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Ankur K. Tohan

Fax +1.206.370.6238

Ankur Tohan is a partner in the firm’s Seattle office and practice group coordinator for the firm's global environment, land and natural resources practice group. His practice focuses on energy infrastructure, natural resource development, compliance counseling, and defense of governmental and citizen enforcement actions. Mr. Tohan also advises clients on a range of sustainability and greenhouse gas matters ranging from policy and planning to permitting and development.
Mr. Tohan assists clients with complex regulatory, permitting, and enforcement matters under a range of environmental statutes, including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), Comprehensive, Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and Model Toxic Control Act (MTCA).

His recent work includes:

  • Advising clients on biogas development projects;
  • Ran environmental due diligence on a complex real estate and asset transaction valued at $140 million for a confidential client;
  • Advising clients on environmental due diligence for acquisition of wind, solar, and geothermal projects;
  • Counseling clients on state and federal rules, policies and proposals to evaluate and regulate greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Supporting all phases of wind and solar project development (siting and environmental permitting under the ESA, BGEPA, and CWA);
  • Advising oil and gas companies in state shoreline permitting, SEPA and NEPA process, and CWA permits for crude oil/rail transportation projects;
  • Advising electricity transmission line developers on environmental permitting for new projects;
  • Advising port terminal developers on environmental due diligence and permitting requirements for coal export facility under the CWA, NEPA, SEPA, and on greenhouse gas issues;
  • Supporting clients in negotiating settlements for complex marine sediment cleanup actions under CERCLA and MTCA (including Natural Resource Damage claims);
  • Advising wind energy developers with MBTA, BGEPA, and ESA compliance;
  • Counseling wind energy developers in the development of Avian and Bat Protection Plans;
  • Advising companies on environmental due diligence for purchase of wind farms;
  • Defending wind energy developers in civil and criminal enforcement actions;
  • Advising wind, oil, and gas energy developers and operators in compliance and permitting issues under the ESA;
  • Advising companies in the international and domestic transportation and disposal of hazardous and radioactive wastes under RCRA;
  • Counseling industrial power producers and consumers (e.g., data centers) on CAA requirements;
  • Negotiating and settling natural resource damage claims – resulting from oil spills – under Washington State law;
  • Defending corporate and individual entities in CERCLA and MTCA enforcement actions and litigating allocation and contribution claims;
  • Defending landowners and operators in wetland and wastewater enforcement actions under the CWA;
  • Defending landowners and operators from governmental and citizen suit enforcement actions under the SDWA;
  • Advising timber companies with compliance matters involving the CWA and state wastewater regulations.

Professional Background

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Mr. Tohan was an assistant regional counsel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where he worked on complex environmental enforcement, civil defense, and permitting matters. Mr. Tohan served as a lead attorney in Region 10 on wetland enforcement actions and jurisdictional issues under the CWA; oil and gas NPDES permitting; and forestry matters under the CWA and NEPA.

Mr. Tohan counseled the U.S. EPA on several matters:

  • CWA Section 404 permitting
  • Development of the Arctic General NPDES permits for oil and gas exploration in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas
  • Development of individual NPDES permits for oil and gas, water treatment, and other industrial facilities
  • Review and development of state water quality standards (for toxic and conventional pollutants)
  • Review and development of total maximum daily loads (TMDL) for impaired waters
  • SDWA permits for grind-and-inject disposal facilities and oversight of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission - Class II underground injection control program
  • ESA consultation
  • NEPA review on oil & gas and forestry matters
  • Enforcement actions under the CWA, CAA, and SDWA
Mr. Tohan has travelled throughout Alaska, including Kenai Peninsula and the North Slope, which has allowed him to work directly with several native communities as well as the North Slope Borough.


  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers, Washington - Environment, 2017 - 2020

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Clean-Water Act Handbook, Pre-Treatment and Indirect Dischargers, contributor/editor
  • ELI - Law of Environmental Protection, Clean Water Act, editor
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Washington State Bar Association, Environmental and Land Use Section, Newsletter editor
  • Northwest Environmental Business Council, Board of Directors member

Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter, Next Generation Infrastructure, Washington Public Ports Association Environmental Seminar, September 2019
  • Moderator, Natural Gas: Reckoning With The Future, NIPPC Annual Meeting, September 2019
  • Presenter, SEPA & NEPA The Developer’s Perspective, The 16th Annual Intensive One-Day Seminar on SEPA & NEPA, January 2019
  • Presenter, Energy Flow & The Dormant Commerce Clause, The Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition Annual Meeting, October 2018
  • Presenter, Carbon Regimes in Washington and California, Oregon Farm Bureau, September 2018.
  • Presenter, Renewable Energy Workshop - The Secret Sauce in Renewable Energy: Competition, June 2018
  • Presenter, Wetlands in Washington, Law Seminars International, May 2018
  • Presenter, The Mighty Columbia, The Seminar Group, March 2018
  • Presenter, Citizen Suits: The nuts and bolts for bringing and defending against private enforcement actions, Law Seminars International, February 2018
  • Presenter, Impact on Washington of the 2016 Election and Clean Water Policy and Enforcement Priorities at the Federal Level, Law Seminars International, June 2017
  • Presenter, Can Trump Dismantle the EPA as Promised?, The Seminar Group, Environmental Law in the Trump Administration, March 2017
  • Presenter, The Department of Interior/Commerce in the Trump Era, The Seminar Group, Environmental Law in the Trump Administration, March 2017
  • Presenter, Wetlands, Permitting, Case Law Update (Dairy and Manure; Downstream Impacts), The Seminar Group Agriculture Law Seminar, February 2017
  • Presenter, Energy Infrastructure and Carbon Policy: Impacts & Opportunities, Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition (NIPPC) Annual Meeting, 2016
  • Presenter, Legislative, Regulatory and Section 4 Update, Endangered Species Act Conference, 2016
  • Presenter, Washington’s Energy Future Conference, NEBC, 2015
  • Presenter, Permitting Strategies for Large, Controversial Projects in Washington State and the Northwest, The Seminar Group, 2015
  • Presenter, Clean Water Act Update: Recent Adoption of Regulations Clarifying the Clean Water Act, K&L Gates, 2015
  • Presenter, Buying & Selling Electric Power in the West: Regulating Interstate Air Pollution & Greenhouse Gases, Law Seminars International CLE, 2015
  • Presenter, Endangered Species Act Conference, The Seminar Group, 2014
  • Presenter, Wetlands in Washington, Law Seminars International CLE, 2012
  • Moderator, Alaska Shale Conference, K&L Gates, 2012
  • Presenter, Wetlands in Washington, Law Seminars International CLE, 2011
  • Guest lecturer, Environmental Law Fundamentals, Seattle University Law School, February 2008, 2010
  • Presenter, Wetlands in Washington, Law Seminars International CLE, 2010.
  • Presenter, Fundamentals of Environmental Compliance Inspections, National Enforcement Institute, July 2008
  • Presenter, Wetlands in Washington, Law Seminars International CLE, 2007
  • Presenter, Society for Ecological Restoration and Society of Wetland Scientists Joint Conference, September 2007

Additional Information

  • “2019 Offshore Wind Handbook”, October 2019.
  • "FWS Bat Intake Rule Won't Drive Project Developers Batty," Law360, 25 January 2016