Since the inception of our environmental practice in 1970, Pierce Atwood's environmental attorneys have worked with businesses, individuals, and government regulators to shape, understand, and navigate the developing regulatory landscape. Our Environmental Practice Group lawyers are adept at strategic thinking to formulate solutions that reduce costs while ensuring legal compliance and environmental protection.  As members of project teams, our environmental attorneys offer an intimate knowledge of state and federal environmental processes, including access to key government personnel at all levels, based on relationships developed over several decades. 

Our Environmental Practice Group lawyers focus on individual areas of environmental law such as air, water, wetlands, solid waste, hazardous waste, contaminated property, and development permitting. As a result, our law firm offers exceptional breadth and depth of practice, allowing us to match specific experience with clients' particular needs.  Our Environmental attorneys also work closely with members of our Admiralty & Maritime, Energy, Government Relations, Land Use, and Real Estate practice groups, as well as our Business and Tax groups to identify financial incentives to reduce compliance costs.

Check out our ENViromation Center, an online and mobile-friendly way to access a variety of checklists and resources for many of the different environmental laws and regulations in New England. See for yourself how these free smart tools can help get you through some of the toughest situations.

Areas of Expertise

Project Planning & Strategic Advice

We counsel clients beginning with initial identification of the issues and formulation of a permitting team and strategy, through agency negotiations and public administrative hearings and, if necessary, in administrative and judicial appeals.

Environmental Management & Audits

We assist clients in developing and implementing management systems to ensure that personnel are knowledgeable about environmental matters, seek continually to achieve compliance, and will respond properly in the event of any noncompliance.

We have developed a program of environmental audits for clients who desire a legal review of their operations and practices to determine compliance with federal and state laws.  This program includes procedures, checklists, information requests, and letters that are designed to allow us to efficiently review legal compliance and make recommendations.

If a regulatory agency initiates an enforcement action, we help clients obtain an efficient and effective resolution.

Waste Management

Everyday commercial and residential activity generates waste.  The management of this waste is highly regulated and often scrutinized by the public and third-party groups.  We routinely assist clients that manage waste, whether solid or hazardous, with facility permitting, compliance, and, when necessary, defense of their permits.

Representative Experience

Represented a boatyard with response to an information request from the EPA filed under the Clean Water Act regarding compliance with Maine Multi-Sector General Permit for Industrial Activities.

Boatyard in Response to EPA Information Request

Represent the largest egg farm in northern New England on all environmental issues at multiple farm sites.

Egg Farm Environmental Issue Spotting

Substantially assisted electronic waste company eWaste Recycling Solutions LLC with unique environmental and occupational safety and health matters. Work included resolving an enforcement matter, closure of two facilities and consolidation into one, permitting, and development of recyclable material processing and sampling plans.

Electronic Waste Company in Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health Matters

Represented ENPRO in acquiring Williston, VT commercial hazardous waste storage facility, and its expansion to 2,000 drum capacity and TSCA PCB waste storage, with a 10-year permit. Separately, arranged financial assurance for several hazardous waste storage facilities in New England.

ENPRO Acquisition of Hazardous Waste Storage Facility

Represented FMC’s Rockland, Maine manufacturing facility, the largest producer of carrageenan in North America, on environmental permitting, counseling, compliance, and strategic matters. Carrageenan is a natural colloid extracted from seaweed; it is used in many health care and food products, including toothpaste, pharmaceutical tablets, ice cream, bakery mixes, processed meat products, and beverages.

FMC Carrageenan Production

Represent the Maine Forest Products Council, the state's only trade association representing Maine timberland owners, forest products companies, and related suppliers, on environmental, land use, forestry, commercial, tax, and antitrust issues.

Forest Products Trade Association Environmental & Other Issues

We represent Fox Islands Wind LLC, the developer and operator of an innovative island community wind project, in all aspects of its business, including environmental permitting, real estate, litigation, corporate, and compliance matters.

Fox Islands Wind General Representation

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

Serve as lead PRP counsel and Chair of Steering Committee for over 100 participating PRPs at Plymouth, Maine NPL Superfund site; represent parties in Removal Order, RI/FS Order, Remedial Design AOC and ongoing Technical Impracticability Waiver effort; manage all site issues with EPA and state including PCB issues, Natural Resource Damage claims, post-remediation obligations and financial assurance.

PRP Counsel for Superfund NPL Site in Plymouth, ME

Represent several pulp and paper mills with compliance inspections under Maine’s Multi-Sector General Permit for industrial facility stormwater discharges.

Pulp and Paper Mills Stormwater Compliance Inspections

Regularly represent owners and operators (including former owners and operators) at federal and state RCRA Corrective Action sites, including sites with off-site VOC plumes; advise on all aspects of compliance and liability, including Corrective Action Orders and Licenses, negotiation of toxic tort settlements, land swaps, transfers of property to new owner/operator, Natural Resource Damage claims, and financial assurance. Sites have included Saco Defense and Maine Electronics, among others. Pierce Atwood attorneys have actively participated in the Maine DEP Corrective Action Improvements Initiative, beginning in 2017.

RCRA Corrective Action Sites

Represented Portland Pipe Line, a major oil terminal and pipeline company, in all aspects of its effort to reverse the flow of oil in its existing pipeline that traverses three states and part of a Canadian province.  This project included successful federal, state, and local permitting, and related counselling.

Reversal of Major Oil Pipeline

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

Despite best efforts, clients can run afoul of complicated federal, state, and local environmental laws. In the event of threatened or filed administrative, civil, and criminal actions, our attorneys defend claims of environmental violations to resolve matters in a quick and cost-effective manner. We have represented clients in defense of virtually every type of environmental claim, including alleged violations of air, hazardous waste, solid waste, wastewater, and stormwater laws and regulations. We also have represented clients in ancillary matters, including parallel federal and state investigations and penalty actions, contract debarment proceedings, toxic tort claims, natural resource damage claims, and personal criminal liability.

Representative Experience

Represented manufacturing company in administrative enforcement action brought by U.S. EPA alleging improper waste identification, waste management, lack of training, and improper storage of hazardous waste.

Defense of Hazardous Waste Enforcement Action

Represented a major water pollution control authority in negotiating a successful resolution to a significant enforcement action brought by the State DEP and Attorney General’s office alleging violations of Maine’s solid waste and water pollution control laws.  The resolution involved use of a Supplemental Environmental Project rather than a monetary penalty. 

Defense of Water Pollution Control Authority

Substantially assisted electronic waste company eWaste Recycling Solutions LLC with unique environmental and occupational safety and health matters. Work included resolving an enforcement matter, closure of two facilities and consolidation into one, permitting, and development of recyclable material processing and sampling plans.

Electronic Waste Company in Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health Matters

Environmental and land use policy decisions directly affect our clients.  Our attorneys understand the intricacies of both existing environmental and land use laws and the legislative process.   Whether seeking to advance a client's own bills or respond to bills proposed by others, we develop an overall strategy to achieve favorable legislative results.  This may involve counseling a client through the legislative process, actively working with legislators and legislative committees, and forming coalitions.  We also represent clients in rulemakings conducted at the national and state levels, including under the Superfund Law, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Federal Power Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and state air, natural resource, water, solid waste, land use, and superfund laws.

Representative Experience

Pierce Atwood was the only U.S. law firm included on the AECOM Water Team that received one of three large business contracts for a $1 billion USAID Water and Development IDIQ (indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity) project. The AECOM team assisted USAID in implementing its worldwide 2013-2018 Water and Development Strategy, aimed at improving access to clean water in developing countries, emphasizing how sustainable use of water is critical to saving lives, promoting sustainable development, and achieving humanitarian goals.

AECOM Water Team USAID Water and Development IDIQ Project

Represented approximately 25 Massachusetts municipalities on creation of a template for developing municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) plans for compliance with federal stormwater rules.

Development of Template for Municipal Stormwater Compliance

Represent the Maine Forest Products Council, the state's only trade association representing Maine timberland owners, forest products companies, and related suppliers, on environmental, land use, forestry, commercial, tax, and antitrust issues.

Forest Products Trade Association Environmental & Other Issues

Represented J.D. Irving in 2012-2013 in successful effort to amend Maine’s mining laws to allow metallic mineral mining in Maine.

J.D. Irving Metallic Mineral Mining Legislation

On behalf of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), we drafted a “Green Economy Law” for the Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning in Kazakhstan, which involved an assessment of Kazakhstan’s existing laws in a variety of sectors (including the Environmental Code, the Water Code, the Electricity Law, the Renewable Energy Law, the Tax Code and the Administrative Offences Code), as compared to international best practices for “green principles.” Pierce Atwood and its local lawyers in Astana and Almaty participated in meetings with stakeholders, and then proceeded to develop amendments to 22 laws and their related sub-acts. The final Green Economy Law will introduce green economy principles into Kazakhstan’s legislative framework, based on models taken from countries that are leaders in “green economy” best practices in environmental management, including water usage, waste disposal and management, air emissions, and energy efficiency.

Kazakhstan Transition to a Green Economy

Pierce Atwood represents Portland Pipe Line Corp. in litigation challenging an ordinance that prevents the use of its pipeline for transporting certain types of crude oil from Canada to tankers in Portland Harbor. The First Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in July 2019.

Portland Pipe Line Defense Against Efforts to Prevent Loading of Crude Oil

Represent MEREDA, Maine’s premier real estate development association, on all governmental relations issues, including issues affecting land use, environmental compliance and regulation, taxation, and economic development. In one example, Pierce Atwood assisted MEREDA with drafting and lobbying for the new 10,000 square foot exemption to the Site Location of Development Act.

Real Estate Development Organization on Government Relations Issues

Represented a coalition of industrial facilities during legislative and rulemaking processes beofre the Maine Board of Environmental Protection and in the Maine Legislature to substantially change how the state regulates greenhouse gas emissions.

State Greenhouse Gas Legislation and Rulemaking

Administrative Appeals

Projects requiring environmental permits are closely scrutinized by regulators and often by other interested parties. We represent our clients in all types of administrative and judicial appeals to both challenge and defend agency decisions. While the goal is always to achieve the desired result without litigation, our lawyers have the expertise and experience to advise clients during the agency process on ways to improve the odds of success on appeal, such as by building an adequate record during the permitting process and preserving legal arguments that pay dividends later in court.

Superfund & Environmental Cleanup

We advise private parties on Superfund liabilities (and how to avoid them, where possible), and have done so since Superfund was enacted in 1980. Over this period we have addressed, and continue to address, Superfund sites of all sizes on behalf of clients whose potential liability range from being one Potentially Responsible Party (PRP) at a multi-million dollar site to de minimis parties. In addition to counseling clients on strategies for limiting their liabilities, when necessary, we have actively litigated Superfund matters in New England and elsewhere.

Toxic Torts

Our environmental attorneys successfully team with members of our Litigation Practice Group to defend toxic tort claims. Our toxic tort claims work includes:

  • Defense of MtBE manufacturers: Represented major U.S. MtBE manufacturers in successfully defeating class certification and individual suits initiated by well owners alleging widespread MtBE contamination of groundwater. Represented the same parties on administrative claims, as well as statutory and common law actions in both state and federal court, including the First Circuit Court of Appeals, arising from alleged leaking underground storage facilities.
  • Defense of CERCLA and RCRA claims: Defend against allegations of air releases and groundwater contamination from various types of operating and formerly operating manufacturing facilities.  For example, represented a former owner of hazardous substance site against CERCLA cost recovery, RCRA claims, and common law toxic tort claims arising from state demands for remediation of coal tar at former manufactured gas plant site.
  • Defense of lead paint manufacturer: Represented Glidden successor Millennium Holdings in securing the reversal of a multi-billion dollar "public nuisance" verdict in Rhode Island.
  • Defense of mill: Represented pulp mill owner and operator in defense of cases brought by Baron & Budd alleging liability for a "cancer cluster" attributed by Plaintiffs' experts to solid waste, water, and air emissions from the mill and its landfill. Case settled on terms favorable to the mill owner and operator after depositions of Plaintiffs' experts
Representative Experience

