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Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt

Ryen Godwin

Ryen Godwin



  • Environmental Regulation and Litigation
  • Environmental Regulation and Litigation
  • Environmental Regulation and Litigation
  • Environmental Regulation and Litigation

WSG Practice Industries


Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt
Washington, U.S.A.


Ryen Godwin helps clients solve problems. He believes each client’s business and corresponding challenges are unique so he works closely with the client to craft a strategy or solution that fits the client’s goals. Ryen focuses his practice in environmental law by helping clients navigate regulatory schemes under state and federal environmental statutes. Ryen also acts as lead litigation counsel when it is necessary to achieve a defined outcome. He has counseled clients in a variety of industries, including distribution, development, petroleum, public and private construction, logging, utility services, and the commercial fishing industry.

Ryen has extensive experience in defending litigation under the Clean Water Act (CWA), Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). He has participated in some of the region’s most complex CERCLA Superfund sites, defended clients in CWA litigation in federal district court and in administrative proceedings, and represented clients in cost recovery and contribution actions. Ryen has also advised clients on regulatory matters such as storm water management, UST decommissioning, and local permitting.

Additionally, Ryen practices federal Indian Law. He represents tribes and tribal corporations in managing their natural resources and environmental liability.  He participates in the seminal Puget Sound treaty fishing rights case U.S. v. Washington.  On occasion, Ryen has represented local government agencies and private companies that intend to do business in Indian Country.  Ryen also represents clients in the fishing industry by providing advice on litigation, state and federal fisheries regulations, and Endangered Species Act compliance.

Bar Admissions

  • Eastern District of Washington

    Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

    Puyallup Tribal Court

    United States Supreme Court

    Washington State Courts

    Western District of Washington


  • New England School of Law, Juris Doctor degree, cum laude (2008)
  • Northern Arizona University, Bachelor of Science degree, History (2004)
Areas of Practice

Environmental Regulation and Litigation | Indian Law

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

  • Advise potentially liable party at industrial waste landfill Superfund Site. Navigate regulations to develop feasibility study and cleanup action plan.
  • Successfully defend seafood processing facilities against citizen suits alleging wastewater discharge violations under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System of the Clean Water Act.
  • Advise international development company on environmental risk and lender indemnity agreement for $250 million construction loan to build mixed-use, high rise building.
  • Work with lead counsel to defend potentially responsible parties at two large sediment superfund sites in Pacific Northwest.
  • Defend coal mine owner in NPDES permit appeal before EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board.
  • Successfully defend industrial facility in concurrent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and municipal enforcement actions for alleged Clean Water Act violations.
  • Advise commercial fishing trade associations on annual fisheries regulations under state and federal law. Participate in administrative process to develop commercial fishing seasons.
  • Intervened and defeated a petition to terminate the commercial fishing season in large coastal fishery.
  • Litigate contribution and cost recovery claims against historic owner and operators of contaminated properties throughout western Washington to recover cleanup costs.
  • Advise national multi-unit residential developer on regulatory compliance for luxury apartment complex built on former industrial site.
  • Represent development authority on public-private partnership brownfield redevelopment in waterfront community.  


  • Do Not Clean, Clean Dirt: Douglass v. Shamrock Paving, Inc.
  • EPA Announces PFAS Action Plan
  • Free to Ride? Recreational Immunity’s Legal Benefit to Landowners
  • In The Field: Certainty on the “Waters of the United States” Remains Elusive
  • Fast Ferry Service to Seattle: An Encouraging First Step Toward Regional Growth
  • Let State know impact of Water Rules on Wineries


  • Tribal NRD Assessments Seminar: PFOAs, PFOSs, PFCs and Other Emerging Persistent Contaminants in Water Supplies
  • Cleaning up Fire Retardant Contamination under MTCA

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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