Practice Areas & Industries: Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Our Environmental Group has participated in some of New England’s largest and most significant environmental permitting, compliance and litigation cases – including the Deepwater Wind Farm, the Rhode Island Attorney General’s lead paint suit, and a mass tort case involving over 3,000 plaintiffs.

A Highly Respected Team
The firm is home to many of the region’s outstanding environmental attorneys, a number of whom have been recognized for their ability and expertise. For example:

–  Gerald J. Petros, the chair of our Environmental Group, has been named “2012 Environmental Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers and “Lawyer of the Year” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. Also, he is a member of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers.

–  Robin L. Main, the co-chair of our Environmental Group, was presented the “Top Women in Law Award” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

–  Our attorneys have been honored as Leading Lawyers for “Bet the Company Litigation” and “Environmental Law and Litigation” by Chambers USA.

–  Several members of our Environmental Group have been honored as Best Lawyers in America for their work in Environmental Law and Litigation, Energy Law and Regulatory Enforcement.

–  Several attorneys also have been honored as SuperLawyers in the areas of “Environmental Law” and “Environmental Litigation.”


Services Available

Hinckley, Allen & Snyder’s Environmental Group represents clients at federal, state and local levels on a wide range of environmental matters, including:

–  Regulatory Compliance

–  Corporate Due Diligence

–  Real Estate Matters

–  Permitting

–  Insurance Coverage

–  Environmental Litigation

–  Toxic Tort

–  Brownfields

–  Superfund

–  Clean Water

–  Clean Air

Our Environmental Group offers a full spectrum of legal services, including:

Regulatory Compliance
Our attorneys counsel clients on how to minimize business risks from environmental concerns, achieve compliance with environmental laws, and reduce compliance costs.

Corporate and Real Estate Due Diligence
Our attorneys work closely with attorneys from other practice groups, including real estate and corporate, to address environmental issues arising in mergers, acquisitions, real estate purchases and leases, and other significant transactions. We provide streamlined services that are results driven and client focused.

Our attorneys have significant experience securing permits related to all environmental media and issues, including pollutant discharges from point sources, air emissions, work in or near freshwater and coastal wetlands, solid waste management facilities and various types of power generation facilities.

We counsel clients in obtaining environmental insurance products, including cost cap and pollution legal liability insurances, and in pursuing insurance coverage for environmental liability. For more information on our insurance services, click here.

Environmental Litigation
Our environmental litigators have practiced before administrative agencies and federal and state courts throughout the country, with extensive experience in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

–  We have successfully represented clients in Massachusetts 21E, Superfund, other state and federal statutory claims, citizen suits, and various cases under common law theories such as trespass, nuisance, negligence and property diminution.

–  Our attorneys have defended and favorably resolved numerous enforcement actions from federal, state and local environmental agencies in areas such as freshwater and coastal wetlands, above-ground and underground tanks, stormwater, the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, wastewater treatment systems, and hazardous waste laws.

–  We have negotiated consent decrees on behalf of our clients in all aspects of environmental law.

–  We have successfully litigated toxic tort, hazardous waste, and state and federal Superfund cases.

We have negotiated and structured dozens of brownfield agreements under both state and federal programs. We often couple brownfield agreements with other vehicles to reduce risk, such as environmental insurance.

Clean Water
Our attorneys counsel clients on permitting under federal and state programs related to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits and on work in and near freshwater and coastal wetlands. Our attorneys also advise clients on regulatory compliance issues under federal and state clean water acts in a wide variety of other areas, including stormwater and wastewater issues.

Clean Air
Our environmental attorneys have handled many cases under federal and state clean air acts, including issues under the federal Clean Air Act’s new source review, hazardous air pollutants (air toxics), and Title V permit provisions. We have also worked with various state air regulators for many years on numerous issues, including determining air pollution control technology for major and minor sources, understanding complex emissions calculations for these sources, and addressing opacity and odor concerns.

Who We Serve
We represent private and public clients on a broad range of environmental issues at the federal, state and local levels. Clients include privately held and publicly traded companies, real estate developers, banks and other lenders, manufacturers, alternative energy companies, construction companies, public utilities, and municipalities, among others.

Public Utility Companies
Our environmental attorneys have handled a wide range of environmental issues for electric and gas utilities for more than 25 years.

–  We regularly represent utilities in state regulatory actions related to the cleanup of releases of oil and hazardous materials from utility operations and related to manufactured gas plant (MGP) sites and MGP residuals. This representation includes working with the client and its internal team, as well as outside environmental consultants, on cost-effective cleanups, access issues, land use restrictions, cost recovery actions, permitting, and coordination among stakeholders such as third party landowners and government officials.

–  Our work for utilities includes permitting activities before federal, state and local governmental agencies for, among other examples, work in and proximate to wetlands and water bodies, point source discharges to water bodies, air permits, and site remediation approvals.

–  Many of our environmental attorneys are also litigators, and they regularly represent utilities in cleanup cost recovery actions and toxic tort cases.

Real Estate and Lending
We represent real estate owners, sellers, purchasers and lenders in all aspects of transactions with environmental issues. This work includes due diligence on environmental compliance and drafting provisions in transaction documents to address environmental liability.

Alternative Energy Companies
We work with wind and solar companies concerning permitting and regulatory compliance of their various projects.

Privately Held and Publicly Traded Companies
Given our extensive experience in environmental matters and excellent reputation in litigation, our environmental attorneys have been retained by privately held and publicly traded companies to represent them in environmental cases related to the cleanup of contaminated sites, response cost recovery actions, toxic torts, insurance coverage, permitting, and enforcement. In addition, for over 10 years, our attorneys have represented the country's largest drugstore chain in all aspects of environmental due diligence for the development of sites in numerous eastern and midwestern states.

Our attorneys regularly represent contractors in the various environmental matters that affect their work, including state and federal clean air and clean water act issues, freshwater and coastal wetlands, and solid and hazardous waste handling and disposal.

We represent municipalities in federal and state enforcement actions and in cleaning up and developing brownfield sites.

Here is a small sampling of some of our notable environmental cases:

–  Utility Provider – We represented a large utility in connection with a significant manufactured gas plant (MGP) civil suit filed by approximately 100 families in eastern Rhode Island.

–  Manufacturer – We represented a manufacturer of high-performance engineered membranes in a federal Clean Air Act civil enforcement action in which EPA alleged that the manufacturer had made a “major” modification to a coating line without first obtaining a new source review permit.

–  Oil Company – Over a 15-year period, we represented an international oil company that owned a 106-acre parcel of land operated as a petroleum distribution terminal for over 60 years. We guided the owner through the site remediation process of this heavily contaminated property, which included the excavation and bioremediation of over 750,000 cubic yards of soil.  We later represented the owner in a contribution action against other responsible parties and in insurance coverage litigation.

–  Manufacturer/Superfund – We successfully defended a manufacturer in a contribution action under CERCLA filed in Massachusetts federal court. The plaintiff sought millions of dollars in damages from our client for allegedly contributing to the contamination at the Sullivan's Ledge Superfund Site in New Bedford, Massachusetts, a site that required more than $50,000,000 to remediate.