The $1.5 billion Maine Power Reliability Program was the largest transmission project in Maine's history, with approximately 350 miles of new high voltage transmission line and five new substations. Pierce Atwood was instrumental in helping CMP assess the need for the project through the ISO-New England regional transmission planning process, overseeing the studies to develop the transmission solution for that need, preparing the non-transmission alternative assessment for the project, and obtaining all federal, state, and municipal environmental and land use permits for the project.

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$1.5 Billion CMP Maine Power Reliability Program

Represented Bath Iron Works in 2011 in successfully defending against appeals of dredge permits issued to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for dredging of the Kennebec River to allow the U.S.S. Spruance to sail from BIW’s Bath, Maine shipyard. Appeals were filed with the Maine Board of Environmental Protection and the U.S. District Court. Phippsburg Shellfish Conservation Comm’n v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, No. 2:11-cv-00259-JAW (D. Me. July 29, 2011).

Bath Iron Works Dredging and Dredge Disposal Permits

We represented Berwick Iron & Metal Recycling in obtaining and defending state and local permits for expansion of a metal recycling operation. In December 2013, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued a decision rejecting the appeals and upholding the town-issued permits, Duffy v. Town of Berwick, 2013 ME 105.

Berwick Iron Permits to Expand Metal Recycling Facility

Represented two boatyards to successfully respond to EPA 114 air compliance investigations and pursue air licensing strategies that avoided enforcement issues.

Boatyards in EPA Compliance Investigations

Represented Brookfield Renewable Power in matters concerning the Ripogenus and Penobscot Mills, including judicial appeals of FERC license orders. We obtained a favorable ruling in Conservation Law Foundation v. FERC, 216 F.3d 41 (D.C. Cir. 2000).

Brookfield Renewable Power in Ripogenus and Penobscot Mills Matters

Defense of alleged federal hazardous waste violations and defended clients in federal debarment proceedings.

Defense of Alleged Hazardous Waste Violations & Associated Debarment Proceedings

Defend against allegations of air releases and groundwater contamination from various types of currently-operating and former manufacturing facilities. For example, represented a former owner of hazardous substance site against CERCLA cost recovery, RCRA claims, and common law toxic tort claims arising from state demands for remediation of coal tar at former Manufactured Gas Plant Site.

Defense of CERCLA and RCRA Claims

Represented manufacturing company in administrative enforcement action brought by U.S. EPA alleging improper waste identification, waste management, lack of training, and improper storage of hazardous waste.

Defense of Hazardous Waste Enforcement Action

Defended individual against State of Maine criminal enforcement action for alleged illegal disposal and treatment of hazardous wastes.

Defense of Waste Disposal Criminal Action

Substantially assisted electronic waste company eWaste Recycling Solutions LLC with unique environmental and occupational safety and health matters. Work included resolving an enforcement matter, closure of two facilities and consolidation into one, permitting, and development of recyclable material processing and sampling plans.

Electronic Waste Company in Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health Matters

Pierce Atwood obtained a favorable outcome for our clients at the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Penobscot Nation v. Mills, the case brought by the Penobscot Indian Nation asserting control over the use and water quality of the Penobscot River in Maine. On June 30, 2017, by a 2-1 vote, the First Circuit panel affirmed the Maine U.S. District Court’s ruling that the tribe’s claims are barred by the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act. The First Circuit majority also rejected the tribe’s claim that the state has interfered with the tribe’s sustenance fishing rights. Pierce Atwood represents a coalition of municipal and private wastewater discharge licensees on the Penobscot River.

