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  • “A firm that has ingrained the importance of responsiveness in all its staff to provide excellent service. We wouldn't hesitate to consider them for any environmental matter.”

    “The depth of their knowledge of both legal and regulatory requirements and their understanding of our company, are really impressive.”

    - Chambers USA

Environment & Energy

As the environmental and energy landscape evolves, clients turn to our Environment & Energy Practice Group attorneys to help them understand issues, strategize and respond to challenges. Our environmental attorneys help clients assess environmental risks, resolve disputes, pursue claims and defend litigation, as well as address permitting, enforcement and remediation needs. Our energy attorneys advise clients on the full breadth of electric and natural gas regulation, energy transactions, compliance, litigation, financing, and project development. Our Group regularly advises clients on proposed legislation and regulations that affect their business.

Services our Environment & Energy Practice attorneys provide include the following:

Environmental Services

  • Cost recovery matters and multiparty Superfund litigation
  • Environmental insurance coverage disputes

  • Land use redevelopment counseling and litigation

  • Natural Resource Damage (NRD) assessments and litigation

  • Permitting and licensing work

  • Proposed environmental legislation and regulations advisement

  • Regulatory compliance counseling, including OSHA matters

  • Remediation counseling and litigation

  • Transactional due diligence

Energy Services

  • Energy regulation, policy, and compliance and market design counseling
  • Energy efficiency, demand response, and renewable energy credit agreements

  • Energy procurement and contracts, both supply and transmission

  • Energy project and infrastructure development and financing, including for renewable energy projects

  • Federal and state administrative litigation and appellate litigation

In providing these services, our Environment & Energy Practice attorneys support a number of business transactions, including mergers, regulated transactions and redevelopment projects. They also help clients resolve disputes that affect their operations or business interests, and defend those interests in litigation and administrative actions.

Environmental Practice

NRD, Superfund, Clean Water, Clean Air, RCRA, TSCA, and various state laws and environmental programs. We work on diverse matters involving major U.S. and state environmental programs, including proposed legislative and regulatory initiatives. From performing due diligence, to responding to government requests for information, to handling regulatory compliance matters and resolving complex administrative and judicial litigation, our environmental attorneys’ experience extends both regionally within our Northeast and Mid-Atlantic footprint and nationally, serving clients across industries.

Environmental Transactions

We help clients address the difficult environmental issues that frequently arise in complex business transactions. Whether assessing environmental contingent liabilities or negotiating environmental insurance coverages and covenants not to sue for transactional agreements, we advise major industrial corporations, financial institutions, and developers regarding mergers and acquisitions, sales, financings and real estate conveyances, and complex redevelopment and Brownfields projects. We have served as a court-appointed receiver for businesses with environmentally impacted real property.

Environmental Regulatory Compliance and Counseling

Environmental impacts are a key consideration in today’s business and manufacturing arena, and costly proceedings can result when companies overlook environmental factors. Our lawyers work to develop a sound environmental compliance strategy that avoids or minimizes future environmental liabilities. Working side by side with risk managers, our attorneys provide innovative and cost-effective legal counseling covering permitting, rulemaking, compliance counseling and solid waste licensure matters.

Environment & Energy Litigation

We effectively pursue and defend our clients’ interests in environmental disputes. Our attorneys have broad experience resolving regulatory matters and enforcement actions, including handling multiparty Superfund litigation, cost recovery cases, transaction- or contract-related environmental claims, governmental enforcement proceedings, and insurance coverage litigation for policyholders. We frequently represent clients in arbitrations, mediations or other alternative dispute resolution proceedings, including allocation proceedings among multiple potentially responsible parties. We have served as mediators in various environmental disputes.

Environmental Insurance Coverage and Disputes

We understand how important environmental insurance is to allocating environmental risk, facilitating liability transfers, ensuring finite cleanup costs, protecting multiple parties and completing a deal, particularly when environmentally impacted properties are involved. We negotiate policy terms and work with the key insurers, underwriters, brokers and consultants to coordinate and manage a client’s environmental exposure. In coverage disputes, our insurance coverage attorneys have helped recover hundreds of millions of dollars for clients’ environmental losses.

Environmental Infrastructure and Solid Waste Remediation Bond Finance

We have extensive experience with wastewater treatment and solid waste remediation financings. We have represented the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (formerly known as the Environmental Infrastructure Trust) as its sole bond counsel since 1988, for its annual pooled financing program for wastewater treatment and drinking water supply projects throughout New Jersey. Our solid waste remediation financing experience includes serving as bond counsel to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority on a Meadowlands remediation project and a development project at the Jersey Gardens mall in Elizabeth, New Jersey. These projects involved addressing a number of complex environmental and financial issues to ensure the tax-exempt status of bonds.

Climate Change and Renewable Energy

As regulatory requirements and social responsibility demands are moving more clients toward addressing climate change concerns, we are helping them develop industry-specific strategies, whether voluntary or compliance-driven, for responding to these concerns. These strategies may involve a full range of options – from participating in voluntary carbon-reduction markets to siting and installing clean energy alternatives to using “green” building materials for development projects. Our attorneys also help clients assess whether their insurance policies cover errors and omissions related to climate change disclosures, and review steps they can take to better manage potential environmental exposure.

