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Kenneth S. Weiner

Retired Partner
+1.206.370.8000
Fax +1.206.370.6000

Ken Weiner practiced for more than 35 years exclusively in the environmental, natural resources and land use area for clients in the public and private sectors. He joined the firm after serving as deputy executive director and counsel for the White House Council on Environmental Quality under Presidents Ford and Carter.

Ken’s practice covered a full range of environmental, land use, natural resource and related regulatory issues, with a focus on sustainability. His work for companies and public agencies has resulted in landmark public-private partnerships.

Ken is one of the principal authors of both the federal (NEPA) and state (SEPA) regulations on environmental impact assessments. He is also a principal author of the Washington Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) rules, one of the nation's more successful hazardous waste cleanup programs. In 36 years, no environmental impact assessment in which Ken has had a principal role has been found inadequate.

Ken founded the firm’s U.S. West Coast environmental practice in 1980. During his time at the firm, Ken was instrumental in negotiating nationally-recognized agreements on sensitive projects, in addition to conventional due diligence, counseling and compliance matters. Ken also assisted public agencies on critical infrastructure, including successful environmental review and permitting of more than $6 billion (in current dollars) of ‘green’ public works projects for Seattle–King County Metro, the City and County of Spokane, the Port of Seattle, and the City and Port of Everett.

Ken has served as an advisor to democrat and republican Presidents and Governors on regulatory reform. He devotes substantial time to public service and has facilitated consensus among diverse interests on legislation and rulemaking.

He has written and taught extensively on administrative and environmental law. Ken has received numerous recognitions from business, environmental and professional organizations.

Professional Background

Ken's listings include Washington SuperLawyers, Best Lawyers in Washington and Best Lawyers in America . He has received awards from diverse organizations, including Environmentalist of the Year from the Seattle Audubon Society and Outstanding Service Award from the Association of Washington Business.

Ken Weiner practiced for more than 30 years in the environmental, natural resources and land use area for clients in the public and private sectors. He assisted diverse telecommunications/media and high technology clients on permitting, right-of-way, deployment, due diligence and strategic regulatory advice for local and global networks.

Ken joined the firm after serving as deputy executive director and counsel for the White House Council on Environmental Quality under Presidents Ford and Carter. He is one of the principal authors of both the federal (NEPA) and state (SEPA) regulations on environmental impact assessments, and counsels clients on compliance with similar laws, such as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). He is also a principal author of the Washington Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) rules, one of the nation's more successful hazardous waste cleanup programs. Ken was founding chair of the firm's environmental, land use and natural resources practice group.

Beginning in the mid-1980s, Ken helped television broadcasting and telecommunications companies to site communications facilities, from local satellite dishes to trans-Oceanic submarine fiber optic cables. Ken’s work included:

  • Environmental impact assessment at the local, state, and federal level for new, expanded, or modified telecom facilities, including accelerated reviews for rapid deployment and for maintenance/repair/restoration operations.
  • Coastal zone management consistency and shoreline permitting for telecom facilities.
  • Permitting at local, state, and federal levels, including sensitive area issues such as endangered species habitat, marine sanctuaries and protected area, wetlands, and neighborhood concerns.
  • Real estate and right-of-way acquisition, including alternate valuation methodologies.
  • Agreements with fishing interests and Indian Tribes.
  • Co-location agreements for fiber optic cable, transmission and other facilities with companies and public agencies.
  • Due diligence for corporate and real estate transactions, including asset sales, corporate reorganizations, and permit transfers.
  • Legislation and rulemaking on telecommunications and right-of-way policy.

During his time at the firm, Ken was instrumental in negotiating landmark agreements on sensitive projects, in addition to conventional counseling and compliance matters. For example, he assisted a global telecommunication company to emerge from bankruptcy and helped to negotiate an settlements with the Departments of Justice and Commerce, other federal agencies, several state agencies, Indian Tribes, and related commercial agreements, resolving an apparently intractable multi-year dispute.

He also counseled high-tech companies with acquisition and development of manufacturing facilities, such as semiconductor plants, as well as with due diligence, permitting, cleanup and compliance matters for these facilities.

Ken has assisted clients to plan, permit and construct more than $6 billion of infrastructure projects. In other environmental work, Ken assisted a major Northwest paper company with the first state and federal Superfund cleanup and natural resource damage settlement to be accomplished in the nation's coastal waters. The project was both the least cost option and was strongly supported by environmental and Tribal interests. He helped secure approvals in record time for the first modern gold mine and the first major new private regional landfill and model recycling programs in Washington state.

His article, “Ecological Considerations Affecting Off-Shore Facilities,” is in the Pacific Telecom Council/Preston Gates Guide to Telecommunications in Asia (2006 ed.). He has also written and taught extensively on administrative and environmental law and served as editor of the Washington State Real Property Deskbook (2nd Edition). He is the author of “Basic Purposes and Policies of the NEPA Regulations” in Towards a National Environmental Policy: the First 25 Years, a comprehensive explanation of the intent of the NEPA Rules.

Ken devotes substantial time to public service and has facilitated consensus among diverse interests, such as drafting legislation on SEPA and on the Growth Management Act as an advisor to the Governor's Regulatory Reform Task Force.

Listed in both Best Lawyers in Washington and Best Lawyers in America, Ken has received awards from diverse organizations, including Environmentalist of the Year from the Seattle Audubon Society and Outstanding Service Award from the Association of Washington Business.