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Michael J. Gelardi

Michael Gelardi's practice focuses on land development and natural resource management. He advises on business transactions involving energy, agriculture, and other real estate projects. He also has a range of environmental and land use regulatory experience, including legislative and policy matters, as well as permitting and appeals.

Practice Highlights
  • Water Rights and Water Quality: Advocates for municipal water suppliers in permitting proceedings and appeals. Michael also analyzes the scope and priority of municipal, industrial and agricultural water rights, and he has helped draft state water resources legislation. He also has experience with water quality issues, including permitting, enforcement and the development of market-based watershed restoration programs
  • Energy Development: Represents wind, biofuels, hydropower, and other energy producers in real estate transactions and regulatory matters.
  • Agriculture: Represents vineyard and winery owners in real estate, land use and natural resource matters. Michael also advises the Oregon Winegrowers Association on legislative and policy matters related to land use, water resources, and pesticide use.
  • Environmental Remediation: Michael evaluates environmental risks in business transactions and assists property owners with remediation activities.

Representative Experience

In the Matter of Waverly Marina Association, OAH Case No. 1403630

Successfully challenged Oregon Department of State Lands permitting decisions before an administrative law judge.

Agricultural conservation easements for Oregon Rangeland Trust

Outside general counsel. Negotiate agricultural conservation easements with farm and ranch owners. (Ongoing)

Development - renewable for Caithness Shepherds Flat, LLC

Local development counsel on one of the world's largest wind energy projects, recently completed in Eastern Oregon. Assist with siting, electric transmission and interconnection, environmental and other regulatory matters.

Federal Superfund for Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsubishi International Corp.

Representation of client in the potentially responsible party group for the Portland Harbor Superfund site. (Ongoing) Read more

Hydroelectric power project for Idaho Power Company

Representation of power company in two-state water quality certification proceedings, under § 401 of the Clean Water Act, associated with relicensing of the 1,200 MW Hells Canyon Complex on the Snake River. (Ongoing) Read more

Water rights planning, procurement and legislative counsel for multiple cities in Oregon

Representation before the Oregon Water Resources Department of cities and municipal utilities in fast-growing communities in Central Oregon, Southern Oregon, and the Portland metro area related to obtaining, extending and protecting municipal water rights. General Counsel to the Oregon Water Utilities Council and special water counsel to the League of Oregon Cities. (Ongoing) Read more

Friends of Yamhill County v. Yamhill County

Represented winery in defending conditional use permitting process for winery facilities and activities on farmland. Prevailed before Oregon Court of Appeals, Land Use Board of Appeals, Land Conservation and Development Commission, and Yamhill County Board of Commissioners. 255 Or App 636 (2013)

Freedman v. Lane County, LUBA No. 2011-055

Represented farm business owner and other neighbors seeking to protect local water quality through land use proceedings. Prevailed before Land Use Board of Appeals and Lane County Hearings Official. (2012) 

Land use appeal

Successfully challenged county destination resort eligibility designations before the Land Use Board of Appeals on behalf of large ranchland owners. (2011)

Development - renewable for biomass power producer

Local development counsel to the developer of small biomass power facilities proposed for locations throughout rural Oregon. Assisting the client on siting, electric transmission and interconnection, environmental and land use issues, tax credits and property tax abatements.

Additional Qualifications

  • Legal Extern, Hon. John C. Coughenour, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, Seattle
  • Legal Extern, Office of Regional Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 10, Seattle
  • Three years of experience in nonprofit fundraising and communications

Professional & Community Activities

  • Federal Advisory Committee, Oregon Water Resources Congress
  • Executive Committee, Agricultural Law Section, Oregon State Bar
  • Board of Directors, Portland Fruit Tree Project, 2010-2014 

Professional Recognition

  • Selected to "Oregon Rising Stars," Thomson Reuters, 2013-2014
  • Selected to "Up and Coming Lawyers" in Oregon, Daily Journal of Commerce, 2012
blog for real estate & construction industries
blog for analyzing the critical energy and environemental issues of the day
A day in the life video with Michael J. Gelardi