Energy - Environmental

Overview

The energy industry’s impact on the environment is often long-lasting, costly, and politicized. Nearly every federal, state, and local energy regulatory agency uses enormous resources to analyze environmental issues in order to navigate risk and mitigate potential impact. Businesses need the same in their legal counsel.

Blank Rome’s nationally-recognized team of environmental attorneys provide energy-related counsel to companies in every major business sector: upstream, midstream, downstream, and alternative and renewable energy producers, as well as municipal and county governments and redevelopment authorities. 

We bring a wealth of experience from diverse backgrounds to clients in the energy industry and government and can assist with environmental issues and disputes related to corporate transactions as well as regulatory actions and enforcement investigations. 

If an environmental matter involves executive policy issues or requires legislative input and action, we will call upon our government relations counsel who regularly monitor and comment on state and federal agency rulemakings and pending state and federal legislation.

How We Can Help

Our environmental attorneys focus on every substantive area of environmental law relevant to the energy industry, including:

  • Clean Air and Water Act permitting and enforcement
  • Safe Drinking Water Act permitting and enforcement
  • civil and criminal enforcement and litigation 
  • toxic tort claims, including groundwater contamination claims
  • insurance coverage litigation for policyholders
  • due diligence, compliance auditing, and environmental management systems
  • corporate, real estate, and lending transactions due diligence
  • construction and operating permits for project development
  • underground and aboveground storage tanks
  • natural resource damages claims
  • Toxic Substances Control Act
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and hazardous waste management
  • Superfund and voluntary remediation programs 
  • Hazardous Materials Transportation Act

What Sets Us Apart

  • Our team includes a former U.S. Secretary of Energy, a former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, a Chief Judge of the Environmental Hearing Board, and former officials of the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”).
  • Several of our energy attorneys are former high-level executives in major integrated oil, chemical, and natural resources companies and one served as a general counsel of a major public utility.
  • Our attorneys also provide their insights in monthly articles for The Legal Intelligencer and Forbes, and they are routinely asked to be featured speakers at industry events. They often serve as educators for Continuing Legal Education seminars and webinars. 
  • Members of the group write, lecture, and teach on environmental law topics. They have earned public recognition, including in Chambers USA, U.S. News & World Report—Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and the International Who’s Who of Environment Lawyers
  • One member served six terms as co-chair of the American Bar Association’s (“ABA”) Environmental and Energy Litigation Committee.
  • We help our clients keep current on the latest trends in the industry through our regularly updated Energy and Environmental Trends Watch blog. 
     

Experience

  • Defended various Clean Air Act permits before the Environmental Hearing Board for the Mariner East project.
  • Served as counsel to PES for environmental permitting matters relating to infrastructure build out at the Philadelphia Refinery including with respect to Clean Air Act permitting to ensure the continued delivery and refining of shale resources from the Baaken Shale Play in North Dakota.
  • Served as counsel to P.H. Glatfelter regarding FERC, PUC, and PHMSA requirements as well as contracting for a natural gas “plant line” pipeline spur to Glatfelter’s industrial plant from the nearby interstate line.
  • Served as counsel to numerous applicants to obtain deepwater port and shoreside LNG facility licenses in the United States under the Federal Deepwater Port Act and other federal and state laws.
  • Provided environmental advice and representation on permits relating to development of a multibillion dollar petrochemical plant in Western Pennsylvania.
  • Served as permitting and transactional counsel for purchases of gas turbines, cogeneration projects, permitting of resource recovery facilities, and biomass projects.
  • Conducted siting, drafting of municipal ordinances, and permitting processes (including air permitting) issues related to waste-to-energy facilities for counties and towns in Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York.
  • Counseled on SEQRA requirements and permitting obligations under Titles IV and V of the Clean Air Act for various independent power projects and cogeneration facilities.
  • Represented a RCRA treatment, storage and disposal facility in connection with Clean Air Act, RCRA, and REACH compliance matters.
  • Represented E&P companies relative to zoning-related issues:
    • lawsuit against township seeking damages for constitutional taking as a result of an oil and gas ordinance that prevented development within the township;
    • representation before various Zoning Hearing Boards relative to permit applications and challenges to validity of zoning ordinances;
    • appeals of Zoning Hearing Board decisions into courts of common pleas; and
    • lawsuit challenging procedural validity of Township ordinance.

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