Shannon R. Varner


Business Phone: 804.697.1331
Business Fax: 804.697.5167


Shannon Varner joined Troutman Sanders in 1999 after serving as senior environmental attorney to the Virginia General Assembly. For more than two decades, his practice has focused on environmental laws, regulations and policy. Shannon regularly advises companies on a wide range of environmental issues including brownfield development, creation and use of market based approaches to environmental compliance such as stream, wetland and nutrient mitigation banks, voluntary remediation programs, environmental audits and compliance issues. Working for entrepreneurs, he gained passage of Virginia's stormwater nutrient trading statute and has been active in its implementation including assisting in state certification of the first nutrient bank and first sale of nonpoint nutrient credits in Virginia. He facilitates property transactions throughout the mid-Atlantic region by handling due diligence matters, environmental permitting, risk reduction and allocation of liabilities through contract and environmental insurance mechanisms. Shannon also leverages his years of public service to develop and advocate for legislative and regulatory initiatives to promote his clients’ objectives.

Representative Matters


  • Oversight of and advise regarding brownfield redevelopment, voluntary remediation programs, environmental audits, and environmental due diligence for compliance purposes and property transactions.
  • Handle air permitting and other state permitting and environmental compliance issues for major industrial facilities.
  • Conducted due diligence of three coal fired power plants prior to their purchase and coordinated the transfer of all water related permits to the new owner.
  • Assisted in responding to a Clean Air Act § 114 request by EPA seeking information regarding activities at four coal fired power plants which may be targeted by EPA for inclusion in that agency’s enforcement initiative against similar plants.
  • Provided advice regarding the development and utilization of environmental mitigation banks.
  • Assisted with the development of regional water supplies.
  • Appointed to multiple Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Technical Advisory Committees: Implementation of Wetlands Legislation, Regulations for Tax Credit Certification of Recycling Equipment and Machinery, Stream Mitigation, and expansion of the Chesapeake Bay Nutrient Credit Exchange Program.
  • Appointed to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Regulatory Advisory Panel revising Virginia's stormwater regulations.


  • Provided legal and policy guidance to all members of the Virginia General Assembly regarding all environmental and natural resource issues coming before the legislature and drafted some of Virginia’s most significant environmental legislation during the 1993-1999 Sessions.
  • Selected to participate on State Water Commission Subcommittee on Formation of a Roanoke River Basin Commission.
  • Representation of associations, coalitions, localities, interest groups and individual entities in promoting, amending or defeating legislation and budget proposals.

