Steve Quarles is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Crowell & Moring LLP and former chair of the Environment & Natural Resources Group. His practice includes counseling, litigation and legislative representation for a wide range of renewable and other energy, forest products, mining, agricultural and land development associations and companies; policy coalitions; state and local governments; and land conservation trusts. He addresses issues concerning federal wildlife laws (Endangered Species Act (ESA), Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA)), federal lands (including mineral, forestry, land exchange, siting and access law), and water pollution (including matters involving nonpoint source controls, point source permitting, impaired waters and Total Maximum Daily Loads, and wetlands regulation).
Litigation Practice: Steve represents clients in federal courts in all the federal circuits and the Supreme Court. He has litigated on behalf of Edison Electric Institute, American Forest and Paper Association, CropLife America, National Pork Producers Council, National Association of Homebuilders, American Farm Bureau Federation, and coalitions of silvicultural, agricultural, and other interests on federal wildlife protection, federal land use and resource extraction, and water quality issues. Steve has counseled and defended a variety of companies in citizen suits involving the ESA and federal enforcement issues involving the MBTA and BGEPA. He also has represented several states as both plaintiffs and defendants in ESA matters. Steve argued successfully on behalf of the petitioner before the Supreme Court in Ohio Forestry Association v. Sierra Club, 118 S. Ct. 1665 (1998), in which a unanimous Court ruled that federal courts do not have jurisdiction to hear most lawsuits against national forest plans.
Administrative Practice: Steve has a broad administrative practice that includes securing policy constructions and changes from federal agencies in Washington, DC (through rules, guidance documents, general counsel opinions, etc.) and advising on, and preparing the documentation for, the permitting of projects throughout the country (habitat conservation plans, avian and bat protection plans, biological opinions, environmental impact statements, historic preservation reviews, etc.). In ESA matters, Steve is representing two groups of approximately 20 wind energy companies each in the preparation of the two largest habitat conservation plans to date – Great Plains Wind Energy Conservation Plan and Midwest Wind Energy Conservation Plan – and is assisting western landowners in in the early stages of establishment of the largest conservation bank to date. Steve is advising, and has prepared white papers for, the Edison Electric Institute and American Wind Energy Association on federal wildlife law policies and rulemakings. He also is advising proponents and purchasers of approximately 20 renewable energy projects on adherence to the ESA, MBTA, and BGEPA. Steve counseled the pork industry representatives in the National Environmental Dialogue on Pork Production (involving the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, and States) and was principal author of its report "Comprehensive Environmental Framework for Pork Production Operations," December 16, 1997. He also worked with the Environmental Protection Agency on the 1997 Nationwide Clean Water Act Enforcement Agreement that honored agriculture's first industry-wide (pork industry) environmental auditing program.
Legislative Practice: Steve's legislative practice is similarly diverse. For example, he served as general counsel to the Endangered Species Coordinating Council, a coalition of numerous trade associations, companies, and labor unions seeking to reform federal wildlife laws. Steve has advised, and done legislative drafting for, coalitions of clients and also certain Congressional leaders (at their request) on every major legislative effort to revise the ESA. Steve has represented several forest products trade associations on multiple legislative initiatives, including the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003. Steve counseled a coalition of gold companies in the efforts to amend the General Mining Law of 1872 and a coalition of coal companies drafting legislation to resolve disputes between coal developers and oil and gas producers in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming and Montana. Steve also has worked with mining and forest products companies to secure enactment of bills mandating federal land exchanges and with land trusts to obtain appropriations for federal acquisition of lands for the National Park, Forest, and Wildlife Refuge Systems.
Governmental and Other Positions: Steve held several Executive Branch and Congressional positions before entering private practice. During the Carter Administration, he served as Deputy Under Secretary of the Department of the Interior, advising Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus on a wide range of environmental and natural resource issues, and Director of the Department's Office of Coal Leasing, Planning, and Coordination, developing the current federal coal leasing program. He also was special counsel to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the United States Senate, under Chairman Henry M. Jackson, and chief counsel for its Public Lands and Resources Subcommittee. He was the principal Senate staffer responsible for drafting and shepherding landmark natural resource laws (e.g., National Forest Management Act, Federal Land Policy and Management Act, and Deep Seabed Hard Mineral Resources Act), and major conservation laws (e.g., Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, Eastern Wilderness Areas Act, Montana Wilderness Areas Act, Omnibus Wild and Scenic Rivers Act Amendments, and over two dozen other omnibus and individual wilderness and wild and scenic river acts). He also assisted in the enactment of ground-breaking Native American laws (e.g., Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, Indian Health Care Improvement Act, and Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act). Very early in his position on the Committee, Steve had the dubious distinction of drafting legislation -- Wild, Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act -- that, promptly after enactment, was declared unconstitutional by a federal court (before the Supreme Court reversed, thereby salvaging Steve's career).
