For more than 75 years, Pierce Atwood has counseled the pulp, paper, and forest products industries in Maine and elsewhere, even as they have faced immense changes during the past decade. In Maine alone, this vital industry spends over a billion dollars annually and employs tens of thousands of men and women who earn, on average, the highest wages of any workers in the state. Pierce Atwood's long history of representing clients in this industry has placed us on the forefront of relevant legal issues in the Northeast and across the nation, advising companies in virtually all areas of practice, including energy, environmental, health and safety, labor, land use and forestry, legislative and regulatory, product regulation, real estate sales, acquisitions financing, litigation, and taxation. Pierce Atwood also represents the forest products industry's largest trade organization.

Please contact Brian Rayback for more information about our practices serving clients in the forest products industry.

Representative Experience

We represented ND OTM LLC, a subsidiary of ND Paper, in a $30 million new markets tax credit financing that will be used to finance the restart of a pulp mill located in Old Town, Maine.  The mill was shuttered in 2015, and the restarting of the mill will result in approximately 130 new direct jobs, and hundreds of indirect jobs in the forest products industry. 

$30 Million NMTC Financing to Restart Pulp Mill

Designed, drafted and lobbied on behalf of manufacturers and other industrial clients a business property tax reimbursement program providing full reimbursement for most business equipment ("BETR"), and subsequently a property tax exemption for business equipment ("BETE"). Worked to achieve annual funding of these programs.

Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement (BETR) and the Business Equipment Tax Exemption (BETE) Programs

For the forest products industry, and especially for paper mills, Pierce Atwood’s environmental attorneys have addressed chemical safety and products regulation issues under a range of federal and state laws, including packaging laws. Among the requirements the firm has advised on are those under the Toxic Substances Control Act, pesticide laws, OSHA information and safety standards, the Federal Trade Commission’s “Green Advertising” guidance, and California’s Proposition 65. Among other related matters, we have advised clients on manufacture, storage requirements, shipping and transportation in interstate and international commerce, labeling and advertising, and multistate product recalls.

Chemical Safety & Products Regulation

Anne Meade v. S.D. Warren, et al. 00-018, Somerset County Superior Court, Maine, Docket No. CV-00-018. Mass tort case (not a class action) arising from a “cancer cluster,” alleging damages for personal injuries and illnesses allegedly resulting, inter alia, from exposure to toxic or harmful chemicals disposed of, emitted, or released at or from the Central Maine Disposal Corporation Landfill in Fairfield, Maine.

Defense of Mass Tort Case Alleging Injuries from Chemical Exposure

Pierce Atwood assisted GO Lab, Inc., d/b/a TimberHP on all aspects of the development of its wood fiber insulation manufacturing facility at the former UPM paper mill in Madison, Maine, beginning with the acquisition of the mill in 2019, through the closing of the sale of $85 million tax-exempt green bonds issued by the Finance Authority of Maine, a $24 million New Markets Tax Credit transaction, and a $25 million Series A equity raise. These funds provide the up-front capital needed to turn the former paper mill into the first wood fiber insulation manufacturing plant in North America.

GO Lab $85 million Green Bond Sale, NMTC Transaction

For over three decades, Pierce Atwood has represented virtually all of Maine’s pulp and paper companies in the licensing, relicensing, and expansion of their respective solid waste landfills, which are dedicated to the disposal of the solid and special wastes generated at each mill that cannot otherwise be reduced, recycled, or composted.

Landfill Licensing & Relicensing

Pierce Atwood assisted a major pulp and paper company in successfully licensing two new tissue machines, which are now under construction.

Licensing New Tissue Machines

Representation of two pulp/paper mills in seeking abatements of their municipal property tax assessments.

Municipal Property Tax Abatements for Pulp/Paper Mills

Pierce Atwood serves as national coordinating counsel on all environmental matters for a pulp and paper company with operations in New England, the Midwest, and the Mid-Atlantic. This role involves providing regular advice and counsel on issues such as compliance strategies for air emissions regulations, such as boiler MACT and BART, managing a potential river re-designation that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars in compliance costs, permitting a secure vault for storage of hazardous waste, and advising the company on day-to-day operations issues about issues ranging from management of contaminated soils to stormwater compliance. In this capacity, we work closely with company lawyers, corporate environmental staff, and environmental staff from each individual mill, as well as local counsel in various jurisdictions.

National Coordinating Counsel on Environmental Matters for Pulp & Paper Company

We represented Madison Paper Industries, a major pulp and paper company, in all corporate, environmental, and real estate aspects of the sale of all of its remaining Maine assets in three separate transactions to three different, unrelated parties. Facilities sold included pulp and paper production facilities, hydropower facilities, and a closed solid waste landfill.

Sale of Pulp & Paper Manufacturer’s Assets

Represented Sappi’s Somerset Mill in successfully obtaining state air and land use permits for its $165 million rebuild of its No. 1 Paper Machine to manufacture consumer packaging products.

Sappi North America No. 1 Pulp Machine Rebuild

Represented Sappi in obtaining all permits to utilize alternative fuels in a multi-fuel boiler.

Sappi North America Utilization of Alternative Fuels

Representation of Verso Corporation in antitrust and employment litigation arising out of the closure and sale of Verso's paper mill in Bucksport, Maine.

Verso Litigation Concerning Bucksport Mill