Brooks Smith

National Water Quality Trading Alliance

Brooks Smith is an attorney and advocate for the National Water Quality Trading Alliance (NWQTA). The NWQTA is a national consortium of leaders from the business, governmental, non-profit and regulated community focused on enhancing and expanding market-based opportunities for improving water quality and accelerating the restoration of watersheds. The NWQTA works to support comprehensive and coherent government rules and policies on trading as well as the development of new and existing state and regional trading markets, while serving as a platform to advance the science and ecological effectiveness of water quality trading.

Nationally recognized as a leader in the law, Brooks Smith is involved in cutting-edge environmental and natural resources proceedings in Virginia and around the country, including litigation, enforcement defense, project development and compliance counseling.

For more than 20 years, Brooks has helped clients develop and implement compliance assurance programs designed to prevent, detect and deter violations of environmental, health and safety laws. He has been involved in more than 1,000 compliance audits and has independently assessed the effectiveness of internal compliance programs across a range of sectors, including energy, manufacturing, heavy industry and local government.

As an extension of his compliance work, Brooks regularly defends clients in agency and citizen enforcement actions alleging violations of environmental laws, including administrative, civil and criminal proceedings at the federal and state levels.

Over the past decade, Brooks has been involved in some of the largest and most controversial energy projects in the country, including major interstate pipeline permitting actions and appeals and citizen suits attacking coal ash storage and disposal.

Brooks is also a trusted advisor to a variety of federal and state trade associations, and in that role advocates before the EPA and state environmental agencies on pivotal environmental rulemakings and policies.

Brooks has written and spoken extensively on developments arising under the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws, has chaired several national conferences, and has given more than 250 presentations to audiences across the United States and Canada.


Invest in the Environment by attending this high-level gathering of public, private, and philanthropic communities in forestry, carbon, ecological restoration, water resources management, and corporate sustainability. The Environmental Markets and Finance Summit is hosted by Forest Trends and the Alliance for Environmental Markets and Investments.