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Molly K. Barker

Fax +1.206.623.7022
Molly Barker is an associate at the firm’s Seattle office. She is a member of the environment, land and natural resources practice group. Molly’s practices focuses on environmental regulatory compliance, contaminated sites, renewable energy permitting, and natural resource issues.

Professional Background

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Barker served as an associate at an environmental and energy law firm where she focused her practice on environmental, real estate, energy, natural resources and land use law. She worked with public and private clients to conduct due diligence for permitting energy projects, obtain regulatory closure for contaminated sites, bring business operations into environmental regulatory compliance, sell or purchase contaminated properties, and evaluate land use issues arising out of development projects. Ms. Barker’s experience includes matters involving the Model Toxics Control Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and a variety of local land use codes and state laws. Having also previously served as a judicial law clerk for four judges at the trial court level, she has touched on nearly every type of legal issue that makes its way through the state superior court system.


  • Rising Star in Super Lawyers and Washington Law & Politics Magazine, 2019, 2018, 2017.
  • Top Women Attorneys in Washington, Washington Law & Politics Magazine, 2017

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Washington State Bar Association Environmental and Land Use Section: Executive Committee Member (Fall 2019 – Fall 2022); Member (2015 – Present)
  • Clean Tech Alliance: Government Affairs Committee Member (2019 – Present)
  • Seattle Chapter - Women of Renewable Industry and Sustainable Energy (WRISE): VP of External Affairs (2019 - Present); Member (2018 – Present)
  • Northwest Environmental Business Council: Olympic Chapter Committee Member (2017 – Present)
  • Women in Environment: Member (2015 - Present)
  • KCBA Environmental and Land Use Law Section: Section Chair (2016-17); Communications Chair (2015-16); Member (2015 – Present)
  • Washington Women Lawyers: Professional Development VP (2017-18); Membership VP (2016-17); Publicity VP (2014-16)
  • Friends of Waterfront Seattle: Member of Founding Ambassador Team (2014-15)

Speaking Engagements

  • Co-Presenter, “Prospective Purchaser Agreements for Brownfields Transactions: A Practitioner’s Comparison of Washington and Oregon” King County Bar Association Environmental and Land Use Section’s Lunch CLE, Seattle, WA (June 27, 2019)
  • Moderator, “An Update on PFAS: Understanding the Scope of the Challenge and Developing a Solution,” Northwest Environmental Business Council’s PFAS Workshop, Seattle, WA (May 7, 2019)
  • Moderator, “Changing the Energy Landscape: How Renewables and Storage are Taking Over the Grid,” Northwest Environmental and Business Council's Energy Workshop, “Powering Our Future: Insight into the Growth of Renewables,” Seattle, WA (June 7, 2018)
  • Emcee, “Cleaning Up Water, Air And Dirt: Litigation And Policy Updates,” King County Bar Association’s Environmental And Land Use Section's Half Day Cle, Seattle, Wa (June 8, 2017)
  • Author, “Supreme Court Decides Virginia Uranium, Inc. v. Warren: Rejects Preemption Challenge to Virginia’s Moratorium on Mining Uranium Ore on Nonfederal Land,” Marten Law Newsletter (July 15, 2019)
  • Author, “The Big Zero: Washington’s Clean Energy Transition Act and the State’s Big Shift to Zero Emissions,” NWLawyer Magazine (July/August 2019)
  • Co-Author, “West Coast States and Cities Sprint Ahead with Decarbonization Legislation,” American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources, Renewable, Alternative, and Distributed Energy Resources Newsletter (August 7, 2019)
Contaminated Sites
  • Represented a Washington municipality in developing a funding and allocation strategy to remediate a landfill formerly owned and operated by the municipality that is subject to an Agreed Order overseen by the Washington State Department of Ecology.
  • Successfully structured real estate sales and leases of contaminated properties to mitigate the risks associated with the contamination, and advised prospective buyers and lenders relating to the risks associated with the purchasing of, or lending on, contaminated properties for the development of projects.
  • On behalf of a subsidiary to a publicly traded utility company, assisted in the remedial investigation and evaluation of potential cost recovery strategies, and in insurance defense for a multi-million dollar legacy manufactured gas plant site subject to an Agreed Order on Consent overseen by the U.S. EPA.
  • On behalf of multiple landowners and real estate developers, assisted in successfully obtaining regulatory closure of petroleum and solvent sites throughout Washington and recovering remedial action costs from liable parties as a result of brownfield redevelopment projects.
  • Assisted in mediating and obtaining a favorable settlement for a dry-cleaner in defense of a cost recovery claim made by a municipality after it condemned a portion of the dry cleaner’s property during a road-widening project wherein it encountered hazardous substances attributable to dry-cleaning operations. This involved successfully securing both indemnity insurance coverage to compensate the dry cleaner for the deduction in “just” compensation received from the municipality as a result of its condemnation of contaminated property, and successfully securing defense insurance coverage for completing the remedial investigation and feasibility study of the site even after the municipality's cost recovery action had been settled.
Environmental Regulatory Compliance
  • Counseled a fuel distributor on regulatory compliance issues surrounding the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures implementing regulations under the Clean Water Act and assisted in negotiating a Consent Decree and penalty payment on behalf of the distributor with the U.S. EPA to resolve violations of those regulations.
  • Advised fuel distributor client on regulatory compliance issues surrounding the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan implementing regulations under the Clean Water Act and assisted in negotiating a settlement on behalf of fuel distributor with a citizen group to resolve violations of those regulations.
Energy Permitting
  • Advise an international investor on permitting due diligence to evaluate the risk associated with investing in a methanol refinery on the Columbia River in Washington.
  • Advise wind energy company on bald eagle permitting issues arising under the development of multiple wind farms in Ohio State.
  • Counsel wind energy developer on requirements for turbine development in Mississippi State.
  • Counsel electric power company regarding FERC hydroelectric licensing and permitting matters.
Natural Resources
  • Assist timber company on endangered species conservation planning and other environmental matters related to its forested lands.
  • Assist agribusiness and agricultural clients to evaluate and secure water rights and water resources.
Public Health Crisis Response
  • Advise medical research and testing companies on continued medical research, vaccine production, and diagnostic testing operations under state and local “shelter-in-place” orders during COVID-19 pandemic.