For more on our services covering investing in renewable energy, see Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency under Energy Practice.

Coal Plant Demolition and Repowering 

Regulatory and economic forces are pushing coal-fired plant owners to consider demolition, redevelopment and repowering options for the future of their plant sites. Our attorneys can help them examine the contractual and regulatory obligations of each option and develop a strategy to gain local community and regulatory support for the facility. Our Coal Plant Demolition and Repowering attorneys have experience in areas broadly ranging from gas transmission to construction to site redevelopment.

Energy Practice

McCarter’s energy attorneys have served as trusted counsel for decades on matters covering the landscape of energy regulation and infrastructure development at the federal and state levels. We provide a broad range of legal services in diverse transactional, regulatory and litigation matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), other federal and state agencies, and the courts. Our clients include rural electric cooperatives, utility systems owned by local governments and their trade associations, state agencies, generation developers, and large energy consumers.

For more on our services in the energy and utilities sector, see Energy & Utilities page.

Project Development and Finance

Our attorneys have helped numerous clients with financing energy projects. We have helped them obtain and comply with credit facilities for long-term, construction or interim financing; short-term asset financing; syndicated credit facilities; and general purpose lines of credit. We have broad experience in power plant development—advising our clients throughout the planning, construction, environmental, commercial operation, uprating and retirement phases associated with project ownership.

Energy Transactions

Our clients turn to us to help them develop and negotiate contracts involving power and natural gas supplies; electric and natural gas transmission service; interconnections; and various coordination, transportation and distribution arrangements. We also have counseled them on the acquisition of generation and transmission facilities.

Our attorneys pioneered the development of financed natural gas supply acquisition programs and projects. We are fluent in working with the North American Energy Standards Board, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, and Edison Electric Institute Master Forms. We have negotiated dozens of short- and long-term natural gas supply contracts as well as pipeline capacity acquisitions.

For larger energy consumers, we help them strategically evaluate their energy options, ranging from negotiating traditional power purchase agreements to investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

We counsel clients involved in the renewable energy sector, including wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric and energy storage developers, on transactional, regulatory compliance and litigation matters. We help them quantify and qualify for renewable energy credits and address the ownership rights and sale of these credits.

We advise large energy consumers on how they can take advantage of some of these credits or other energy management options, including developing or acquiring their own renewable energy facilities, negotiating load curtailment agreements, or capitalizing on energy efficiency credit programs.

Compliance

We help our clients develop programs to comply with the elaborate tariff regimes of regional transmission organizations (RTOs); the reliability standards of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation; and FERC’s requirements covering tariff, anti-manipulation, market-based rate and other requirements. We have helped clients prepare FERC compliance plans and conduct trainings for clients’ employees and have guided those under investigation through the enforcement process.

Federal and State Administrative and Judicial Litigation

Our attorneys are known for advancing clients’ interests creatively and cost-effectively at all levels of litigation – from filing complaints before FERC and other federal agencies to advocating in federal and state administrative hearings to arguing before the appellate courts – involving matters affecting the electric, hydroelectric, natural gas, and liquefied natural gas industries at the wholesale and retail levels.

Our federal administrative litigation and rulemakings experience includes matters covering terms and conditions of power sales and transmission service, gas purchase and transportation transactions, pipeline construction projects, and reliability standards. Our attorneys have represented clients in virtually every major FERC rulemaking over the past 25 years, including those concerning market-based rates, merger policy, open access transmission and wholesale market rules.

At the state level, we have appeared for clients before state commissions, agencies and courts in many states throughout the country on such matters as retail rates, terms and conditions of service, organized energy market design, smart grid deployment, and dynamic energy pricing.

Beyond federal and state regulatory bodies, we have represented clients’ interests before credit rating agencies, municipal councils and RTOs.

Representative Matters

Represented Clarksville, Tennessee, in a matter in which the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) order asserting jurisdiction over our client’s sale of natural gas to another municipality for ultimate consumption in the purchasing municipality’s distribution system in Kentucky. The court ruled that our client was a municipality exempt from FERC jurisdiction, including its jurisdiction over the interstate sales of natural gas, because the gas was sold and delivered within the client’s state, Tennessee, into facilities owned by the purchasing municipality.
Represented an owner/developer in obtaining the federal (Army Corps of Engineers), state (water quality certification) and local (inland wetlands) permits for the approval of a Lifestyle Center, part of a 1.2 million square foot development on 240 acres of land in the Town of South Windsor.
Assisted a rural electric cooperative client in negotiating a favorable settlement of a dispute with a utility concerning transmission overcharges.
Negotiated a favorable Consent Order on behalf of a confidential financial institution for air pollution issues as a result of its use of emergency generators. Successful resolution included a 93 percent reduction in the final penalty and favorable ongoing compliance programs.

Speaking

06/13/19
05/23/19
Connecticut Society for Women Environmental Professionals
03/14/19
Law Seminars International’s “The Eighth Annual Advanced Conference on Litigating Natural Resource Damages”
11/28/18