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SCOTT M. TURNER

Scott Turner, who chairs the Energy and Environmental practice group, concentrates in energy and environmental law, particularly in the permitting and regulation of energy and other infrastructure facilities (e.g., electric power plants, transmission lines, pipelines and landfills).

What do you focus on?

I have helped clients obtain permits for energy facilities in California, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Oklahoma. For example, I represented an energy client in obtaining its California Energy Commission certification and PSD permit for a 500 MW gas-fired merchant power plant in northern California and led the successful defense of that PSD permit before EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board.

In New York, I played a lead role in the Article X certification and PSD permitting process for the Athens Generating Project, an 1100 MW gas-fired power plant (the first project to be successfully certified under the state’s then-current power plant siting statute). I later represented another energy client in obtaining an Article X certificate and PSD and SPDES permits for the 1816 MW Astoria Generating Station repowering project.

One particularly complex effort that I led was the successful permitting of a major landfill expansion that involved the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the municipality. Four state permits, four local permits, a federal permit, and an Endangered Species Act consultation were required.

My enforcement work has included the defense of air pollution enforcement proceedings brought by EPA, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I successfully litigated, in federal district court and the Third Circuit, a major enforcement matter arising from EPA’s challenge to a PSD permit issued by Pennsylvania for a six-unit gas turbine facility.

What do you see on the horizon?

Moving forward, we expect to see increasing interest in major infrastructure projects keyed to the shale gas boom occurring in the United States, including pipelines, LNG export facilities, and natural gas-fired combustion turbine power plants. Our group’s experience developing these kinds of projects will be very helpful to clients as they embark on new projects.

Publications

Mr. Turner was a senior editor of the New York Environmental Law Handbook, Fifth Ed. (Gov’t. Institutes, 1999). He has published in the Albany Law Review, the Washington & Lee Law Review, and the National Law Journal. He speaks frequently on energy and environmental law issues before such groups as the Air and Waste Management Association, the American Corporate Counsel Association, and the Edison Electric Institute Legal Committee.

Representative Experience

  • Oversaw environmental/permitting/review for a “greenfield” specialty steel plant in Michigan, a steel mill expansion in Central New York, a pipeline compressor station in Kentucky, and a hazardous waste incinerator in Western New York
    Oversaw environmental/permitting/review for a “greenfield” specialty steel plant in Michigan, a steel mill expansion in Central New York, a pipeline compressor station in Kentucky, and a hazardous waste incinerator in Western New York

  • Represented the owner of the Ginna Nuclear Plant in the NYSPSC proceeding investigating a major steam generator tube rupture.
    Represented the owner of the Ginna Nuclear Plant in the NYSPSC proceeding investigating a major steam generator tube rupture.

  • Represented the owners of the Nine Mile Point 2 Nuclear Station in the NYSPSC prudency proceeding regarding continued construction of the plant.
    Represented the owners of the Nine Mile Point 2 Nuclear Station in the NYSPSC prudency proceeding regarding continued construction of the plant.

  • . . . View all . . .
  • Represented two electric utilities in connection with PSD/NANSR enforcement cases challenging routine maintenance activities at several coal-fired power plants.
    Represented two electric utilities in connection with PSD/NANSR enforcement cases challenging routine maintenance activities at several coal-fired power plants.

  • Provided permitting counsel to the public power participants in the 1600 MW Prairie State Generating Project in Illinois and represented them in the EPA Environmental Appeals Board challenge by project opponents.
    Provided permitting counsel to the public power participants in the 1600 MW Prairie State Generating Project in Illinois and represented them in the EPA Environmental Appeals Board challenge by project opponents.

  • Represented two natural gas pipelines in obtaining Article VII certificate amendments from NYSPSC.
    Represented two natural gas pipelines in obtaining Article VII certificate amendments from NYSPSC.

  • Represented an electric utility in its evaluation of a potential compressed air energy storage facility that would store energy generated off-peak by nearby wind farms.
    Represented an electric utility in its evaluation of a potential compressed air energy storage facility that would store energy generated off-peak by nearby wind farms.

  • Represented a 252 MW island-based wind project in connection with Army Corps permitting and Endangered Species Act consultation.
    Represented a 252 MW island-based wind project in connection with Army Corps permitting and Endangered Species Act consultation.

Media Clips

  • Understanding Environmental Laws Reduces Risks
    Rochester Business Journal | September 19, 2014
    Rochester partner and leader of the firm’s Energy & Environmental practice Scott Turner is quoted in this article on how to reduce the risks of criminal and civil prosecutions from violations of environmental laws.
  • Future of fracking is up in the air
    Daily Record | April 25, 2014
    Rochester partner and leader of the Energy & Environmental practice Scott Turner is featured in this story on the future of hydraulic fracturing (“hydrofracking”).
  • Eastern States, DC Sue EPA Over Exemptions on Cross-border Power Plant Emissions
    SNL Power Daily | May 7, 2013

    Rochester partner and leader of the firm’s Energy & Environmental practice Scott Turner discusses a pending lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over the agency’s move to exempt states at least temporarily from addressing in their implementation plans power plant emissions degrading air quality outside their borders.

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Scott M. Turner