Brenda H. Gotanda

Top rated environmental attorney in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania

Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP
Brenda H. Gotanda
Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP

Practice Areas: Environmental, Energy & natural resources

Licensed in Pennsylvania since: 1994

Education: The University of Texas School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2010 - 2023 Selected to Rising Stars: 2005 - 2007

Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP

Three Bala Plaza East
Suite 700
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 Phone: 484-430-2327 Email: Brenda H. Gotanda Visit website


Brenda Hustis Gotanda is a Partner with Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox LLP, an environmental and energy law firm, and she leads the firm's sustainability practice group.  Brenda has over 25 years of experience representing and counseling clients on environmental, health and safety regulatory compliance, permitting, transactions, project development, and enforcement matters.  She has represented clients in a broad range of sectors, including manufacturing, municipal, industrial, real estate, retail, railroad, academia, energy and power, wastewater treatment, redevelopment, construction, and waste management. Her practice addresses complex issues involving the regulation of water, waste, air, and chemical substances and she has handled significant matters involving wastewater discharge permitting (NPDES), water quality standard and TMDL development; site remediation and redevelopment; business and real estate transactions; sustainability, green building, renewable energy, and greenhouse gas emissions; occupational safety and health; and spill prevention and emergency response. 

First Admitted: 1993, Massachusetts

Professional Webpage:

Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA) Environment, Energy & Resources Section; Former Chair and Board Member
  • Brenda serves on the Board of Think Tech Hawaii and on the Board of the Water Resources Association of the Delaware River Basin. She is former Chair for of the Environmental, Energy & Resources Section of the Hawaii State Bar Association. She served on the Board of Directors of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and on the Board of Directors of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council. She founded the Sustainability Directors’ Roundtable and is a co-founder and Director Emeritus of the Society of Women Environmental Professionals of Greater Philadelphia. She has served as Co-Chair of the Environmental Law Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association and as Chair of the Radnor Township Environmental Advisory Council. She also served on the Board of Directors of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court, in its groundbreaking decision last year in County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, 140 S. Ct. 1462 (2020), ruled that the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires a permit for a point source discharge through groundwater to navigable waters under certain circumstances and it established a new standard likely to see significant interpretation by regulatory authorities, permit writers, and courts in the year ahead., Choppy Waters Ahead - NPDES Permitting for Discharges through Groundwater
  • This year Philadelphia takes its next step toward improving energy efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint of large commercial buildings in the city through implementation and initial deadlines under the Building Energy Performance Policy (the Policy), also known as the Building Tune-Up Program. The Policy, passed by City Council a little over a year ago, creates a program that requires owners of large non-residential buildings to conduct a “tune-up” of their building’s energy and water systems and to certify building performance to the City of Philadelphia Office of Sustainability (OOS)., Philadelphia Building Energy Performance Tune-Up Time
  • In recognition of the challenges faced by many building owners during the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Philadelphia Office of Sustainability is offering a 3-month extension to the 2020 compliance deadline for building benchmarking, however, building owners must apply by June 1 in order to avail themselves of the extension.  The extension will shift the compliance deadline for reporting from June 30 to September 30, 2020. , Philadelphia Granting COVID-19 Extensions to 2020 Compliance Deadline for Building Benchmarking
  • The Hawai'i Supreme Court, in an appeal from a rate case involving two liquified natural gas (“LNG”) import projects, ruled that the state’s Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”) erred when it excluded from consideration GHG emissions occurring outside the state, such as from LNG production, development and transportation. In a unanimous decision in In re Application of The Gas Company, LLC dba Hawaii Gas (“In re Hawaii Gas”), No. SCOT-19-0000044 (June 9, 2020), the Court ruled that the PUC must consider all GHG emissions, including out-of-state emissions, and that the PUC failed to fulfill its statutory obligation to explicitly consider the hidden and long-term costs of the state’s reliance on fossil fuels when it geographically limited its review to only those GHG emissions occurring within Hawai'i.   , Hawai'i Supreme Court Rules that PUC Must Consider Out-of-State GHG Emissions in LNG Import Projects Rate Case
  • On April 1, 2009, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling with potentially sweeping impacts for electric utility and industrial facility use of cooling water throughout the country., U.S. Supreme Court Recognizes EPA Authority to Consider Costs and Benefits in Setting Cooling Water Intake Structure Standards
  • See Honors & Awards at
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Radnor Township Environmental Advisory Council (2005-2012)
  • Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Philadelphia Board of Directors, 2002-2007
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • LEED® Accredited Professional.
Educational Background:
  • Boston College, B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1990
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • "Pennsylvania Water Laws and Regulations: Current Issues with the Clean Water Act," a HalfMoon Education webinar, April 27, 2022, Presenter, "Pennsylvania Water Laws and Regulations: Current Issues with the Clean Water Act,", HalfMoon Education webinar, 2022
  • Facilities that discharge wastewater with pollutants that have the potential to reach navigable waters via groundwater or other indirect pathways may see increased pressure in the year ahead from environmental organizations and regulatory agencies to obtain a federal Clean Water Act (CWA) NPDES permit for the discharge. Likewise, some facilities may proactively seek to obtain permitting to reduce the risk of potential citizen suits in light of the developing case law following the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, 140 S. Ct. 1462 (2020). Together, these factors are likely to lead to an increase in the permitting of indirect discharges in 2022.   , Author, NPDES Permits for Indirect Discharges Anticipated to Multiply in 2022, MGKF Special Alert - Federal Forecast 2022, 2022
  • EPA is considering a potpourri of changes to its Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulations governing the cleanup and disposal of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).  A proposed rulemaking to amend the PCB regulations in 40 C.F.R. Part 761 was published in the Federal Register on October 22, 2021.  The proposal is largely focused on expanding the available options for analytical methods (extraction and determinative) used to characterize and verify the cleanup of PCB waste under TSCA and which are summarized below.  However, the proposal also includes a number of other substantive amendments to the PCB program, also summarized below.  EPA Comments are due by January 20, 2022 under a one-month extension granted by EPA in December. , Author, EPA Proposes Rulemaking to Expand Available PCB Analytical Methods and Amend PCB Cleanup and Disposal Program Requirements, MGKF Special Alert - Federal Forecast 2022, 2022
  • MGKF's Brenda Gotanda, LEED AP, and Bryan Franey discuss the top three trends in sustainability reporting and offer insights to corporate managers and in-house counsel on managing risk through the reporting process in MGKF’s latest Environmental Briefing Series, Co-presenter, Sustainability Reporting, MGKF ENVIRONMENTAL BRIEFING, 2022
  • "Indirect Discharges and Clean Water Act Permits – The Supreme Court’s New Functional Equivalent Standard” presented at the 2020 Virtual Bar Convention and Annual Meeting of the Hawaii State Bar Association, Honolulu, HI, October 16, 2020, Presenter, Indirect Discharges and Clean Water Act Permits – The Supreme Court’s New Functional Equivalent Standard, 2020 Virtual Bar Convention and Annual Meeting of the Hawaii State Bar Association, Honolulu, HI, 2020
  • "Making Waves: The Ripple Effects of the Supreme Court’s New 'Functional Equivalent' Test on Clean Water Act NPDES Discharge Permitting" a webinar presented on behalf of West LegalEdCenter/Thomson Reuters, August 10, 2020, Presenter, Making Waves: The Ripple Effects of the Supreme Court’s New 'Functional Equivalent' Test on Clean Water Act NPDES Discharge Permitting, webinar presented on behalf of West LegalEdCenter/Thomson Reuters, 2020
  • Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox (MGKF) partners Joseph M. Manko, Brenda Hustis Gotanda and Rodd Bender will present “Managing Environmental Risk to Get the Deal Done” at the 2016 Real Estate Institute at Temple University Center City.  The programs will run from 1:00-4:30 p.m. on Thursday April 14 and Tuesday, May 3, 2016. Billy Grayson of Liberty Property Trust will join them as a presenter at the May session. The panel will discuss environmental challenges that can potentially derail commercial and industrial real estate transactions and tools that can be used to mitigate risk and successfully close the deal.  Topics will include: climate change, environmental due diligence, cleanup of “brownfield” properties, environmental insurance, and green leasing., Managing Environmental Risks to Get the Deal Done, Temple Real Estate Institute, 2016
  • presented at the offices of MGKF for the Greater Philadelphia Delaware Valley of the Association of Corporate Counsel, November 17, 2015, LEED® for Lawyers: A Green Building Update and Tour, 2015
  • presented at Villanova University's 45th Annual Earth Day Celebration, Villanova, PA, April 23, 2015, Panel Discussion on Sustainable Solutions, 2015
  • presented at the Tri-State Sustainability Symposium at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, March 6, 2015, By the Numbers: Energy Star, LEED, and Other Means to Measure Green Success, 2015
  • presented at the City Avenue Special Services District Lunch and Learn in Bala Cynwyd, PA, April 24, 2014, Building the Foundation for Sustainable Practices, 2014
  • presented at the Temple University Real Estate Institute in Philadelphia, PA, April 4, 2014, Environmental Issues Update for Commercial and Industrial Real Estate Deals, 2014
  • Moderator, panel presentation at the Tri-State Sustainability Symposium 2014 in Philadelphia, PA, March 7, 2014, Urban Stormwater Management: Philly, Camden and Beyond, 2014

Office location for Brenda H. Gotanda

Three Bala Plaza East
Suite 700
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004


14 Years Super Lawyers
3 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2010 - 2023
  • Rising Stars: 2005 - 2007

Top lists

Top 50: Women Pennsylvania Super Lawyers: 2020 - 2023 Top 100: Pennsylvania Super Lawyers: 2022 Top 100: Philadelphia Super Lawyers: 2021 - 2022

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