Prior to his government service, Steve was a program coordinator for the Ford Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and a Fulbright grantee in Aligarh, India.
Steve is a member of the 6-person U.S. delegation to the Bi-National Softwood Lumber Council, established under the 2006 Canada-United States Softwood Lumber Agreement. He recently served on the Secretary of the Interior's Federal Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee and the Secretary of Agriculture's National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board. Steve has been a member of the Board of Mineral and Energy Resources of the National Academy of Sciences. He served on the National Research Council's Committee on Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing, established by the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act of 1987, and Committee on Abandoned Mine Lands. Steve was an invited participant in the Endangered Species Act at Thirty project of the University of California, Santa Barbara, Columbia University and University of Idaho (2002-2003), the Stanford University Forum on the Endangered Species Act and Federalism (2005), and the Endangered Species Act Working Group on Habitat Issues sponsored by The Keystone Center (2005-2006). He has been Vice-Chair of the Endangered Species, Alternative Energy, and Public Lands and Land Use Committees of the Environment, Energy and Resources Section of the American Bar Association.
Steve currently sits on the boards of the American Forest Foundation, Henry M. Jackson Foundation, Maryland Environmental Trust, Bat Conservation International, and Pacific Forest Trust.
Education: Steve graduated from Princeton University, where he was awarded the Herrick Prize of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and Yale Law School. He received a Fulbright Scholarship to Aligarh Muslim University, India.
Professional Memberships and Recognition: Steve is a member of the bar of the state of New York and District of Columbia. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America (in Administrative Law, Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, and Mining Law categories); Marquis Who's Who in America; Marquis Who's Who in American Law; Marquis Who's Who in the World; and Marquis Who's Who in Finance and Business.
Personal: Steve and his spouse, Suzanne, own Some Day Soon Farm, one of the largest Hanoverian horse breeding farms in Maryland.
Publications: Steve publishes frequently on issues related to Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Mineral Leasing Act and other environmental and federal land laws. He is a co-author of numerous book chapters, including: Have You Got a License for That Tree? (And Can You Afford to Use It?), The Bioengineered Forest: Challenges for Science and Society, Resources For The Future (2004); the chapters on the law of wildlife "take" and nanotechnology in The Endangered Species Act: Law, Policy and Perspectives, American Bar Association (2d ed., 2010); the chapter on "Nanotechnology and Endangered Species Act" in Nanotechnology: Environmental Law, Policy, And Business Considerations, American Bar Association (2010); two chapters on forestry on, and access to, public lands in The Natural Resources Law Manual, American Bar Association (1995); the chapter on The Endangered Species Act and Greenhouse Gas Emissions -- Species, Projects, and Statute At Risk, in 55th Annual Institute Proceedings, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (2009); the chapter on The Endangered Species Act: Protecting Species at Risk, Risking Land Uses, in 27th Annual Institute Proceedings, Energy and Mineral Law Institute (2007); the chapter on Critical Habitat: Current Centerpiece of Endangered Species Act Litigation and Policymaking in 48th Annual Institute Proceedings, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (2002); the chapter on Wetlands Protections Law and the Forest Industry in the 14th Annual Institute Proceedings, Eastern Mineral Law Foundation (1995); and the chapter on the National Forests and Forestry, Natural Resources Law Handbook, Government Institutes, Inc. (1991). Among the articles he has published are: An Endangered Species Called Respect (Rara Avis Civilitatis): The Descent from Responsible Environmental Policymaking, Endangered Species & Wetlands Report (Aug. 2007); Why the ESA Is Different: Eight Reasons, 21 The Environmental Forum 50, Environmental Law Institute (2004); Sweet Home and The Narrowing of Wildlife "Take" Under Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act, 26 Env. L. Rep. 10003 (Jan. 1996); The Supreme Court Restricts the Availability of Forest-Wide Judicial Review in Ohio Forestry Ass'n v. Sierra Club, 28 Env. L. Rep. 10621 (Nov. 1998); Encouraging Self-Auditing Within the Pork Industry: The Nationwide Clean Water Act Enforcement Agreement for Agriculture's First Industry-Wide Environmental Auditing Program, 29 Env. L. Rep. 10393 (July 1999); and The Pronounced Presence and Insistent Issues of the ESA, 16 Nat. Res. & Env't. 59 (Fall 2001).