Jeanne M. Grasso
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VICE CHAIR, MARITIME, INTERNATIONAL TRADE, AND GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS PRACTICE GROUP
Jeanne Grasso is a member of our Maritime Emergency Response Team (MERT).
Jeanne Grasso focuses her practice on maritime, international, and environmental law for clients worldwide. Ms. Grasso counsels owners and operators of vessels, charterers, cargo owners, and facilities, including manufacturing facilities, both marine-side and inland. Her practice involves:
- regulatory compliance counseling related to the U.S. Coast Guard; Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and Maritime Administration, among other federal and state agencies
- internal and grand jury investigations
- defense of administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement actions
- counseling on risk mitigation strategies related to pollution incidents around the world
- maritime environmental compliance and training in connection with federal and state requirements
- pollution incident response
- coastwise trade matters
- identifying administrative and legislative solutions in connection with maritime and environmental compliance challenges
Ms. Grasso writes and lectures extensively on criminal enforcement of environmental laws and Coast Guard regulatory matters. She also conducts training sessions and assists clients with establishing compliance programs in an effort to avoid enforcement actions.
Prior to joining Blank Rome, Ms. Grasso worked in the Office of Congressional Affairs at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) handling fisheries and oceans matters. She also served as staff to the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries.
She doesn't just provide legal review — rather, she works with clients to identify the operational options that either meet or exceed regulatory requirements.
Ms. Grasso is recognized as a leader in shipping and maritime law by Who's Who Legal. She is also ranked by Chambers USA for her work in shipping regulatory matters. Chambers noted "she doesn't just provide legal review — rather, she works with [clients] to identify the operational options that either meet or exceed regulatory requirements." She is also described as a "distinguished practitioner known for her useful government relations expertise," and clients state that "she gave us very good advice and helped us pull off some seamless operations."
- Defended vessel owners/operators (cruise ships, cargo vessels, fishing vessels, tug/barges) with respect to allegations of environmental violations in criminal and administrative cases.
- Served as on-site company counsel during pollution incidents and response drills.
- Counseled vessel owners/operators regarding compliance with U.S. Coast Guard and international environmental, safety, security requirements, and coastwise trade.
- Advised cargo owners and charterers on risk mitigation strategies in connection with potential pollution incidents worldwide.
- Conducted internal investigations for vessel owners/operators, terminals, refineries, chemical manufacturing facilities, and pipeline operators related to allegations of non-compliance.
- Sought administrative rulings and handled voluntary disclosures for vessel and facility owners/operators in connection with Coast Guard and Customs coastwise trade matters.
COMMUNITY SERVICE & AFFILIATIONS
Ms. Grasso is a guest lecturer at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, where she speaks on legal issues related to pollution incidents for the Academy's OPA 90 Qualified Individual training program. She was recently appointed to the Marine Board of the National Research Council and is a Board Member of and Secretary of the World Ocean Council.
In October 2013, Ms. Grasso was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA). Prior to that appointment, Ms. Grasso was the president of WISTA USA for five years. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. She is a member of the Maritime Law Association and served on the Board of Governors of the Propeller Club of Washington, DC from 2005 to 2011.