Tyler G. Welti

Welti Tyler
Tyler Welti is counsel in Venable's Environmental Practice in the San Francisco office. Drawing on his experience with the U.S. Department of Justice's Environment & Natural Resources Division, he represents clients in a wide range of federal and state environmental, natural resources, land use, and other litigation matters, including government enforcement actions, citizen suits, California Environmental Quality Act petitions, and Administrative Procedure Act challenges and appeals.

Tyler has particular expertise in counseling and defending project developments involving a federal or state nexus, including transportation, renewable and conventional energy development, timber, mining, water, and other infrastructure projects.

Tyler's experience includes counseling and litigation involving the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), National Forest Management Act (NFMA), Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), Mining Law, Mineral Leasing Act, Antiquities Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and many other state and federal laws and regulations.

Tyler began his career as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice's Environment & Natural Resources Division, where he served as lead counsel on a number of major environmental cases. He received a special distinction award for tireless efforts on behalf of the American public for his work on the Deepwater Horizon litigation. He also served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Consuelo M. Callahan for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


Government Experience

  • Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division

Representative Matters

Representative Published Cases

  • Center for Biological Diversity v. Salazar (uranium mine near the Grand Canyon) 
    Represented the federal government in a case challenging the reopening of a uranium mine on the rim of the Grand Canyon on NEPA and other grounds due to alleged impacts on water and protected species. Defeated motions for preliminary injunctions, prevailed on a motion for summary judgment, and won on appeal, securing the leading case on NEPA supplementation in the Ninth Circuit. Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Salazar, 791 F. Supp. 2d 687 (D. Ariz. 2011), aff'd, 706 F.3d 1085 (9th Cir. 2013) (challenging management of a uranium mine near the Grand Canyon).
  • In re Mont. Wilderness Association (management of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, including oil and gas, roads, and airstrips) 
    Represented the federal government in three cases raising over a dozen claims challenging an agency's management of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. Prevailed on all claims in all cases in district court, and won all substantial claims on appeal. See In re Mont. Wilderness Assoc., 807 F. Supp. 2d 990 (D. Mont. 2011), aff'd in part, rev'd in part, 725 F.3d 988 (9th Cir. 2013).
  • Impact Energy v. Salazar (reversal of oil and gas lease sale) 
    Represented the federal government in a challenge to Secretary Salazar's first act in office, which reversed a controversial onshore oil and gas lease sale completed in the final days of the previous administration. Prevailed in district court and on appeal. See Impact Energy v. Salazar, 2010 WL 3489544 (D. Utah Sept. 1, 2010), aff'd, 693 F.3d 1239 (10th Cir. 2012), cert. denied, 134 S. Ct. 67 (2013).
  • Alaska v. Salazar (responses to Deepwater Horizon oil spill) 
    Represented the federal government in Alaska's challenge to moratoria on oil and gas drilling imposed in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Prevailed in expedited summary judgment proceedings. Alaska v. Salazar, No. 10-cv-00205 at ECF No. 80 (D. Alaska Jan. 26, 2011).
  • Aera Energy v. Salazar; Noble Energy, Inc. v. Salazar (offshore oil and gas development) 
    Represented the federal government in two cases raising over $145 million in liability challenging an agency decision that caused several offshore oil and gas leases to expire. Prevailed at the summary judgment stage and won on appeal. See Aera Energy v. Salazar, 691 F. Supp. 2d 25 (D.D.C. 2010), Noble Energy, Inc. v. Salazar, 691 F. Supp. 2d 14 (D.D.C. 2010), aff'd, 642 F.3d 212 (D.C. Cir. 2011), cert. denied, 132 S. Ct. 252 (2011).
  • Natural Resources Defense Council v. Salazar (seismic exploration of Gulf of Mexico) 
    Representing the federal government, brokered a settlement agreement between the government, environmental groups, and industry in a challenge to seismic exploration of the Gulf of Mexico based on alleged impacts to protected species.
  • Transportation infrastructure projects 
    As a part of a litigation team representing the Indiana Department of Transportation, prevailed in several challenges based on NEPA, the ESA, the Clean Water Act, and other statutes to a major highway project. See Hoosier Envt'l Council v. U.S. Army Corps of Eng'rs, 722 F.3d 1053 (7th Cir. 2013); Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads v. Fox, 14 F. Supp. 3d 1217 (S.D. Ind. 2014), aff'd, 815 F.3d 1068 (7th Cir. 2016), cert. denied, 137 S. Ct. 310 (2016). Also representing the Indiana Department of Transportation, prevailed on all claims in a challenge under NEPA, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to a major bridge construction project. See Coal. for Advancement of Reg'l Transp. v. Fed. Highway Admin., 959 F. Supp. 2d 982, 1008 (W.D. Ky. 2013), aff'd, 576 F. App'x 477 (6th Cir. Aug. 7, 2014).




  • J.D. University of Virginia School of Law 2008
    • Notes Editor, Virginia Law Review
  • B.A. English Yale University 2002

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • District of Columbia

Clerk Experience

  • Honorable Consuelo M. Callahan U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Vice-Chair, Public Land and Resources Committee of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources