McLane Middleton’s Environmental and Energy groups include attorneys with over 150 years of collective experience in environmental regulatory, permitting, enforcement cases, environmental litigation and related insurance coverage litigation. The firm has extensive experience across all the major federal and State environmental regulatory laws, including: the hazardous waste laws, Superfund, RCRA and the Toxic Substance Control Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act including NPDES permitting wetlands, shoreland and stormwater management, Large groundwater withdrawals, the Safe Drinking Water Act, , the Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and the parallel State programs.
Attorneys in the Environmental Practice regularly serve as speakers on environmental law. The members wrote New Hampshire’s Environmental Law Handbook. 2nd Edition.
State and Federal Environmental Permitting and Defense of Enforcement Proceedings
We advise our clients on all types of environmental permitting and enforcement defense, working often with environmental engineers and other consultants. The interests of our clients are best served by planning that includes careful consideration of the technical consultants work together with a sound understanding of the applicable regulatory law, and the interests, rights and responsibilities of the client. Avoidable difficulties most often arise when all these aspects are not considered no matter the size of the project.
Compliance and Counseling
We have the deep experience required to handle questions of regulatory compliance, including the interpretation and implementation of the myriad types of environmental permits and compliance plans required of 21st century businesses, and are versed in the complex statutory and regulatory environmental requirements with which our clients must comply. We assist those clients that must obtain and strictly comply with air, water and waste handling permits, and respond quickly and efficiently to State and federal government investigations of statutory and regulatory compliance issues.
Environmental Due Diligence
Often working closely with members of our corporate department, we advise clients engaged in the sale or acquisition of property and businesses on the meaning of, the limitations to and potential protections afforded by Phase 1 and Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessments, as well as the potential uses of insurance and other contractual protections to facilitate all manner of business transactions.
We have extensive experience handling permitting and related appeals before the State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Committee, the Waste Management Council, Water Council, Air Resources Council and the Wetlands Council, the EPA Environmental Appeals Board, the Army Corp of Engineers, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Energy Facility Siting
McLane Middleton is a leading New England law firm in matters pertaining to the siting of energy facilities and infrastructure, including assisting clients in proceedings before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (NHSEC), as well as local permitting and land use approvals for smaller projects.
Some of our Energy Practice Group’s representative siting work is highlighted in the following professional engagements:
- We represent Northern Pass Transmission LLC and Public Service Company of New Hampshire before the NHSEC regarding the siting of a new 192 mile DC/AC electric transmission line from the Canadian border to southern New Hampshire.
- We obtained a Certificate from the NHSEC for Eversource and National Grid to construct the Merrimack Valley Reliability Project, a new 345 kV electric transmission line in southern New Hampshire.
- We recently secured a Certificate from the NHSEC for Antrim Wind Energy regarding the siting of a new 29 MW wind farm in Antrim, NH.
- We represent Eversource before the NHSEC regarding the Seacoast Reliability Project, a new 115 kV transmission line in four New Hampshire seacoast towns.
- Our attorneys handled all siting work before the NHSEC pertaining to the redevelopment of a former paper mill site in Berlin, NH, into a new 75 Megawatt (MW) biomass power plant.
- We handled the siting work before the NHSEC regarding the construction of the AES Londonderry 720 MW combined cycle natural gas-fired power plant in Londonderry, NH.
- McLane Middleton managed all siting work before the NHSEC in connection with the expansion of a 17-mile interstate gas transmission pipeline from Dracut, MA to Manchester, NH.
- McLane Middleton obtained a siting certificate for a new 230 kV tap line in Littleton, New Hampshire.
McLane Middleton’s Energy Practice Group also provides comprehensive and innovative solutions to renewable and clean technology companies, working collaboratively with our Corporate, Tax and Intellectual Property practice groups. Together, we specialize in managing the legal needs of innovators, start-ups, and established companies as they strive to navigate complex regulations and requirements in the renewable energy space. Our Energy Practice Group is experienced with many different renewable energy technologies, including Solar, Wind and Hydropower.
In addition to the NHSEC, our attorneys practice before federal and state agencies and tribunals in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO), Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU), New Hampshire Public Utility Commission (NHPUC).
We represent our clients in a wide variety of environmental litigation in State and federal courts, including those throughout New England, New York, and beyond. We have extensive experience in large personal injury and property damage claims associated with manufacturing operations, CERCLA cost-recovery actions arising out of the former operations of manufactured gas plants (MGPs); and, representing policyholders in the pursuit of insurance recovery for substantial environmental liabilities.
Our environmental litigation experience includes, for example, the State court defense of toxic tort and diminution of property value claims, Clean Air Act permit appeals, Superfund enforcement, wetlands and shoreland appeals, and defense of EPA stormwater enforcement.
Environmental Toxic Tort Defense
McLane Middleton has extensive experience in litigation relating to environmental contamination in New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Connecticut, and South Carolina. A number of these cases were jury trials.
Our litigation team is defending a large number of toxic tort cases in Suffolk County, New York. These cases include claims for personal injury and property damage injuries by more than 80 plaintiffs. There have been several appellate cases arising out of these cases with all of them involving extensive litigation over the toxic properties of environmental contamination.
One of the firm’s senior directors, Bruce W. Felmly, has decades of experience in tort litigation. In 2015, Bruce was selected by his peers as Business NH Magazine’s leading NH litigation attorney
In addition, Bruce was counsel in the largest environmental case in New Hampshire history involving MTBE. This litigation involved statewide contamination to drinking water alleged to result from the additive MTBE in gasoline. The action against our client was ultimately settled after nearly a decade of litigation. ExxonMobil tried the case to verdict, and has retained Bruce for the appeal as NH counsel. The case is presently in the U.S. Supreme Court on a petition for certiorari. The MTBE litigation involved a detailed evidentiary contest over the impacts and health risks of environmental contamination.
For the past 80 years, McLane Middleton has represented clients in the energy, utilities and telecommunications industries. As these industries have become more complex, our work for clients in these sectors has become more varied, ranging from regulatory, environmental, corporate and litigated matters.
Representative environmental and energy clients include:
- Antrim Wind Energy
- Avangrid (Iberdrola)
- AES Corporation
- Altid Enterprises
- Dartmouth College
- Hitchiner Manufacturing
- Monadnock Paper Mills
- National Grid
- New England Metal Recycling
- Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.
- Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company
- Verizon Wireless
- Waste Management
- Wheelabrator Technologies
- Algonquin Power Fund
- Aquarion Water Company of Massachusetts
- Aquarion Water Company of New Hampshire
- Ashland Electric Department
- BayCorp Holdings, Ltd.
- Concord Steam Corporation
- Constellation Energy Group
- EnerDev, Inc.
- Great Bay Power Corporation and its holding company
- Hanover Water Works
- Manchester Water Works
- Pennichuck Corporation
PRACTICE AREA MEMBERS
- Gregory Smith
- Michael Quinn
- Barry Needleman
- Mark Rouvalis
- Adam Dumville
- Viggo Fish
- Andrea Schweitzer
- Barry Needleman
- Thomas Getz
- Gregory Smith
- Dick Samuels
- Michael Quinn
- Adam Dumville
- Rebecca Walkley
- Viggo Fish