Favorable Ruling in Penobscot Nation v. Mills at First Circuit Court of Appeals

Defended former owner of facility against state court action involving cost-recovery claims, toxic tort claims, and diminution in value claims, alleging damages running to millions of dollars.

Manufactured Gas Plant Cost-Recovery Action

Successfully represented several large manufacturing facilities that underwent extensive PSD/NSR and Refrigerant (CFC, HCFC) compliance reviews by EPA. These reviews began with EPA information requests seeking large amount of information, in some cases dating back to the 1970s, with respect to virtually every capital project at the facilities and detailed review of compliance with Maine’s EPA-approved State Implementation Plan regulations and EPA’s New Source Performance Standards.

Manufacturing Facilities in Air Emissions Compliance

Represented Patriot Renewables before the Maine Board of Environmental Protection in successful defense of DEP permit issued for the 24 MW Canton Wind Project, and in the appeal of the DEP permit to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which upheld the DEP permit in an order issued on February 3, 2015.

Patriot Renewables Successful Defense of Maine DEP Permit

Pierce Atwood represents Portland Pipe Line Corp. in litigation challenging an ordinance that prevents the use of its pipeline for transporting certain types of crude oil from Canada to tankers in Portland Harbor. The First Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in July 2019.

Portland Pipe Line Defense Against Efforts to Prevent Loading of Crude Oil

Serve as lead PRP counsel and Chair of Steering Committee for over 100 participating PRPs at Plymouth, Maine NPL Superfund site; represent parties in Removal Order, RI/FS Order, Remedial Design AOC and ongoing Technical Impracticability Waiver effort; manage all site issues with EPA and state including PCB issues, Natural Resource Damage claims, post-remediation obligations and financial assurance.

PRP Counsel for Superfund NPL Site in Plymouth, ME

Regularly represent owners and operators (including former owners and operators) at federal and state RCRA Corrective Action sites, including sites with off-site VOC plumes; advise on all aspects of compliance and liability, including Corrective Action Orders and Licenses, negotiation of toxic tort settlements, land swaps, transfers of property to new owner/operator, Natural Resource Damage claims, and financial assurance. Sites have included Saco Defense and Maine Electronics, among others. Pierce Atwood attorneys have actively participated in the Maine DEP Corrective Action Improvements Initiative, beginning in 2017.

RCRA Corrective Action Sites

We assisted Sappi Paper in reaching a successful, economically viable resolution to the fish passage requirements at the Cumberland Mills Dam in Westbrook, Maine. After several years of administrative and court proceedings addressing the scope of required passage, Sappi opened its new Denil fish ladder at Cumberland Mills in May 2013, in time for the 2013 fish migration season.

Sappi Resolution to Fish Passage Requirements

We defended Grimmel Industries, L.L.C., owner of a scrap yard in Portsmouth, NH, against an administrative enforcement action brought by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for alleged violations of the federal stormwater requirements under the Multi-Sector General Permit for Industrial Activities. This matter involved negotiating a consent agreement and a substantial supplemental environmental project with The Nature Conservancy.

Settlement of U.S. EPA Stormwater Enforcement Action

Represented H.M. Payson in successfully defending against an appeal to the Town of Scarborough Board of Appeals and ultimately the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, filed by the Portland Museum of Art, challenging local permits for a single family residence adjacent to the Winslow Homer Studio on Prout’s Neck in Scarborough, Maine. Portland Museum of Art v. Town of Scarborough, No. Mem 12-133 (Me. Nov. 1, 2012).

Single Family Residence in Shoreland Zone

Represented abutting landowners in 2015-16 in successfully appealing to the Town of Eliot, Maine Board of Appeals Planning Board site plan and subdivision approvals for a 21-unit elderly housing subdivision development.

