Scott M. Turner

Scott Turner 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.


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
  • Provided permitting counsel to the public power participants in the 1600 MW Prairie State Generating Project and represented them in the EPA Environmental Appeals Board challenge by project opponents.
  • 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 two electric utilities in connection with PSD/NANSR enforcement cases challenging routine maintenance activities at several coal-fired power plants.
  • 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 a 252 MW island-based wind project in connection with Army Corps permitting and Endangered Species Act consultation.


Scott M. Turner

Senior Counsel


Phone: 585-263-1612

Washington, DC

Phone: 202-585-8000

Fax: 585-263-1600

Washington and Lee University, J.D., magna cum laude (Order of the Coif)

Colgate University, B.A., with honors

New York

District of Columbia

U.S. District Court, Western District of New York

U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

Scott was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 in the fields of Energy Law and Environmental Law. Scott has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2007, and was its 2013 Rochester “Lawyer of the Year” in Environmental Law.

Scott has been recognized for exceptional standing in the legal community in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2019 for Environment (New York). He has been recognized in Chambers USA in previous years.

Scott was selected to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list in 2007-2015. His primary areas of practice are environmental law; energy & natural resources law; and government relations law.

Scott has received an AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating™ from Martindale Hubbell®, the highest possible rating for ethics and legal ability.

Scott Turner is a member of the American Bar Association (Environment and Natural Resources Section); the New York State Bar Association (former co-chair, Solid and Hazardous Waste Committee of the Environmental Law Section); the Air and Waste Management Association (member and former chair, Legal Committee; former member, Technical Council); the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (associate member and past chair of the Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee of the ASME International Gas Turbine Institute); New York State College Republicans (former chair); and the Monroe County Republican Committee (1977-2010). He chairs The College at Brockport College Council and sits on the boards of Unity Health System and the Rochester Historical Society.

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