Brad Cahoon is an environmental lawyer who represents clients throughout the country. He has a record of achieving his clients’ business objectives and using his litigation, administrative, regulatory and government relations skills to protect his clients from arbitrary, capricious and abusive action by federal, state and local governments. His clients have included financial institutions, land developers, manufacturers, lenders, energy companies, wireless carriers, mining companies, dry cleaners, metal recyclers, waste companies, ski resorts, ranchers, farmers, and chemical companies. He has litigated environmental cases in Utah, New York, Iowa, Indiana, and Idaho. He has handled environmental matters involving complex business transactions in multiple states across the country. His environmental law practice also encompasses water, zoning, oil and gas, mining, and real estate law.
Brad has been listed for multiple consecutive years in The Best Lawyers in America®, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business® and Super Lawyers®. He was named Lawyer of the Year in Environmental Law (2016) and Government Relations (2017, 2020) by Best Lawyers.
He is a past chairman and board member of the American Lung Association of the Southwest Region and State Law Resources, Inc. and past member of the Board of Litigation of Mountain States Legal Foundation.
- United States v. Acquest Transit, 1:09-cv-0055 (WDNY) (Clean Water Act)
United States v. Acquest Wehrle, 09-CV-637(WDNY) (CWA)
- Huntress v. United States, 19-1147 (2nd Cir.) (Federal Tort Claim Act)
- Wendling Quarries, Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 3:2016cv00083 (S.D. Iowa) (CWA)
- Jordan River Restoration Network v. United States, 2:11-cv-00040-DB (D. Utah) (CWA)
- U.S. v. Sharon Steel Corp., Civil No. 86-C-924J, (D. Utah) (CERCLA)
- Blanchard v. The Love Machine Co., 2:14-cv-00475 (D. Utah) (CERCLA and RCRA)
- Holladay City v. Tyler, 2:08-CV-00075-TS (Utah 3rd Dist.) (D. Utah) (CERCLA and RCRA)
- Verse Two Properties, LLC v. Hanggi Mfg, Inc., 5:14-CV-03765 (D. Cal.) (CERCLA and RCRA)
- Toevs v. Farm Service Agency, Case No. 2018W000179 USDA (Swampbuster)
- Indiana Dep’t of Envtl Mgmt. v. Omega 2000 Corp., Case No. 2006-15322-S (leaking tanks)
- Sugar House Dev. P’ship v. Texaco Inc., Civ. No. 930901309PR (UT 3rd Dist.) (leaking tanks)
- Western Metals Recycling LLC, No. 121001 UDEQ (solid waste)
- Universal Industrial Sales, Inc., No. 18021005 UDEQ (hazardous waste)
- In the Matter of Permit Modification for Groundwater Monitoring Well System, Promontory Point Class I Landfill, Box Elder County, Permit No. 0202R1 UDEQ (solid waste)
- Laidlaw Waste System v. Davis County, 1:96-cv-00058-BSJ (D. Utah)(solid waste)
- Environmental Research Center, Inc. v. DAS Lab LLC, RG19043611 (CA Prop 65)
- Jensen v. Jones, 2011 UT 31 (water rights)
- United States Fuel Co. v. Huntington-Cleveland Irr. Co., 2003 UT 49 (water rights)
- Hicken v. North Ditch Irr. Co., 960360-CA (Ut. Ct. App.) (water rights)
- Western PCS II Corp. v. Magna Investment & Development, LTD., 2000 WL 34475260 (Utah) (wireless carrier condemnation)
- T-Mobile v. Makris, Civ. 060917466 (UT 3rd Dist.) (1996 Telecom Act)
- T-Mobile v. Highland City, Civ. 2:06-CV-00781 (UT 4th Dist.) (1996 Telecom Act)
- United Steelworkers of America v. General Chemical Co., 15 FMSHRC 2475 (MSHA)
- 901 Woodside, LLC v. Park City Mun. Corp., Civ. No. 200500062 (UT 3rd Dist. Ct.) (zoning)
- Johnson Int’l Inc. v. Summit County, 2:94-cv-00089-BSJ (D. Utah) (regulatory taking)
- Lead environmental counsel in financings of four Utah solar power generating plants in Emery County (100 MW), Iron County (58 MW and 122 MW), and Sevier County (80 MW).
- Lead environmental counsel for largest U.S. residential wood pellet manufacturer in purchase of plants in New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Quebec.
- Lead environmental counsel for private equity firm in purchase of a novelty sock manufacturer and environmentally impaired real property in Indiana.
- Negotiated settlement for dry cleaner in multi-party CERCLA cost recovery action and RCRA action involving alleged perchloroethylene release.
- Negotiated $10 million settlement for Idaho ranch against industrial plant that resolved environmental citizen suit and property damage claims.