Successful Appeal of Subdivision Development

We successfully represented Berwick Iron & Metal Recycling in obtaining the necessary environmental and land use permits to allow construction and operation of an automobile shredder, the first large industrial metal shredder in the State of Maine. The permits included the necessary air emissions and waste facility processing permits from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and the necessary land use permits from the Town of Berwick Planning Board. We successfully defended the DEP permits before the Maine Board of Environmental Protection, and we successfully defended the Planning Board permits before the Maine courts. Read the full opinion denying the appeals of the Town permits: Duffy v. Town of Berwick, 2013 ME 105.

Successful Defense of Permits for Metal Recycling Facility

Represented multiple large clients at the Wells, Maine Waste Oil site as lead PRP counsel and Chair of Steering Committee in case with over several hundred participating PRPs. Nationally recognized innovative cash out settlement with state, involving property and liability transfers, insurance protections, and toxic tort protections. Continuing to represent the entity that completed the cleanup and manages the site post-closure, including addressing financial assurance matters.

Waste Oil Site

Represented a group of wastewater discharge licensees in Maine v. Johnson, 498 F.3d 37 (1st Cir. 2007), in which EPA had withheld NPDES permitting authority from the State of Maine for Tribal discharges, and had applied a case-by-case analysis for determining State authority over the non-Indian discharges. The First Circuit Court of Appeals held that Maine has authority under the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act to regulate all wastewater discharge facilities in the State, including those owned by Indian Tribes and those owned by non-Indians but discharging into disputed “Indian Territory.”

Wastewater Discharge Licensees in NPDES Permitting Matter

Represented Sappi before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in defending a challenge to the water quality certification issued by the Maine DEP for the FERC relicensing of the Eel Weir Project, at the outlet of Sebago Lake. See Watts v. Board of Environmental Protection, 2014 ME 91.

Water Quality Certification for Hydropower Project

Air Emissions & Wastewater
We routinely represent businesses with air emissions and wastewater discharge permitting.  This includes licensing new sources and helping existing facilities with license renewals or modifications associated with the integration of new technologies.  We also counsel numerous municipalities and municipal water and sewer districts on permitting issues.

Land Use Developments
We are experienced in the permitting of projects under state and federal air, water, natural resource, wetland, land use, and hazardous waste statutes.  Many members of our Environmental Practice Group also are members of our interdisciplinary Land Use Team.  These attorneys regularly work with clients to obtain all the municipal permits required for a project, including zoning, subdivision, site plan, wetland, and shoreland approvals. Visit our Land Use practice page for more information.

Renewable Energy Projects
We work with clients, whether utilities, private businesses, or developers, to bring their energy projects to life. When a project is still in the conceptual stage, our environmental attorneys partner with members of our Business, Energy, and Tax groups to help clients finance their energy projects. Successful completion of a project often requires understanding both the environmental laws and regulations and the political influences that affect how a project proceeds through the permitting process. In some cases, we work with clients to amend the law or local ordinances so their projects may proceed.

For projects previously developed and already operational, we assist clients with permit compliance and license renewals and modifications. For example, we have experience helping owners of hydropower projects address fish passage and endangered species issues, achieve desired results in complex stakeholder negotiations as part of FERC licensing, and obtain state water quality certifications. When a project's useful life comes to an end, we also assist with license surrender and decommissioning. Visit our Energy, Utilities, and Renewables page for more information.

Representative Experience

The $1.5 billion Maine Power Reliability Program was the largest transmission project in Maine's history, with approximately 350 miles of new high voltage transmission line and five new substations. Pierce Atwood was instrumental in helping CMP assess the need for the project through the ISO-New England regional transmission planning process, overseeing the studies to develop the transmission solution for that need, preparing the non-transmission alternative assessment for the project, and obtaining all federal, state, and municipal environmental and land use permits for the project.

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$1.5 Billion CMP Maine Power Reliability Program

Pierce Atwood attorney Gareth Orsmond played a leading role as part of a team that secured a waterways license for Cronin Holding’s 150 Seaport Boulevard project, a 250-foot tall, 22-story mixed use development in Boston’s Innovation District.  Gareth defended Cronin in multiple lawsuits brought by the Conservation Law Foundation and worked with former Massachusetts Governor William Weld to reach a settlement.  The project, built around an iconic building designed by Elkus Manfredi, will break ground in the spring of 2018 and will bring about significant public benefits, including 46 units of deeply subsidized senior housing and long-term funding to provide waterfront and Boston Harbor experiences to disadvantaged children from the City of Boston. 

