Carla A. Consoli

Carla A. Consoli

Practice Group Leader, Partner
cconsoli@lrrc.com vCard
602.262.5347 office
602.734.3896 fax
201 East Washington Street
Suite 1200
Phoenix, AZ 85004

"She demonstrates a high level of expertise in her area. She is very client-oriented and anticipated legal issues that I might not be aware of." - Chambers USA

Carla is a partner and Leader of the firm’s Regulatory and Government Practice. For more than 20 years, she has worked with clients to bring new projects to life and keep existing businesses running. She loves her work because she helps clients reach their goals while respecting the environment.

Serving leaders in the mining, energy, real estate, manufacturing and investment industries, Carla helps clients understand and navigate the environmental, water, cultural and natural resource laws affecting their businesses. Her work includes permitting new and existing facilities, environmental due diligence, securing water rights, natural resource evaluations, remedial activities, endangered species and habitat compliance, and agency negotiation. She negotiates all manner of related agreements including liability transfer/reduction, royalty payment, utility service, development, and consulting agreements.

Carla believes in strategic planning first. For all of her clients, Carla begins with a discussion about client goals, opportunities and concerns.  She then formulates a strategy based on that discussion.  Her clients are involved in planning the path forward.  In collaborating with her clients on a strategic way forward, Carla often assists them in applying for special permits, amending their plans if necessary, and performing remediation activities.

Carla has strong relationships with regulators at local, state and federal levels including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Nevada Division of Conservation and Natural Resources (NDCNR), Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), and Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR).

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Mining Industry. Carla helps mining and exploration companies navigate complex issues related to permitting new and existing facilities, analyzing and securing water rights, conducting environmental due diligence, public relations and negotiating relationships with partners and investors.

Carla’s recent work with mining clients includes:

  • Represented Canadian company to evaluate mineral rights and permitting status for acquisition target.
  • Represented Canadian junior mining company to assess real property entitlements and environmental permitting planning and strategy, including meeting with potential investors conducting due diligence on proposed in-situ recovery of copper project.
  • Represented Canadian mining company as local counsel in its acquisition of significant new copper mine in southern Arizona, which involved review of mineral and real property holdings, review and analysis of NEPA process and Section 404 permit application, review of air quality and aquifer protection permits and appeals of same, and other legal issues involved in development of project.
  • Conducted comprehensive due diligence for potential investor in Arizona copper mine, including analyzing permitting plans and assessing environmental risks that enabled client to make informed investment decision.
  • Lead a multidisciplinary team to acquire an abandoned copper mine with significant remaining resources. Her role included: obtaining water rights; performing due diligence regarding the scope of environmental issues; and conducting extensive negotiations with the EPA, the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the BLM, the Department of Interior, two Indian Tribes, multiple local officials, and private entity responsible parties.
  • Advised mining operations with excess water rights on developing water conservation areas in light of the state’s water supply and regulatory environment.
  • Assisted exploration companies with permitting, public outreach and remediation activities associated with re-activating a former copper mine.
  • Counseled an international mining company about Arizona’s statewide water adjudication.

Energy Developers. Carla helps energy developers pursue required permits, conduct environmental due diligence, secure water rights, and resolve related issues. Her recent work with energy developers includes:

  • Represented solar developer before County Planning & Zoning Commission. Obtained zoning and comprehensive plan changes necessary for development.
  • Represented a solar developer in permitting the largest solar power facility in Arizona.
  • Advised a “green” development company regarding Aquifer Protection Program permits.
  • Assisted a solar developer with real estate acquisition and obtaining permits for a new plant.

Large-Scale Residential and Commercial Developers. Carla helps tackle the environmental issues necessary to make new residential and commercial development a reality. Her work involves environmental due diligence, permitting issues, water rights, endangered species and critical habitat issues, and development rights.

Her representative work with real estate developers includes:

  • Represented a residential developer defeating a local environmental group’s challenge to the developer’s properly issued permit.
  • Represented residential developers in obtaining Assured and Adequate Water Supplies.
  • Represented a developer in creating designated conservation habitats within the footprint of the facility and negotiating a conservation easement promising to maintain these habitats.
  • Negotiated with State and federal authorities for access to property via Oak Creek Canyon without damage to the surrounding environment on behalf of a residential developer.
  • Counseled a commercial developer on NEPA applicability to development of virgin desert land.
  • Advised a Brownfield Developer on assured and adequate water supply, endangered species, and Clean Water Act permits.

Manufacturers. Carla often is requested to get involved when manufacturing operations face allegations of permit violations. Carla’s goal is to help the manufacturers continue to operate while obtaining new, revised, special or temporary permits to gain compliance with the applicable permitting requirements.

Carla’s representative work with manufacturers includes:

  • Prepared and negotiate Aquifer Protection Program permits for multiple manufacturing entities in Arizona.
  • Represented a nationwide housing manufacturer proving non-contribution to Superfund Site.
  • Counseled a manufacturer in an industrial waste water notice of violation and obtaining a 97% reduction in the amount of the fine.
  • Negotiated a temporary permit for a pilot program for an aluminum recycler to address agency compliance concerns.

Mining, Energy, Real Estate and Manufacturing Investors. Carla often provides strategic counseling to investors seeking to fund projects that involve intense permitting and environmental factors.  Investors frequently ask Carla to analyze a project’s viability in the context of questions like: “When will the necessary permits for the project come through?” and “How long before seeing a return on my investment?” Carla conducts in-depth due diligence to understand the critical path permitting issues, environmental impacts, and related regulatory issues. Clients use these data points to along with other financial information to make an informed investment decision.   

Her representative work with investors includes:

  • Prepared diligence on mineral claims and permitting risk regarding an investment in a copper mine.
  • Investigated title, claims and permitting risks associated with a gold mine for an investor.
  • Evaluated the time to completion of permitting schedules and equipment purchases of a copper mine to inform a return on investment timing decision.

Related Publications

Carla has authored several chapters and numerous articles on environmental topics including environmental due diligence, alternative energy, and natural resources issues.

  • Chapter Contributor, “Implementing Institutional Controls at Brownfields and Other Contaminated Sites,” American Bar Association, 2012
  • Chapter Contributor, "Inside the Minds: Client Strategies for Alternative Energy and Efficiency," Aspatore Books, December 2008
  • Author, "Colorado River Water Entitlement Transfers, Kayaking the Middle of the River Between State and Federal Jurisdictions," CLE International, Summer 2008
  • Author, "Good Intentions, Unintended Consequences: The Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District," Arizona Law Review, June 28, 2007
  • Carla is the editor-in-chief of a handbook for non-environmental lawyers and business owners to aid their understanding of the impact of environmental law on business transactions.

Book/Guide

Newsletter

Blog

Distinctions

  • Who’s Who Legal Services - International Who’s Who: Environmental Lawyers - International Who's Who of Business, 2012-2014
  • The Best Lawyers in America - Woodward/White, Aiken, S.C. - Environmental Law and Environmental Litigation, 2008-2017
  • Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel, 2009
  • Southwest Super Lawyers - 2013 "Top 25 Female Attorney" - Environmental Practice Area, 2008-2015
  • Martindale-Hubbell - "AV/Preeminent Attorney" Rating
  • Chambers USA - Environment (including water rights), 2007-2016
  • Benchmark Litigation - "Local Litigation Star" in Arizona, 2016
  • AZ Central - Arizona's Who's Who of Business, 2011
  • AZ Business Magazine - Top Lawyers, 2010, 2013
  • Arizona Leaders in Business in Environmental Law - One of four, 2013
  • Arizona Business Magazine - “50 Most Influential Women”
  • Arizona Business Journal - “Forty Under 40”, “Woman to Watch”

Other Info

Blog(s)

Education

J.D., University of Notre Dame Law School, 1991
B.A., Lewis and Clark College, 1987

Bar Admissions

Arizona, 1991

Court Admissions

U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona

Memberships & Affiliations

  • ABA Section on Energy Environmental Resources, Member and Fall Meeting Planning Committee Member
  • Maricopa County Bar Association Environmental Section, Member and Former Chairman
  • Valley Forward, Member and Former Chairman of the Board
  • ArizonaSonora Desert Museum, Former Trustee
  • Boys Hope Girls Hope of Arizona, Board Member and Former Chair
  • Audubon of Arizona, Board Member
  • Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Arizona, Member and Former Chairman
  • Arizona Heart Hospital, Board of Trustees
  • Phoenix Baptist Hospital, Board of Trustees