Environmental Permitting & Compliance

We use our deep experience and integrated legal, scientific and engineering knowledge across all environmental media to move our client’s objectives forward by anticipating, minimizing and developing practical solutions for business and regulatory risks.

Our approach

Building and operating energy projects requires unavoidable regulatory interaction, permitting and compliance.

With a constantly evolving environmental landscape, you need counsel to guide you through today’s regulations and prepare you for what’s coming tomorrow.

We negotiate and obtain permits, achieving compliance for the following: air and water quality, solid and hazardous waste disposal, and developing quantitative and qualitative systematic processes assessing the potential impacts of proposed projects and acquisitions.

We look for the best possible outcome for our clients and work back from there.

Our positive relationships with regulatory agencies and key technical staff prove invaluable. And, when necessary we defend our energy clients in administrative and judicial enforcement actions brought by EPA, states or citizens.

We focus on the following aspects of environmental regulation:

  • Air and water pollution control
  • Siting and permitting of industrial facilities
  • Environmental impact reviews
  • Transactional due diligence
  • Defense of enforcement actions including citizens suits
  • Defense of challenges to permits issued under various environmental programs, both state and federal
  • Brownfields redevelopment and site remediation
  • Environmental litigation

We work with

  • Developers
  • Independent power producers
  • Electric and gas utilities
  • Electric transmission owners
  • Natural gas pipelines
  • Universities

Recent Experience

  • Athens Generating Project, the first merchant combined cycle generating facility proposed in New York, and the first project reviewed under NY’s now expired Article X siting statute. The project involved significant CWA section 316 (b) issues related to impacts on Hudson River aquatic species.
  • Cross Sound Cable in siting and permitting the first significant independent electric transmission facility in the Northeast, which was also one of the first applications of HVDC transmission technology in the United States.
  • GenOn Energy Inc. in seeking permitting approvals for a 775-megawatt natural gas-fired combined-cycle combustion turbine power plant at its Bowline Point site in Rockland County, New York.
  • Constellation Energy in connection with state approvals of NRC license renewals for its Ginna and Nine Mile Point Nuclear Plants and a power uprate approval for Ginna and in connection with Clean Water Act Best Technology Available matters for both plants.
  • Tampa Electric in the settlement with EPA and Florida of alleged New Source Review violations at its electric generating stations.
  • Covanta Energy in the resolution of citizen suits brought against its Warren and Essex energy-from-waste facilities in New Jersey.
  • Rochester Gas and Electric in the resolution with New York State of alleged opacity and New Source Review violations in two separate proceedings.
  • New York State Electric and Gas in its evaluation of a potential compressed air energy storage facility.
  • Rochester Gas and Electric in connection with the demolition of two retired coal-fired electric generating stations.

DC Circ. Panel Backs NY In Suit Over Pipeline Permit Delay

Law360 | June 23, 2017

In this article about Millennium Pipeline Co.'s suit against New York environmental regulators, Washington, D.C. energy and environment partner Elizabeth Whittle is mentioned for representing CPV Valley Inc., a company that is building an energy facility that would receive natural gas from Millennium’s pipeline.

Recent Water-related Cases That May Impact NPDES/SPDES Dischargers

ClearWaters | December 21, 2016

A discussion of five cases that might impact wastewater permitting regulations for holders of SPDES permits, written by Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford, San Francisco Energy and Environmental associate Alison Torbitt, and Albany counsel Peter Trimarchi.

Power co. wants DC Circ. to force action on NY pipeline

Law360 | December 15, 2016

This article highlights the latest development in a case involving New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s delayed approval of a permit to start building a natural gas pipeline, which impacts upstate New York power plant developer CPV Valley LLC’s facility operations. Washington DC Energy and Environmental partner Elizabeth Whittle is noted as representing CPV Valley LLC.


Scott M. Turner

Practice Group Leader, Energy & Environment


Phone: 585-263-1612

Donald D. Cooper



Phone: 617-345-6077

John L. Greenthal

Senior Counsel


Phone: 518-427-2670

Ruth H. Silman

Office Managing Partner, Boston


Phone: 617-345-6062

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