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150 Seaport Boulevard Waterways License

Represented Maine Blueberry Commission in development of new pesticide application general permit for application adjacent to water bodies.

Agriculture Association in Pesticide Application Permit

We represented Berwick Iron & Metal Recycling in obtaining and defending state and local permits for expansion of a metal recycling operation. In December 2013, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued a decision rejecting the appeals and upholding the town-issued permits, Duffy v. Town of Berwick, 2013 ME 105.

Berwick Iron Permits to Expand Metal Recycling Facility

Represented Brookfield Renewable Power in matters concerning the Ripogenus and Penobscot Mills, including judicial appeals of FERC license orders. We obtained a favorable ruling in Conservation Law Foundation v. FERC, 216 F.3d 41 (D.C. Cir. 2000).

Brookfield Renewable Power in Ripogenus and Penobscot Mills Matters

Pierce Atwood acted as real estate and environmental permitting counsel for Calpine Corporation in its $530 million acquisition of the 809 MW Fore River Generating Station in North Weymouth, Massachusetts from Exelon Corporation in 2014. Pierce Atwood attorneys from the Real Estate, Energy, Environmental and State and Local Tax practice groups worked seamlessly to analyze and resolve the many complex land use, tax, and environmental issues. The initial bid preparation through purchase agreement negotiation was accomplished in 15 weeks. Our work included analysis and management of complex tidelands, former coal ash disposal, dual fuel delivery requirement, and management of active MassHighway bridge relocation through the center of project site.

Calpine Acquisition of Fore River Generating Station

Representing company in acquisition of brownfields real estate (site of former paper mill), water rights, fish egg import license, and all necessary land use and environmental permits and submerged land leases for construction and development of large land-based North Atlantic salmon farm on Penobscot Bay.

Development of World-Class Recirculating Aquaculture Farm

Responsible for handling all state permitting issues associated with Downeast LNG, LLC’s proposed development of a liquefied natural gas import terminal and pipeline in Robbinston, Maine, in 2005-2008.

Downeast LNG Terminal and Pipeline Permitting

Represented developer in expansion of existing mobile home park by approximately 80 lots in Kittery, Maine.  The project required a successful appeal pursuant to the mobile home park statute, 30 M.R.S. § 4358, which restricts the authority of municipalities to establish overly restrictive zoning to preclude development or expansion of mobile home parks. 

Expansion of Mobile Home Park

Represented Florida Power and Light on real estate title, easements, entitlements, and documentation, as well as the transfer of federal, state, and local environmental and land use approvals, in connection with the acquisition of the Seabrook, New Hampshire Nuclear Power facility.

Florida Power & Light Nuclear Power Plant Acquisition

Represented Sappi North America, Inc. in the negotiation and permitting of the surrender of the FERC license for the Saccarappa Hydro Project in Westbrook, Maine, in 2013-2019.

Hydropower Project Surrender of FERC License

Representation of GO Lab, a startup company helping to revitalize Maine’s forest products industry by repurposing a former paper mill to develop and manufacture environmentally responsible wood fiber insulation, in all aspects of the development of its business.

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Innovative Insulation Manufacturer

Advised Irving Woodlands, LLC on a concept plan rezoning before the Maine Land Use Planning Commission for about 51,000 acres in northern Maine, including a potential conservation easement of more than 16,700 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.

Irving Woodlands Concept Plan

Represented NEWSME Landfill Operations, LLC, the operator of the State-owned Juniper Ridge Landfill, in the successful federal, state and local licensing of a 9.35 million cubic yard horizontal expansion of this solid waste facility.  State and local approvals were obtained after contested adjudicatory proceedings.

