Jean H. McCreary

Jean McCreary practices in the Energy and Environmental practice group representing clients from a wide range of industrial sectors, developers, lenders and landowners in environmental regulatory and enforcement matters; facility permitting, operation, decommissioning and demolition; site investigation and remediation and brownfields redevelopment; and transactional due diligence.

What do you focus on?

Project Permitting, Decommissioning and Demolition

In addition to numerous industrial facility development projects, I am currently working on two of the largest (and first) coal-fired power plant decommissioning, demolition and remediation projects in the Northeast. I regularly work with industries to plan for operational closure and liability transfer.

Transactional Due Diligence

I have led the environmental due diligence team for numerous transactions involving multi-state and multi-national acquisitions or financings, including recently a portfolio acquisition involving nearly 70 properties for a $600MM industrial acquisition and a $621MM refinancing of a cooperative housing project involving one of the largest ever HUD/FHA loans.

Site Remediation/Brownfields Development

I have worked with clients and regulators in nearly 45 states to bring lean and practical legal approaches to site investigation, remediation and voluntary cleanup or brownfields redevelopment projects, several of which reached completion on or ahead of schedule.

Regulatory Enforcement

I work with the in-house technical and regulatory personnel at many of our multinational industrial clients to provide legal analysis and compliance program design and implementation and to defend against or resolve agency enforcement actions.

What do you see on the horizon?

I co-lead the firm’s shale/hydraulic fracturing industry regulatory initiative and anticipate that safe development of domestic natural gas resources will grow. I also co-lead the firm’s power plant decommissioning/demolition initiative and hundreds of such plants will be demolished or repurposed in the coming decade. Transactional due diligence will be altered by the revised ASTM standard, and EPA’s electronic data initiative will empower state and federal agencies to “data mine” for enforcement and penalties, and citizen groups will be watching.


Ms. McCreary is a frequent lecturer, speaker at national programs, and can provide a list of her publications on request.

Montana Highlights

Big Sky Business Journal | April 09, 2018

Nixon Peabody is mentioned in this roundup of major Montana business news for its representation of Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc., in its acquisition of Ruby Valley Bank in Twin Bridges, Montana. Nixon Peabody’s deal team was led by Public Company Transactions partner Lloyd Spencer and senior counsel Ray Gustini and included Public Company Transactions partner Sean Clancy, Real Estate partner Colette Dafoe, Energy & Environmental Group partner Jean McCreary, and Labor & Employment partners Jeff Gilbreth, Yelena Gray and Tom McCord.

Medicare facilities and Legionella: The requirements have extended beyond cooling towers

Bloomberg Law | July 14, 2017

Rochester energy and environmental partner Jean McCreary, professional specialist Libby Ford, and Albany health care partner Peter Millock authored this article about the memo sent to all State Survey Agency Directors from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services regarding a new requirement for certified health facilities to assess and address Legionella-related risks in their water systems.

What To Know About NY's New Cooling Tower Regulations

Law360 | July 29, 2016

This guest column authored by Rochester energy and environmental partner Jean McCreary and Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford focuses on final cooling tower regulations put into place by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to protect against legionella and other bacteria.


Jean H. McCreary



Phone: 585-263-1611

Fax: 585-263-1600

University of Florida School of Law, J.D.

University of Rochester, B.A.


New York



Jean was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 in the field of Environmental Law, and was designated the 2018 Rochester “Lawyer of the Year” for Environmental Law. Jean has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2009.

Jean has been recognized for exceptional standing in the national legal community in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2018 for Environment work (New York). She has been recognized in Chambers in previous years.

Jean has been nominated by her peers as a leading practitioner in The International Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers 2015, and has also been recognized as a “Top Lawyer” in environmental law by Corporate Counsel magazine (2009). The New York State Bar Association has named Jean McCreary an “Empire State Counsel Honoree” in 2011, 2009, 2008, and 2007 as a result of her outstanding pro bono service. Jean was also selected to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list in 2007-2018. Her primary area of practice is environmental law.

Jean is also a 2014 New York State Bar Association Empire State Counsel pro bono honoree.

New York and Monroe County Bar Associations; The Auditing Roundtable; former US SubTAG to ISO TC‑207 on ISO 14000 Standards; former commissioner, Rochester Health Commission; former board member and executive committee member, Girl Scouts of Genesee Valley; current board member, Women’s Council of the Rochester Business Alliance; current board member, Genesee Land Trust; current board member, Blue Sky Optimum Energy; current editorial advisory member of Today’s General Counsel.

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