Water Regulation in Europe, Rome, Italy
Infrastructure Needs, Water Regulation, Financing Options and Areas of Improvements
December 02, 2014
Francesco Lo Passo and Cosimo Fischietti
Prepared for the First Workshop on Water Regulation in Europe, Rome, Italy
Review of 2014 EPA Economic Analysis of Proposed Revised Definition of Waters of the United States
May 15, 2014
Prepared for The Waters Advocacy Coalition
Conserving Endangered Species through Regulation of Urban Development: The Case of California Vernal Pools
May 2014
David L. Sunding and Jonathan Terhorst
Published in Land Economics
Potential Economic Impacts of Environmental Flows Following a Potential Listing of Endangered Texas Freshwater Mussels
April 07, 2014
David L. Sunding, Brad Wolaver, Cassandra Cook, Stephen F. Hamilton, Bridget Scanlon, Michael Young, Xianli Xu, and Robert Reedy
Published in the Journal of the American Water Resources Association
The Impact of Water Price Uncertainty on the Adoption of Precision Irrigation Systems
April 01, 2014
David L. Sunding and Karina Schoengold
Published in Agricultural Economics
Environmental Policy with Collective Waste Disposal
September 2013
David L. Sunding, Stephen F. Hamilton, Thomas Sproul, and David Zilberman
Published in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management
Measuring the Impact of the Toxics Release Inventory: Evidence from Manufacturing Plant Births
March 01, 2013
Published by U.S. Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies
Fish Consumption in Portland Harbor
October 23, 2012
David L. Sunding and Steven Buck
Published by The Brattle Group, Inc.
The Adverse Impact of Particulate Matter on Property Values
August 2012
Mark P. Berkman, Kyle Hubbard, and Timothy Savage
Published in International Real Estate Review
Economic Benefits of the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan
June 20, 2012
David L. Sunding, Armando Levy, and Steven Buck
Published by The Brattle Group, Inc.
Reply to Comment on Effect of Coal-fired Power Generation on Visibility at a Nearby National Park (Terhorst and Berkman, 2010)
April 21, 2012
Published in Atmospheric Environment
An Optimal Policy for Recycling of Used Lubricating Oil
March 05, 2012
Published by The Brattle Group, Inc.
Economic Impact on City of Portland of Allocation of Remediation Costs of Portland Harbor Superfund Site
March 2012
Published by The Brattle Group, Inc.
Economic Analysis of SB568’s Proposed Polystyrene Ban
June 24, 2011
Prepared for Dart Industries, Inc.
Incentive Effects of EPA’s Ex Post Veto of a Clean Water Act Discharge Permit Issued to Arch Coal
May 10, 2011
Published by The Brattle Group, Inc.
News & Knowledge
February 26, 2019
Mark Berkman to Participate in The Knowledge Group Webinar on Environmental Litigation in 2019

Brattle Principal Mark Berkman will participate in The Knowledge Group’s webinar, “Environmental Litigation in 2019: Significant Issues to Watch For,” taking place February 26 from 12:00-2:00 pm (ET).

September 27, 2018
Brattle to Host Webinar on Methods for Determining Natural Resource Damages

Brattle invites you to join us for our upcoming webinar, “The Stated Preference Method: Is it Reliable for Determining Natural Resource Damages?” taking place Thursday, September 27th at 11am PST.

July 12, 2018
Brattle Group Consultants Publish Article on Accuracy of Benefits Transfer for Environmental Valuation

Brattle Principal Mark Berkman, former Associate Gina Waterfield, and former Brattle Consultant Martha Rogers have authored an article, “The Accuracy of Benefits Transfer for Environmental Valuation” for the recent issue of the American Bar Association’s Trends.

June 19, 2018
Brattle Assists the U.S. Attorney's Office in Its $1.2 Billion Settlement with NYCHA and New York City

On June 11, 2018, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced a landmark settlement with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and New York City to institute a plan that will fundamentally reform the city’s public housing.

February 21, 2018
Brattle Team Contributes to $850 Million Settlement in Minnesota v. 3M

3M Co. has settled a lawsuit related to groundwater and surface water contamination with the State of Minnesota for $850 million on the day trial was set to begin. Brattle economists provided evidence on liability and assessed damages on behalf of the State of Minnesota.

March 16, 2017
Mark Berkman and Martha Rogers to Present at Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis’ Annual Conference

Brattle Principal Mark Berkman and Associate Martha Rogers will present at the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis’ (SBCA) 9th Annual Conference and Meeting, “Improving the Theory and Practice of Benefit-Cost Analysis,” taking place March 15-17, 2017 in Washington, DC.

June 06, 2016
David Sunding’s Research Cited in Supreme Court’s Decision in Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes

Brattle Principal David Sunding’s research was cited in a United States Supreme Court decision on Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes, issued on May 31, 2016.

May 05, 2016
Brattle Principal Co-Authors Article on Produced Water

Brattle Principal Mark Berkman recently co-authored an article published in Volume 28, Issue 2, of the Environmental Claims Journal titled “Produced Water—Emerging Challenges, Risks, and Opportunities.”

April 21, 2016
Report by Brattle Economists Demonstrates Benefits of Keeping Upstate NY Nuclear Power Plants Open

Brattle Principals Mark Berkman and Dean Murphy authored a report released today that reviews the New York State Department of Public Service’s (DPS) findings on the environmental and economic benefits of keeping upstate nuclear power plants open by leveraging the proposed Clean Energy Standards (CES).

March 31, 2016
David Sunding’s Research Cited in Arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States

Brattle Principal David Sunding’s research was cited in arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on Wednesday, March 31, 2016.

