Summary

Kodi Verhalen is a Partner in the Energy practice group and is licensed in Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. She also is licensed as a professional engineer in Minnesota and served as the 2016-2017 president of the National Society of Professional Engineers – a 31,000-member organization. Kodi was the youngest person, and the third woman, in the organization’s history to hold the office of president. In the ten years Kodi has practiced energy and environmental law at Taft, she has established an impressive reputation, drives business, and is widely regarded as a top-notch lawyer and key figure in the firm. 

Before joining Taft, Kodi worked in the environmental services department of a Minnesota electric utility company in the areas of hazardous and universal waste compliance, greenhouse gas reporting, ISO 14001 compliance, stormwater pollution prevention for linear transmission projects, and local, state and federal permitting for transmission projects.

Clients rely on Kodi’s broad experience in energy and environmental matters at the federal, state, and local levels. She regularly presents on various topics, including natural resource law issues, environmental liability in real estate transactions, and ethics related to professional engineering licensure.

In her environmental practice, Kodi provides clients with strategic and business-minded solutions across many areas of regulation. She counsels clients on environmental due diligence as part of business transactions; provides general environmental compliance assistance across all environmental media; assists in developing strategies around environmental management systems; manages a portfolio of discontinued operation sites with environmental contamination across the United States for a multinational company; represents a group of companies performing remediation activities at a federal Superfund site; assists clients in navigating environmental enforcement actions, self-reporting, and voluntary cleanup or remediation programs; and counsels clients on a variety of natural resource law issues.

In Kodi’s energy practice, she works with clients to navigate state regulatory requirements. Kodi has assisted clients in obtaining regulatory approvals for electric (traditional fuels, renewables, and transmission) and natural gas infrastructure projects; navigating rate and other contested case proceedings and related appeals; and developing an overall strategy for presenting various regulatory and legal issues to utilities commissions. 

In 2018, she was named an On the Rise: Top 40 Young Lawyer by the American Bar Association, an Up and Coming Attorney by Minnesota Lawyer, and an inductee to the University of Minnesota Duluth Academy of Science and Engineering.

While in law school, Kodi served as an editor for Cybaris, an Intellectual Property Law Review. She is a mentor to both engineering students and individuals earning their law degrees while also working with professional organizations to elevate underrepresented individuals, particularly for women in these fields.

Awards

  • Women in Business Honoree, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, 2021

  • American Bar Association On the Rise: Top 40 Young Lawyer, 2018

  • Up and Coming Attorney, Minnesota Lawyer, 2018

  • University of Minnesota Duluth Academy of Science and Engineering, Inductee, 2018

  • Honoree, Super Lawyers Rising Stars (2017-present)

  • Fellow, National Society of Professional Engineers, 2012

  • Young Engineer of the Year, Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers, 2010

All Service Areas

Education

  • William Mitchell College of Law

    J.D., cum laude

  • University of Minnesota at Duluth

    B.S., Chemical Engineering

Admissions

  • State - Minnesota
  • Federal - District of Minnesota
  • State - Wisconsin
  • State - Ohio

Notable Matters

  • Coordinated local and regulatory opinions for the financing of a $400 million natural gas generating facility acquisition.
  • Coordinated local and regulatory opinions for a construction term loan and tax equity bridge for a nearly $200 million solar facility financing.
  • Guided clients through various need and siting/routing permit processes for electric infrastructure. Prepared witnesses related public and evidentiary hearings, drafted testimony, and appeared on behalf of applicants.
  • Guided client through local review permit process in lieu of seeking Commission approval for small 115 kV transmission projects.
  • Represented power generation entity regarding the design and construction projects using various project delivery systems including EPC, design, supply, furnish, and install.
  • Guided client through routing and permitting of 13-mile natural gas pipeline, including drafting of application, comments, testimony, and briefs; preparing witnesses for meetings and hearings; and appearing on behalf of client.
  • Counseled client on requirements to obtain a Take Permit under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Assisted Client in obtaining said permit.
  • Counseled clients on environmental matters associated with corporate mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures.
  • Guided clients through state-level public utility rate reviews including developing overall strategy, drafting witness pre-filed testimony, participating in contested case hearings, drafting briefs, and participating in related appeals.
  • Managed multi-state portfolio of discontinued operations locations through allocation, environmental remediation, and post-closure care.
  • Represented a group of companies, as common counsel, related to remediation of a federal Superfund site.
  • Guided clients through self-reporting of environmental violations, state and federal enforcement actions, and new owners’ environmental audit policy issues.
  • Counseled client on conflict of interest issues related to signed agreements and obligations with respect to professional engineer licenses. 

Professional Affiliations

  • Minnesota State Bar Association

    Environmental, Natural Resource, and Energy Law Section Council: 2020-present

    Diversity & Inclusion Committee: 2020-present

    Public Utilities Law Council: 2012-2014

  • American Bar Association

    Member

  • Hennepin County Bar Association

    Member

  • Environmental Law Institute

    Member

  • National Society of Professional Engineers

    Member

Community Involvement

  • DiscoverE

    National Board of Directors: 2018-Present
    Diversity Council Liaison: 2019-Present
    Governance Chair: 2020-Present

  • Hennepin County Court Pro Bono Mediation Project

    Volunteer Mediator

  • M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital

    WineFest Committee

    Member: 2018-Present
    Co-Chair WineFest@Home: 2020
    Co-Chair WineFest No. 25: 2020-Present

    FashionFest Committee

    Member: 2014-Present
    Co-Chair: 2019