Areas of Practice
  • University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), J.D., 1993, Recipient of Environmental Certificate, Associate Editor, Ecology Law Quarterly
  • University of California - Berkeley, B.A., with honors, 1986, Political Science
Judicial Clerkships
  • Hon. Judith W. Rogers, US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit, 1993-1994
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Pennsylvania
  • DC Circuit
  • Fifth Circuit
  • Ninth Circuit

Cynthia L. Taub

1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
TEL: +1 202 429 8133
FAX: +1 202 429 3902

Cynthia L. Taub leads Steptoe’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) permitting and litigation practice, and handles a wide range of environmental and chemical regulatory and litigation matters. She guides clients through the permitting, consultation, and NEPA processes for complex projects, then represents them if and when the project, permit, or federal funding decision gets challenged.  Ms. Taub works with clients during the permitting/NEPA process to help ensure the final agency decision will be defensible, while also helping resolve inter-agency disputes that can delay the project. Clients turn to her for her ability to develop effective NEPA compliance strategies, and for her influential relationships with numerous industry consultants and agencies. She works with clients on the integration of the NEPA review process with other statutory requirements, including Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultations, Clean Water Act (CWA) permits, Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) consistency determinations, Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act reviews, and National Historical Preservation Act (NHPA) Section 106 reviews. She also assists clients with related statutes, including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. In addition, she handles litigation of NEPA, CWA, ESA, and NHPA cases, both at the district court and appellate levels.

In the area of chemical regulation, her practice includes compliance counseling, regulatory development and challenges, and enforcement.  She counsels clients on a full range of chemical regulatory statutes, including the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).  She also comments on regulatory decisions on behalf of clients and has successfully challenged numerous regulatory actions in federal court.

Representative Matters

  • Represents All Aboard Florida, an entity seeking to construct and operate an express passenger rail line in Florida.  Currently assisting with the NEPA, NHPA and CWA regulatory processes for the project, as well as in litigation challenging certain federal actions regarding the project.  Successfully defeated a motion for preliminary injunction.
  • Represents a major pipeline company regarding cross-border pipelines between the United States and Canada in various permitting work before the US Department of State, including the preparation of an EIS, as well as associated litigation.
  • Successfully represented a client in a NEPA and CWA-based challenge to multiple federal agency permits for a 600-mile domestic oil pipeline before the DC Circuit.
  • Assisted a developer through the NEPA process on an energy project that involves carbon dioxide capture and sequestration through enhanced oil recovery (EOR).  Worked with the Department of Energy and its consultant in the preparation and issuance of an EIS that addresses a wide range of issues, including greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of EOR.
  • Worked with the Surface Transportation Board on the NEPA and NHPA review for a rail project in Montana, as well as related litigation.
  • Assisted the American Chemistry Council in commenting on EPA’s regulations regarding data requirements for antimicrobial pesticides.  Successfully negotiated a settlement of a legal challenge to the regulations.
  • Assisted the Southwest Gulf Railroad with environmental review issues and the successful defense of the project before the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
  • Negotiated settlements of EPA enforcement matters under numerous environmental statutes, including FIFRA, the Clean Air Act, and TSCA.
  • Successfully minimized penalties for numerous clients under EPA's self-disclosure policy, as well as through Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs).
  • Successful administrative appeal of a Corps wetlands determination.

Select News & Events

Selected Publications

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Professional Affiliations

  • Pesticide Subcommittee, Section on Natural Resources, Energy and Environment, American Bar Association