- Negotiated for prospective purchaser of Memphis chemical plant a Tennessee Brownfield Voluntary Agreement.
- Lead environmental counsel for purchaser of 1750-acre Geneva Steel site and cleanup and redevelopment under RCRA corrective action permit.
- Negotiated against United States Steel Corporation $60 million contract for the construction and long-term operation and maintenance of Corrective Action Management Unit at former Geneva Steel plant.
- Wrote and negotiated site management plans and environmental covenants to obtain RCRA corrective action completion with controls status for (i) multiple parcels within former Geneva Steel plant; (ii) Ogden, Utah, granary impacted by trichloroethylene release; (iii) manufacturing plant in Salt Lake City, Utah impacted by perchloroethylene release.
- Lead environmental counsel for national bank in cleaning up contaminated truck stop in Burns Harbor, Indiana and negotiating settlement of cleanup cost recovery claims against past responsible parties that included major energy company.
- Wrote and negotiated site management plans for lender that foreclosed on former West Valley City, Utah trucking facility and obtained voluntary cleanup program certificates of completion for two impacted parcels.
- Wrote environmental covenant and helped owner of Chicago dry cleaning plant obtain no further action from Illinois Environmental Protection Agency on cleanup of perchloroethylene release and approval for residential redevelopment.
- Negotiated for purchaser administrative settlement agreement with cleanup cost cap and covenant not to sue from Nevada Division of Environmental Protection on Las Vegas leaking underground storage tank site.
- Negotiated with EPA and Utah Department of Environmental Quality and obtained court approval for modifying consent decree providing liability protection for prospective purchasers and redevelopment of the Sharon Steel Superfund site.
- Assisted Nevada ski resort in obtaining no further action from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection for cleanup of leaking underground storage tank site.
- Defended liquefied petroleum gas supplier and negotiated reduced penalty before EPA Environmental Appeals Board for alleged violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act.
- Lead environmental counsel in conducting due diligence and risk evaluation and confirming compliance with and securing the transfer of permits, licenses and government approvals for wetlands, air emissions, electrical systems, fuel storage tanks, hazardous waste generation and other operations at Nevada and Colorado ski resorts.
- Lead environmental counsel in obtaining the transfer of licenses from the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives and corresponding state licenses for explosives used for avalanche control at Colorado and Utah ski resorts.
- Prevailed for developer on administrative appeal of United States Army Corps of Engineers district office jurisdictional determination over wetlands that lacked evidence of relatively permanent water and a significant nexus to waters of the United States.
- Advised French sodium importer concerning hazardous waste and TSCA reporting and handling obligations for plants in New Jersey, Texas and Utah.
- Advised Utah manufacturer on TSCA reporting obligations and exemption for medical devices.
- Advised French pesticide manufacturer on data submitter compensation requirements under FIFRA.
- Reviewed and analyzed for potential purchaser status of mine permit and air quality, waste handling, and water quality permits and approvals for West Elk coal mine in Somerset, Colorado.
- Reviewed and analyzed air quality, waste handling, water quality, and right-of-way permit and approval requirements for fiber optic telecommunications line.
- Represented large group of municipal power plants in negotiating emissions limits, compliance monitoring and other terms and conditions of Clean Air Act, Title V operating permits and approval orders and assisted in establishing and implementing plan for complying with permit requirements.
- Represented bondholders in analyzing clean air prevention of significant deterioration requirements and emissions limits imposed on co-generation power plant.
- Assisted bankruptcy trustee and California developer with leaking underground storage tanks sites located in Utah, Nevada, Idaho and Colorado.
- Represented soil regeneration facility before Utah Solid and Hazardous Waste Control Board in settling notice of violation for the unauthorized treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste.
- Assisted Nebraska ranch purchase 153 water rights covering 31,422 acre feet of water and Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management grazing permits for over 9,500 livestock as part of purchase of three Nevada ranches comprising some 9,000 acres of land.
- Represented mining company at trial and on appeal before Utah Supreme Court in case involving surface and groundwater rights, quiet title and forfeiture claims.
- Represented water user on review of Utah State Engineer’s rejection of change application based on alleged water rights forfeiture.
- Negotiated sale of and rendered title opinion on water rights sold to Sundance Ski Resort and surrounding community.
- Conducted due diligence on water rights in acquisition of the Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort in Nevada, Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado, and Gorgoza Tubing Park in Park City, Utah.
- Assisted with the expansion of snowmaking water rights at Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort in Nevada and Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado
Zoning and Land Use
- Represented owners and developers in complex, and at times contentious, zoning and land use projects, including Westgate Resort, Quarry Village, Sun Canyon Lodge, The Enclave at Cedar Draw, Deer Crest, Carden Academy, Park City Mountain Resort, Star Pointe Ranch (now Promontory), Blue Sky Ranch, and Hideout Lake (Colorado), among other projects.
