Registration:                    8:00 – 8:30 am

Morning Session:             8:30 am – 12:30 pm

Lunch (On your own):       12:30 – 1:30 pm

Afternoon Session:           1:30 – 5:00 pm

Common Law Water Rights – Surface Water and Groundwater         H. Pollard V, J. Richardson Jr.

   Riparian rights in Virginia

   Common law groundwater rights in Virginia

   Other common law actions (pollution, obstruction of water, etc.)

Understanding Virginia Groundwater Rights         C. Gill

   Ownership of groundwater

   Regulation of groundwater withdrawal

   Application and permitting process

   Current issues in groundwater rights

Virginia Surface Water Withdrawal Permitting and Water Supply Planning          H. Pollard V

   Legislative policy

   Permit program

   Permit process issues and challenges

   Water supply planning

Current Issues with the Clean Water Act         J. Richardson Jr.

   The continuing saga: defining “Waters ofthe United States”

   “Waters of the State” in Virginia

   USACE v. Hawkes Co., Inc. (U.S. Supreme Court, May 31, 2016)

Water Utility Regulation         J. Ritter

   Types of water utilities in Virginia

   Scope of State Corporation Commission regulation

   Regulation of water utility rates

   Regulation of water utility service areas

   Current issues

Wastewater and Stormwater Discharges         H. Pollard V

   Wastewater discharge permit program

   Stormwater discharge program

   Recent developments

Ethical Issues in Water Law and Regulation         J. Richardson Jr.

   Ethical issues in representing water clients

   Conflicts of interest

   Who is the client?



Virginia Attorneys

     7.0 CLE Hours (Including 1.0 Ethics Hour)

Virginia Professional Engineers

     7.0 PDHs

Continuing Education Credit Information

This seminar is open to the public and is approved by the Virginia MCLE Department for 7.0 CLE hours, including 1.0 ethics hour, for Virginia attorneys.

This course also offers 7.0 PDHs to Virginia professional engineers to whom the subject matter is professionally relevant. Educators and courses are not subject to preapproval in Virginia.

Attendance will be monitored, and attendance certificates will be available after the seminar for most individuals who complete the entire event. Attendance certificates not available at the seminar will be mailed to participants within fifteen business days.


Christopher Gill

Christopher M. Gill, LEED® AP, is a partner and chair of both the Real Estate and Environmental practice groups at Christian & Barton, L.L.P, in Richmond. He typically represents developers, landowners, local governments and government agencies in commercial real estate matters involving property transactions, rights, land use and a variety of environmental issues. In the past year he has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America, Virginia Super Lawyers and Virginia Business Magazine’s Legal Elite in the real estate category. Mr. Gill earned his law degree from the University of Richmond School of Law, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.

Jesse Richardson

West Virginia University College of Law

Jesse J. Richardson, Jr., is an associate professor and the lead land use attorney at the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic at the West Virginia University College of Law. Before coming to WVU, Mr. Richardson was an associate professor at Virginia Tech. His research and experience focuses on land use law and water law. He began his legal career in private practice in his home town of Winchester, Virginia. Mr. Richardson presently serves on the board of directors of the American Agricultural Law Association and is the president-elect. Mr. Richardson previously served on the Virginia Water Policy Technical Advisory Committee. He was honored with the 1999 Professional Scholarship Award from the American Agricultural Law Association, the 2004 William E. Wine Award for a history of teaching excellence from Virginia Tech (the highest teaching award granted by the university), and the 2009 University Certificate of Excellence in Outreach.

James Ritter


James G. Ritter is an associate in the Energy and Telecommunications practice group at Christian & Barton, LLP, in Richmond. He focuses on regulatory matters before state and federal administrative entities involving electric, natural gas, and water utilities and cable companies. Mr. Ritter also has experience working on behalf of telecommunications providers and local governments in Virginia. He earned his law degree from Washington & Lee University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.