Nathaniel B. Custer

Senior Associate


Nate Custer advises clients on a range of energy development, environmental and public lands issues, including regulatory compliance, permitting and enforcement. 

Mr. Custer has handled matters involving permitting and regulatory compliance issues related to the construction of renewable energy generation facilities, permitting of midstream energy projects, negotiation of consent decrees and private settlement agreements on behalf of clients with historical contaminated lands liabilities at industrial and government sites, the transfer of permits attendant to corporate transactions, and the development of environmental and enterprise-wide compliance programs for energy and utility sector companies.

Mr. Custer also represents energy sector clients and other companies in complex civil litigation in state and federal courts and before state utility commissions. He recently represented a state agency in licensing proceedings related to a nuclear power plant and a company in a series of lawsuits stemming from the development of a state healthcare exchange.

Publications & News


July 28, 2017

Owner Means Owner: Tenth Circuit Finds US Liable Under CERCLA Based on Title in Lands Subject to Unpatented Mining Claims

The Tenth Circuit on July 19, 2017, in Chevron Mining, Inc. v. United States, reversed a decision by the District Court for the District of New Mexico and held that the United States is liable as an “owner” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act at a series of mining waste disposal sites on former federal land in New Mexico (Questa Site) because it has “owner” liability.

May 17, 2017

EPA Centralizes CERCLA Remedy Selection Authority

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt last week issued a memorandum revising the existing delegations of authority related to implementation of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), or “Superfund” law.

April 3, 2017

Trump Order Ushers in the Future of US Energy and Environmental Regulation

On March 28, President Trump launched a sweeping overhaul of US energy and environmental policy.

January 26, 2017

DOI Releases Scoping Report on Coal Leasing Reforms

On January 11, 2017, the Bureau of Land Management within the Department of the Interior released a scoping report analyzing a wide range of proposed reforms to the federal coal leasing program, administered by the BLM.

November 21, 2016

WilmerHale Attorneys Explain the Evolving Cybersecurity Environment of the Energy Sector

The Cybersecurity Law Report recently conducted a Q&A with Jonathan Cedarbaum, Jason Chipman and Nathaniel Custer about cybersecurity developments affecting the energy sector.

November 17, 2016

Energy Sector Alert Series: Energy and Environmental Policy Under President Trump

Following Donald Trump's unexpected victory in last week's presidential election, President-elect Trump enters office with a unified Republican Congress behind him and the ability to shape energy and environmental policy in the coming term.

October 3, 2016

Department of Energy Updates Integrated Interagency Pre-Application Process for Electric Transmission Projects

On Wednesday, September 28, 2016, the Department of Energy published in the Federal Register a final rule which revises the agency's regulations governing its Integrated Interagency Pre-Application process and which will go into effect on November 28, 2016.

September 29, 2016

Energy Sector Alert Series: The Future of Energy and Environment Policy Under a Clinton or Trump Presidency

With just under six weeks remaining until the election, we take stock of each candidate's positions on energy, climate change and environmental regulations and discuss what the regulatory landscape might look like under a President Clinton or President Trump. We also offer an analysis of the implications of a potential flip in Senate control coming out of November's many tight Senate races.

August 4, 2016

White House Issues Final Guidance on Climate Change Impact Analysis

On August 1, 2016, the White House Council on Environmental Quality released its final guidance on how and when federal agencies should consider the direct and indirect impacts from climate change, including from greenhouse gas emissions, in environmental reviews conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act.

February 11, 2016

Energy Sector Alert Series: Climate Change Disclosures in 2016

A sweeping federal rule from the Environmental Protection Agency, aggressive enforcement by a state attorney general, a landmark international accord, and the persistent demands of investors are combining to bring increased scrutiny to public companies' climate change-related disclosures.


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JD, magna cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center, 2012, Executive Editor, Georgetown Law Journal; Order of the Coif

BA, Government, Georgetown University, 2006

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia


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