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M. Reed Hopper

Senior Attorney
PLF Northwest Center

(360) 279-0937

Practice areas

Endangered Species Act
Clean Water Act
Environmental Regulations

Mr. Hopper is a Senior Attorney in PLF’s Environmental Law Practice Group. He oversees the foundation’s Endangered Species Act Program that is designed to ensure that species protections are balanced with individual rights, the rule of law, and other social values. Mr. Hopper also oversees PLF’s Clean Water Act Project that targets illegal federal regulation of wetlands and other waters.

Prior to joining PLF in 1987, Mr. Hopper served as both an environmental protection officer and hearing officer in the U.S. Coast Guard enforcing the Clean Water Act in the Gulf Coast. Mr. Hopper has managed large industrial waste programs and established a consulting firm for hazardous waste compliance. Additionally, Mr. Hopper has been part of national and state committees to draft and revise numerous environmental laws and regulations, including NEPA, CEQA, ESA, and CESA, and state and federal timber harvesting guidelines.

Publications / Achievements
Mr. Hopper also has written numerous industrial compliance standards for air quality, water quality, and hazardous waste management. At PLF, Mr. Hopper has litigated precedent setting environmental and land use cases at all levels of the state and federal courts. In 2006, Mr. Hopper argued and won the landmark Clean Water Act case of Rapanos v. United States in the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2012, Mr. Hopper was the supervising attorney in another landmark Clean Water Act case PLF won in the U.S. Supreme Court called Sackett v. EPA. And, in 2016, Mr. Hopper argued and won unanimous Supreme Court victories in the pivotal cases of Corps v. Hawkes and Kent Recycling v. Corps. In recognition of his experience, Mr. Hopper has spoken at many conferences and has testified in Congress on numerous occasions as an expert witness on the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act. In addition to many journal and press articles, Mr. Hopper is author of A Rationale For Partial Regulatory Takings: A Closer Look At Selected United States Supreme Court Precedent, 31 Southwestern Univ. L. Rev. 1 (2001); Bringing In The Sheaves: Home Grown Wheat, Weed, And Limits On The Commerce Clause, 7 Ky. J. Equine, Agric. & Nat. Resources L., 41 (2015); and How An Environmental Commerce Clause Challenge Presaged The Decision Of Chief Justice Roberts In NFIB v. Sebelius, 7 Ky. J. Equine, Agric. & Nat. Resources L., 89 (2015).

Mr. Hopper is a member of the Bar of the State of California, numerous federal courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

He graduated from the University of California with a bachelors degree in German and major work in biochemistry. He also did graduate business studies at California State University and Tulane University and earned his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific.

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