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 the areas of environmental law and construction law. 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.
- Advises a national timber company at an industrial waste landfill Superfund Site. Navigates the regulatory environment to develop a cleanup plan valued at over $20 million.
- Successfully defended seafood processing facilities against citizen suits alleging wastewater discharge violations under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System of the Clean Water Act.
- Successfully defended an industrial facility in concurrent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers municipal enforcement actions for alleged Clean Water Act violations.
- Advises commercial fishing trade associations on annual fisheries regulations under state and federal law. Participates in administrative process to develop commercial fishing seasons.
- Intervened and defeated a petition to terminate the commercial fishing season in a large coastal bay.
- Prosecuted and defended numerous contribution and cost recovery claims at abandoned underground storage tank sites throughout Washington.
- Dismissed subcontractor claims against a prime contractor worth several million dollars on summary judgment in federal district court.
Memberships & Awards
- Pierce County Bar Association
- Super Lawyers, Rising Star (Washington 2016)
- Super Lawyers, Rising Star (Washington 2017)
- Pierce County Center for Dialog and Resolution, Innovative Service Award (2015)
Resources & Ideas
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- June 29, 2017
- December 22, 2017
- October 13, 2017
- Yakima Herald, October 7, 2017
“Conditions & Consequences of an Expiring Shoreline Development Permit,” Washington Environmental Land Use Law Newsletter (November 2008)
“Federal Environmental Law Update,” Washington Environmental Land Use Law Newsletter (December 2009)
“Clean Water Act: NPDES Regulatory Compliance and Risk Management,” Citizens for a Healthy Bay and City of Tacoma Stormwater Compliance Seminar (2014, 2015, 2016)
“Clean Water Act: NPDES Permit Litigation,” King County Bar Assoc. CLE Program (2013)
- Metropolitan Parks District of Tacoma, Nature and Environment Advisory Council (2013-2016)
- Pierce County Surface Water Management Advisory Board (2014-2016)
- Tacoma Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, Political Action Committee (2015-present)
- New England School of LawJuris Doctor degree, cum laude (2008)
- Northern Arizona UniversityBachelor of Science degree, History (2004)
Eastern District of Washington
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Puyallup Tribal Court
United States Supreme Court
Washington State Courts
Western District of Washington