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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 environmental litigation and regulatory problems on a national scale. Ryen’s practice is uniquely and narrowly focused on environmental and natural resource law. He counsels clients navigating business decisions affected by a variety of regulatory schemes including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, and the Mineral Leasing Act. His approach is to develop detailed, multipoint strategies that are financially, technically, and legally supportable so executive team members can make significant decisions with the least uncertainty possible.

Additionally, Ryen practices federal Indian law. He represents tribes and tribal corporations in managing their natural resources and environmental liability. He participated 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
  • Montana State Courts
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Puyallup Tribal Court
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Washington State Courts
  • Western District of Washington
  • Wyoming State Courts


  • 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 | Native American & Alaska Native 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.
  • Advise third largest coal producer in multi-state acquisition of coal assets by navigating environmental permitting and developing litigation strategy under the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, and Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.
  • 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.  


  • EPA Announces PFAS Action Plan
  • Renewable Energy Reimagined: What You Need to Know Now
  • COVID-19: Impacts on Environmental Compliance, Inspections, and Enforcement (Updated 05/7/2020)
  • Free to Ride? Recreational Immunity’s Legal Benefit to Landowners
  • Do Not Clean, Clean Dirt: Douglass v. Shamrock Paving, Inc.
  • Fast Ferry Service to Seattle: An Encouraging First Step Toward Regional Growth
  • Let State know impact of Water Rules on Wineries
  • In The Field: Certainty on the “Waters of the United States” Remains Elusive


  • 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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