Presentation and Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, Water Supply: Important Considerations and New Developments, Local Government Attorneys of Virginia 2018 Fall Conference, Leesburg, VA, October 2018.
  • Speaker and Facilitator, Knowledge Development Forum – Watershed Based Approaches – Ideas to Implementation, WEFTEC 2018, New Orleans, LA, September 2018.
  • Speaker and Moderator, “Better Nutrient Reductions Through Watershed Based Permitting,” WEFTEC 2017, Chicago, IL, October 2017.
  • Speaker, "Environmental Issues Q & A," Fannie Mae Multifamily Legal Issues Forum, Charleston, SC, May 2017.
  • Speaker, "Virginia’s Water Resources Plan 2015: Fitting Puzzle Pieces or Prelude to Policy Change?" Virginia Bar Association, Winter Meeting, Williamsburg, VA, January 2016.
  • Speaker, "Stormwater Management and Water Quality Trading as a Means to Meet Chesapeake Bay TMDL Requirements ," National Association of Home Builders Chesapeake Bay Region Roundtable meeting, Washington, DC, June 2016.
  • Speaker and Moderator, panel discussion on Environmental Markets Relating to Species, Wetlands, Streams and Nutrients , Virginia Mitigation Banking Association Fall Conference, Richmond, VA, October 2016.
  • Moderator, Plenary Session on Water Quality Trading Fundamentals, EPA-USDA National Workshop on Water Quality Trading Markets, Lincoln, NE, September 2015.
  • Speaker, Virginia's Stormwater Nutrient Trading Program, Chesapeake Bay Regional Forum, EPA-USDA National Workshop on Water Quality Trading Markets, Lincoln, NE, September 2015.
  • Speaker, Environmental Due Diligence, Lender Liability, and Risk Management , Virginia Bankers Association, Lenders Committee, Richmond, VA, January 2015.
  • Speaker, "Water Quality Trading," US Water Alliance’s One Water Leadership Summit 2014, Kansas City, KS, September 15-17, 2014.
  • Speaker, “TMDL Legal & Regulatory Interpretation”, TMDL Readiness Workshop: A Collaborative Discussion about TMDL Action Planning hosted by Timmons Group, Richmond, VA, June 10, 2014.
  • Speaker, "Land Development, Nutrient Banking, and Expansion of the Nutrient Credit Exchange,” Virginia Military Institute’s 22nd Annual Environment Virginia Symposium, April 2011.
  • Multiple presentations on “All Appropriate Inquiries”, Voluntary Remediation Programs, and Brownfield Redevelopment to a variety of industry, real estate and retail development groups and clients, 2000-2007.
  • Co-Planning Chair for the 4th Annual Virginia Industry Environmental Conference, September 2006.
  • Speaker, “ Environmental Legislation from the 2006 Session of the Virginia General Assembly,” Environmental Affairs Committee, Virginia Manufacturers Association, April 2006.
  • Multiple presentations at the Virginia Manufacturers Association Annual Environmental Conference – “Water Reuse Legislation and Regulation” (2005), “Environmental Pollutant Trading and Implementation Options” (2003), “ Self-Disclosure of Potential Environmental Violations Through Environmental Audits” (2003).
  • Virginia Environmental Law Compliance Course Presentations on “ Virginia’s New Wetlands Law and Regulations, and Potential 2001 Environmental Legislative Activities,” December 4 and 5, 2000.
  • Speaker, “Source Water Protection and Virginia’s Dillon Rule ,” Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association and Virginia Citizens Planning Association Annual Conference, March 2000.
  • Continuing Legal Education Presentation, “Environmental Legislation from the 2000 General Assembly Session,” Richmond Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, March 2000.
  • Continuing Legal Education Presentation, “Conservation Provisions of the Constitution of Virginia,” Law School for Legislators, April 1999.
  • Continuing Legal Education Presentation, “Virginia's Environmental Audit Law,” Virginia Bar Association Annual Meeting, Virginia Beach, VA June 1998.
  • Continuing Legal Education Presentation, “Article XI of the Constitution of Virginia: Conservation,” Richmond, VA, June 1998.


  • Author, “The Case for Water Quality Trading,” National Water Quality Trading Alliance, July 27, 2016.
  • Mentioned, "The Bay is Cleaner, but There’s a Cost," NAHBNow, June 10, 2016.
  • Quoted, “Virginia Nutrient Trading Proposal Called Model for Chesapeake Bay States, Others,” Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report, December 16, 2014.
  • Co-author, Virginia Environmental Law Handbook (2008, 4th Ed.), Government Institutes, Inc., Rockville, MD, 400 pps.

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Member, Virginia Bar Association
  • Member, Richmond Bar Association, Environmental Law Section (Vice Chair, 2000 - 2001; Chair, 2001 - 2002; Executive Committee, 2001 - 2002)
  • Member, Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Natural Resource Committee

Rankings and Recognition

  • Virginia, Environment, Chambers USA (2011-2018).

Professional Experience

  • Counsel, Troutman Sanders LLP, 1999 - present
  • Commonwealth of Virginia, Senior Attorney, Division of Legislative Services (1992 - 1999)



  • Tulane University, LL.M., 1992
    Energy and Environmental Law
  • Lewis and Clark College, J.D., 1984
  • Arizona State University, B.S., 1981

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia