Dave Ross is a Senior Advisor to Troutman Strategies and is a partner in Troutman Pepper’s Environmental and Natural Resources practice. He has nearly 25 years of experience across a broad spectrum of challenging environmental and natural resources issues and is recognized as one of the leading experts on water law and policy in the United States. Dave specializes in providing cutting edge strategic advice at the intersection of law, policy, and science, and has worked in local, state, and federal government in addition to serving as an environmental consultant and attorney in private practice. Having worked as both a prosecutor and defense attorney, a government attorney and private practitioner, and an environmental consultant and policy advisor, Dave brings a unique perspective to difficult business questions and problems.

Dave most recently served as the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before joining Troutman Pepper. In that role, he managed a multibillion-dollar budget and hundreds of experts working to solve some of the country’s most challenging environmental issues. During his tenure, he managed the development of EPA’s PFAS Action Plan, the National Water Reuse Action Plan, and America’s Water Sector Workforce Initiative, while overseeing the issuance of more than 40 Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loans leading to nearly $17 billion in new water infrastructure investment. During his tenure, Dave co-chaired the Federal Water Subcabinet, a senior executive working group focused on coordinating water policy across the federal government while improving stakeholder access to federal decisionmakers on issues related to water supply and quality, irrigation, weather forecasting, stormwater management, infrastructure, and technological innovation. He also co-chaired the National Drought Resilience Partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force with the State of Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.

Previously, Dave worked as the Director of the Environmental Protection Unit at the Wisconsin Department of Justice, where he served as the lead environmental prosecutor for the State of Wisconsin and worked closely with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on environmental and natural resources issues. He also served as a Senior Assistant Attorney General within the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, representing the Water Quality Division of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality as the lead water quality attorney for the State.

Prior to receiving his J.D. and master’s in environmental law from Vermont Law School, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Vermont Law Review, Dave worked as an environmental consultant to the City of San Diego, California, researching innovative water reuse technologies to help improve the city’s long-term water resiliency and security. Following law school, Dave worked at large, national law firms where he provided counseling to and advocated on behalf of agriculture, forestry, homebuilding, manufacturing, mining, and other industries in court, before Congress, and with multiple executive branch and state agencies.

Representative Matters

  • Advised project developers and trade associations on the scope of Clean Water Act jurisdiction and the application of the “Waters of the United States” definition while advocating for legislative and regulatory clarifications to that definition.

  • Prepared witness to testify at congressional subcommittee hearing regarding impacts to recreational fishing caused by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Act policies and decisions.

  • Represented project developer before the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. National Park Service regarding application of the National Environmental Policy Act and national park management plan to development bordering national park boundary.

  • Prepared senior agency personal to testify before state legislative oversight and appropriation hearings.

  • Counseled ski resort developers on interactions with U.S. National Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials regarding application of federal land and wildlife habitat management plans.

  • Lobbied senior leadership within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and congressional staff on the need to promote greater assumption of Clean Water Act Section 404 permitting authority.

  • Represented the State of Wyoming on the Assumable Waters Subcommittee to the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology.

  • Lobbied Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reform implementation of the animal welfare program on behalf of animal interest organization.

  • Advocated for policy and regulatory reforms before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on behalf of agriculture, forestry, homebuilding, mining, energy, and manufacturing industries.

  • Developed environmental compliance programs, stormwater management strategies, and nutrient management plans for project developers and farmers.

  • Performed a peer review evaluation of offshore wind energy development projects for the U.S. Department of Energy.

  • Advised energy clients on the application of the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act to transmission line and solar and wind energy projects.

  • Advised project developers and natural resource extraction companies on the development of Environmental Impact Statements under the National Environmental Policy Act.

  • Defended national homebuilders in Clean Water Act enforcement actions brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Served as a neutral evaluator in a multi-facility environmental enforcement dispute between the U.S. Department of Justice and a major manufacturer.



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