Practice Overview

Peder A. Larson advises clients on environmental, regulatory, government relations, ‎energy and land use matters. He has completed environmental impact statements, environmental assessment worksheets and ‎state and local ‎permitting processes for companies in a wide range of industries, including metallic and nonmetallic mining, materials ‎processing, ethanol ‎production, residential and institutional land development and waste ‎management. Peder provides compliance ‎advice and representation in enforcement matters and ‎represents clients at the Minnesota Legislature. He represents clients in ‎environmental matters in trial and appellate courts and provides expert testimony ‎in litigation and ‎legislative forums.

Representative Experience

Mining

  • Advises largest American taconite mining company regarding permits, regulations, leases, government relations and litigation critical to maintaining and expanding their Minnesota mining footprint.
  • Represents Minnesota industrial sand trade group and member companies on legislative, regulatory and permitting issues important to their facilities including significant new state regulation, local government ordinance revisions, permit approvals and enforcement actions.
  • Advises aggregate industry association and aggregate mining and processing companies on regulatory and legal issues for mining and processing sites.
  • Counselled major non-ferrous mining developer on state and federal regulatory requirements with a special focus on environmental review, water management and wetlands permitting issues.
  • Represents major mining client in litigation regarding competitor’s challenge to state agency actions on critical project permits.

Regulatory and Energy

  • Obtained first-in-the-region decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that a critical area in client’s operation was part of a waste water treatment system and therefore not regulated as a wetland for purposes of the federal Clean Water Act.
  • Developed and implemented strategy for a client to gain operational efficiencies by eliminating requirement for a waste water discharge permit for the facility. 
  • Represented ethanol production facilities on environmental review and permitting matters including new facilities and expansions of existing facilities as Minnesota ethanol production increased from 250,000 gallons per year to over a billion gallons per year. 
  • Gained dismissal of Department of Commerce investigation and threatened penalty for trade practices by national companies involved in financial services transactions.
  • Represented coalition of large energy users in electricity rate cases before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
  • Advised and represented ethanol and mining clients before Public Utilities Commission to protect energy cost reductions established in law.
  • Appointed by Environmental Quality Board in 2018 to environmental review reform task force.

Government Relations

  • Represented mining industry client in eight-year effort (and counting) to secure relief from outdated water quality standard, avoiding potentially devastating capital expenditures on unneeded treatment technology.
  • Represented ethanol industry passing legislation to create exemption from energy surcharge, saving clients $3 million dollars in first year of the exemption.
  • Represented taconite industry in coalition effort to pass legislation producing reduced electric rates for energy intensive, trade exposed companies.
  • Represented silica sand industry to avoid state wide moratorium on industry development and crippling taxation schemes, resulting in compromises with governor and three state agencies that allowed industry to continue operations in state.
  • Organized and led coalition facing Superfund liability for $90 million cleanup, resulting in legislation transferring liability from potentially responsible parties to the state. 
  • Led effort to eliminated mandatory environmental review for ethanol facility expansions.

Land Use and Real Estate

  • Advised developer on 115-acre multiple use development on strategy to gain city and local watershed approval, resulting in permitting of significant wetlands impacts and watershed district variance and approval of water management system.
  • Directed multiple contaminated land investigations and remediation plans including gaining state agency approvals for clients that were critical to project financing and construction. 
  • Obtained decision by local government that $68 million institutional building project was not subject to mandatory environmental review.
  • Represented two large school districts in separate controversial projects to consolidate and reconfigure facilities including completing environmental review, gaining needed land use approvals and variances and defending district decisions in litigation.


View All Related Experience

Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota, 1985


Education

  • William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, MN; 1985, J.D., cum laude

  • Concordia College, Moorhead, MN;1982, B.A.
    • Editor, William Mitchell Law Review


Honors

  • Environmental Law, 2013-Present, Best Lawyers in America®
  • “Lawyer of the Year” for 2015, Minneapolis Environmental Law, Best Lawyers in America®


Prior Professional Experience

Commissioner, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
EPA National Advisory Committee on Environmental Policy and Technology


Professional Associations & Memberships

  • Minnesota Environmental Initiative, Chair, Board of Directors
  • Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Former President