- Represented wireless carrier in more than 85 contentious antenna permit application and ordinance proceedings in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah, including litigating permit denials in federal district courts under the 1996 Telecom Act.
Assisted clients in writing legislation on the following bills that were enacted into law:
- Water Matters: Caleb Tanner Provo River Water Law Conflicts, https://www.amazon.com/Water-Matters-Caleb-Tanner-Conflicts-ebook/dp/B07SCN71SX (May 24, 2019)
- “Utah Procurement Case Illustrates Perils in Bid Protests,” Co-Author, Law360 (April 6, 2015)
- “@Geneva – Pathway to Development,” Moderator, CREW Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (January 20, 2015)
- “Legal Developments and Case Law Affecting Financial Institutions and Business Transactions,” Presenter, Environmental Bankers Ass’n, Charleston, South Carolina (January 12, 2015)
- “Las Vegas Brownfields 101,” Presenter, Legal & Regulatory Framework, Las Vegas, Nevada (May 28, 2014)
- “Not Perfect: Perfecting Security Interests in Water Shares,” Co-Author, Utah Banker (Spring 2014)
- “A New Brownfield Economy – Recognizing the Risks and the Market,” Moderator, 40th Annual ABA Conference on Environmental Law, Salt Lake City, Utah (March 17-19, 2011)
- “Managing Ag-Loan Default Risks Arising from EPA’s CAFO Program,” Presenter, Great Western Bank, Denver, Colorado (September 30, 2010)
- “Water Rights and Municipalities,” Presenter, Utah Land Use Institute (September 29, 2010)
- “Nuclear Energy and Radioactive Waste: A Hot Choice for Utah,” Utah CEO (May 2010)
- “Property under Condemnation and Brownfields: What Real Estate Professionals Need to Know,” Utah Chapter of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (February 25, 2009)
- “Blending Innovative Site Cleanup, Risk Assessment, Use of Controls & Emissions Banking,” Environmental Bankers Ass’n, Salt Lake City, Utah (2008)
- “Extreme Makeovers: Risk Reduction Strategies for Redeveloping Mine-Scarred & Other Industrial Lands,” 52 Rocky Mt. Min. L. Inst. 16.01 (2006)
- “Brownfield Redevelopment Solutions: Recovering a Community’s Hidden Assets,” Envision Utah Education Forum (May 31, 2006)
- “Land Recycling: Building the Future on the Foundations of the Past,” Urban Land Institute Spring Council Forum (May 11, 2006)
- “Wetlands Enforcement and Takings Update,” Lorman Education Services (December 2004 and 2005)
- “Legal Issues in Using Institutional Controls to Facilitate Ground Water Remediation,” CLE International (October 28, 2005)
- “Notable Land Use Law Cases 2003-2005,” Utah Land Use Institute, Salt Lake City, Utah (October 5, 2005)
- “EPA’s Proposed Rule for All Appropriate Inquiries,” Salt Lake City (September 15, 2005)
- “The Brownfield Nouveau Riche, More Real Estate Players Will Be Asking, ‘What Can Brown Do For Me?’” Western Real Estate Business (May 2005)
- “Conditions on Development,” Utah Land Use Institute, Salt Lake City, Utah (October 2004)
- “Extreme Makeover: Redeveloping Mine Scarred Land,” Brownfields (2004)
- “Gateway to Revitalization,” St. Louis, Missouri (September 20 2004)
- “Squeezing Green Out of Brownfields,” Utah League of Cities and Towns, Salt Lake City (September 16, 2004)
- “Brownfield Redevelopment,” The Society for Marketing Professional Services, Utah Chapter (May 19, 2004)
- “Tanner Decisions–Shaping Utah Water Law, Utah Water Law & Policy Seminar,” St. George (March 17, 2003)
- “Environmental Representations & Warranties in M&A Agreements,” Utah State Bar, Securities Law Section (June 2001)
- “Wetlands, Waterfowl & the Supremes,” Panelist, Urban Land Institute (February 2001)
- Mountain States Legal Foundation, Board of Litigation (2015-present)
- State Law Resources, Inc., Board of Directors, Past Chairman
- American Bar Association
- Environmental Bankers Association
- Environmental Law Institute
- Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
- Utah Manufacturers Association
- Utah Mining Association, Legislative & Tax Committee
S.J. Quinney College of Law – University of Utah, J.D. (1991)
Brigham Young University, B.A.
- Member of the Academic All-Western Athletic Conference Football Team
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
United States District Court, District of Idaho
United States District Court, District of Utah
Utah Supreme Court