January 21, 2016
Mark Berkman Authors Water Policy Article on Electricity Generation and Water Availability

Brattle Principal Mark Berkman recently authored an article for Water Policy on the potential for electricity generation to lead to water shortages in certain regions of the United States due to the high demand for water in the production of electricity.

January 12, 2016
Mark Berkman Co-Authors Book Chapter on Hydraulic Fracturing Bans in ACS Symposium Series

Brattle Principal Mark Berkman recently co-authored a chapter in the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) book, Hydraulic Fracturing: Environmental Issues, part of the Symposium Series. The chapter “The Legal and Economic Implications of Hydraulic Fracturing Bans,” was co-authored by Earl Hagström, a partner with Sedgwick LLP.

December 03, 2015
Testimony by David Sunding Contributes to Significant Win for Anadarko in Deepwater Horizon Penalty Phase

David Sunding, a principal of The Brattle Group and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, provided expert testimony on behalf of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in the recently concluded penalty phase stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

October 15, 2015
Daniel McFadden to Present at Natural Resources Symposium

Brattle principal Daniel McFadden will present at the Ad-Hoc Industry National Resource Management Group’s 2015 Natural Resources Symposium, taking place October 14-15, 2015 in Washington, DC.

October 08, 2015
Mark Berkman to Speak at 23rd Annual California Water Law Conference

Brattle principal Mark Berkman will present at the CLE event, “California Water Law: The Drought, the Delta & the Future,” taking place October 8-9, 2015 in San Francisco, CA.

September 25, 2015
Mark Berkman Serves as Damages Expert in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations’ Case

Brattle principal Mark Berkman served as the damages expert for the Choctaw Nation and Chickasaw Nation case against the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI).

August 03, 2015
Article by Jürgen Weiss Examines the Benefits and Costs for Utilities of Moving Fast or Slow on Climate Change Mitigation

Principal Jürgen Weiss co-authored an article for the July 2015 issue of The Economists’ Voice that assesses the benefits and costs for utilities in waiting or hurrying when taking climate change mitigation measures.

April 20, 2015
Mark Berkman to Participate in Panel Discussion on Extreme Weather in the Bay Area

Brattle principal Mark Berkman will serve on the upcoming Bay Area Council Economic Institute panel discussion, “Surviving the Storm,” taking place on April 20, 2015 in San Francisco, CA.

March 31, 2015
Mark Berkman Contributes to Bay Area Council Economic Institute Report on Extreme Weather Events

Brattle principal Mark Berkman and research analyst Stephen Lagos contributed to a recent Bay Area Council Economic Institute report, “Surviving the Storm,” examining questions about the economic impact of potential extreme storm events in northern California.

January 23, 2015
Mark Berkman to Present at CLE International Program on Impact of California’s Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations

Brattle principal Mark Berkman will present at the upcoming Water Law Institute taking place on January 23, 2015 in San Francisco, CA.

December 29, 2014
Principal Paul Carpenter Featured in Petroleum News on the Outlook of Alaska’s Oil and Gas Markets

Brattle principal Paul Carpenter has been featured in an article from the December 21, 2014 issue of Petroleum News that discusses the long-term pricing outlook of Alaska’s oil and gas markets.

December 21, 2014
Brattle Report on Proposed Changes for Tank Cars with Hazardous Materials Cited in Wall Street Journal

A Brattle report authored by principals Kevin Neels and Mark Berkman, “A Review of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s Draft Regulatory Impact Analysis,” was recently cited in The Wall Street Journal’s recent article “Railcar Bottleneck Looms for Oil.”

December 05, 2014
Brattle Co-Hosted Seminar on Water Regulation in Europe

Brattle recently co-presented the seminar, “First Workshop of Water Regulation in Europe,” which took place on 5 December 2014 in Rome, Italy.

November 13, 2014
Brattle Principals Recognized as Leading Arbitration Witnesses by Global Arbitration Review’s Who’s Who Legal

Four Brattle principals have been recognized as among the world’s top international arbitration experts by Global Arbitration Review in their annual survey, Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration.

October 27, 2014
Peter Fox-Penner Co-Authors Article on Resilient Energy Infrastructure

Peter Fox-Penner recently co-authored the article “Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructure for Urban Energy Systems,” which is featured in the October issue of the Solutions journal.

September 14, 2014
Bente Villadsen to Present at the Society of Depreciation Professionals Annual Conference

Brattle principal Bente Villadsen will speak on “Alternative Regulation and Ratemaking Approaches for Water Companies” at the upcoming Society of Depreciation Professionals annual conference.

August 12, 2014
Mark Berkman to Participate in LSI Conference on Hydraulic Fracturing in California

Brattle principal Mark Berkman will speak at the upcoming conference, “Hydraulic Fracturing in California: Developing Win-Win Strategies for Owners of Surface Rights and Drilling Rights,” taking place on August 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, CA.

June 17, 2014
Testimony by Principal Lawrence Kolbe Cited in Ruling to Uphold Decision in Offshore Portfolio Investment Strategy (OPIS) Tax Dispute

Principal Dr. Lawrence Kolbe provided testimony on behalf of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service that aided in upholding a favorable decision in an Offshore Portfolio Investment Strategy (OPIS) tax dispute.

June 02, 2014
Brattle Economists Revisit Findings on Potential Effects of Carbon Emissions Rulemakings Ahead of EPA's Clean Air Act

In anticipation of the EPA's proposed guidelines under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, The Brattle Group has released a compendium of prior studies examining the effects of a potential carbon emissions rulemaking.