Brian Rayback focuses his practice on environmental and land use law, with expertise in all aspects of water, air, natural resources, solid waste, and zoning regulation.

Brian provides cost-effective, strategic advice on project permitting, enforcement matters, appeals of agency decisions, regulatory compliance, and legislative issues for property developers and owners, trade associations, utilities, construction companies, and industrial and manufacturing facilities. He regularly appears before federal, state, and local boards and agencies to assist clients in navigating the complex and often overlapping array of environmental and land use regulations.

Brian is the Chair of Pierce Atwood's Environmental Practice Group and its interdisciplinary Land Use team.  Prior to joining Pierce Atwood in 1999, Brian was a law clerk for Justice Paul Rudman and Justice Susan Calkins of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

Honors & Distinctions

  • Recognized in Chambers USA for Environmental Law and in The Best Lawyers in America® for Land Use & Zoning Law since 2013
  • Named to MaineToday Media's "Forty Under 40" list in 2011

Professional Activities

  • Vice Chair, American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, State and Regional Environmental Cooperation Committee, 2010-2015
  • Member, Maine State Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education Committee, 2009-2016
  • Participant in multiple Maine Department of Environmental Protection Stakeholder groups, including on scenic and aesthetic impacts, the Site Location of Development Act, the Shoreland Zoning Act, and industrial stormwater issues 

Publications

  • Co-author, A Practical Guide to Land Use in Maine, MCLE 2016
  • Author of chapter on Maine water rights in Waters & Water Rights, a national treatise published annually by Matthew Bender
  • Regular contributor to American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources newsletter
  • Principal editor of Pierce Atwood's Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar

Civic Activities

  • Board of Directors, Cape Elizabeth Soccer Club, 2016-present, Vice President, 2018-present
  • Board of Directors, Biodiversity Research Institute, 2010-2012
  • Board of Directors for the Nathan and Henry B. Cleaves Law Library, 1999-2007, Treasurer, 2005-2007
  • Volunteer coach, U.S. Soccer "D" License, youth soccer

Practice Areas

Brian has broad experience advising clients on complex regulatory issues involving air emissions, wastewater and stormwater discharges, solid waste disposal, and natural resources issues.

Representative Experience

Recent projects include:

  • Serves as national coordinating counsel for Verso Paper on all aspects of environmental compliance for pulp and paper mills in New England, the mid-west, the mid-atlantic, and the south-east.
  • Audited compliance with oil spill planning requirements at a bulk oil storage facility on the Penobscot River in Maine.
  • Licensed a hazardous waste storage facility, including implementation of environmental covenants, in Minnesota.
  • Represents scrap metal dealer in defending an enforcement action brought by the U.S. Department of Justice for alleged stormwater violations in five states.
  • Advised the Republic of Kazakhstan on the development of new air emissions laws.  This project was done through a project with the European Bank and included promotion of renewable energy projects.
  • Represented the operator of the State's Juniper Ridge Landfill on a 9.35 million cubic yard expansion after a two-day hearing before the Maine BEP and permitting of a new solid waste stream on two separate occasions after permitting by Maine DEP and appeals to the Maine BEP.

Brian's land use practice covers a broad range of development projects, and includes advice on issues such as takings, variances, vested rights, and contract zoning that frequently arise under state and local rules. Recent projects include:

Representative Experience

  • Advising Irving Woodlands, LLC on a concept plan rezoning before the Maine Land Use Planning Commission for over 50,000 acres in northern Maine, including a potential conservation easement of 14,750 acres.  The project proposes rezoning for residential, commercial, forestry, and recreational lodging uses along four lakes in the Fish River Chain of Lakes, and includes innovative new rules for managing phosphorus export, provides alternatives for septic systems at existing camp lots, and requires implementation of sustainable forestry practices.
  • Led the legal team on the development of a new spring water site, pipeline, and loadout facility for Poland Spring in Rumford, Maine.  This project included negotiating a long-term water supply and lease agreement with the Rumford Water District, multiple real estate aquisitions, and permitting by the Maine DEP Maine Drinking Water Program, and both the local selectmen and planning board.
  • Also led the legal team on the development of another spring water and loadout facility for Poland Spring in Lincoln, Maine.  This project likewise involved negotiating a long-term lease, as well as permitting by the Maine Drinking Water Program, the Maine Public Utilities Commission, and the local planning board.
  • Advised St. Joseph's College in Standish, Maine, on obtaining special exception approval to expand its campus with development of the Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation, a project that will combine agricultural development with state of the art education and technology to enhance sustainable regional farming markets.
  • Assisting a developer with the renovation of a shopping center in Brunswick, Maine, including the siting of a new supermarket anchor for the facility.
  • Drafted for the Maine Real Estate and Development Association a revision to Maine's Site Location of Development Act to exempt small additions to existing facilities from permitting.

Representative Experience

  • Led the legal team for local permitting on Central Maine Power Company's Maine Power Reliability Program, a $1.4 billion project across approximately 75 municipalities to ensure the reliability and safety of its high voltage transmission system