Juniper Ridge Landfill Horizontal Expansion

Represented Bates College in 2015-2016 in obtaining municipal land use approvals for the construction of a replacement rowing team boat house on the Androscoggin River in Greene, Maine.  This work included defending an appeal of site plan approval to the Town of Greene Board of Appeals. 

Land Use Approvals for Bates Boat House

Represented Pine Tree Landfill in obtaining necessary permits for construction and operation of 5 MW landfill gas-to-energy facility.

Landfill Gas-to-Energy Facility Permits

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 Mercy Hospital in all real estate and transactional aspects, including financing, for the acquisition and development of a major new hospital campus project along the Fore River in Portland, Maine. This project required the assemblage of multiple parcels, negotiating easements and crossings with the Portland Terminal Company railroad, the negotiation with the City of Portland for a special contract zone to accommodate the development, negotiating with the State of Maine DOT for the construction of a new access road connecting I-295 and the riverfront, working with various community groups, such as Portland Trails, to reach a community consensus on the project and incorporating community issues into the project, working with the DEP on wetland remediation and natural wildlife concerns and clearing ancient claims of title and relocation of public roads.

Mercy Hospital Fore River Campus Permitting Matters

Assisted in cleanup, redevelopment, and permitting of a former paper mill on a 40-acre river site into a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Brewer, Maine, which is now constructing large-scale, high-tech building components for industrial facilities and shipping them via ocean barging. The firm addressed state and local environmental and land use permitting and real estate issues, including issues arising from historic contamination, negotiated numerous environmental and real estate concerns with interested parties, and facilitated the Voluntary Response Action Plan issued by the Maine DEP.

Module Manufacturing Facility at Brownfield Site

Representation of the Skating Club of Boston in the acquisition and development of a new, state-of-the-art, three-rink, 4,000-seat skating facility on University Avenue in Norwood, Massachusetts. We have assisted the Skating Club in all aspects of site acquisition, title matters (including clearing some old reciprocal easements for an office park that was never developed), zoning, wetlands and MEPA permitting, payment in lieu taxes agreements, and development agreements. We also represented the Skating Club in the sale of its existing facility at 1234 and 1240 Soldier’s Field Road in Boston.

New Facility for Skating Club of Boston

Represented NEWSME Landfill Operations, LLC, the operator of Maine’s largest state-owned landfill, in separate projects to license a 7 million cubic yard vertical increase in disposal capacity and to accept municipal solid waste for disposal. Both projects involved successful defenses of appeals to the Maine Board of Environmental Protection.

NEWSME Solid Waste Landfill Licensing

Represented paper mill to obtain all environmental permits necessary for substantial rebuild of a paper coating machine without imposition of additional burdensome license limits for new coaters.

Paper Mill Permits for Machine Rebuild

We represented Xpress Natural Gas (XNG) in expanding access to compressed natural gas throughout the State of Maine and elsewhere in New England. Pierce Atwood assisted XNG in obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals and environmental permits for compressed natural gas production facilities in Baileyville and Eliot, Maine. These facilities receive natural gas from major pipelines, condition and compress it, and then dispense it into tank trailers made of composite materials. The trailers are then trucked to customer locations throughout Maine and elsehwhere, where the CNG is used primarily as boiler fuel. These were the first facilities of their kind in New England, and allow consumers who are not presently served by a gas utility to take advantage of this abundant, clean burning, economic and domestically produced energy resource. Our attorneys successfully led XNG through the process of obtaining approvals from the Public Utilities Commission. We drafted and obtained a town zoning ordinance amendment and other local approvals, and successfully navigated permit or exemption issues before the Department of Environmental Protection, the Maine Fuel Board, and the State Fire Marshal. We were also successful in determining that the facility was not subject to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission jurisdiction.

Permitting for CNG Facilities

Assisted Charter Realty & Development in 2014 with City of Portland permitting needed to change the use of a restaurant to a Dunkin Donuts, with a drive-through window.

Permitting for Coffee Shop

Represented client in enforcement action brought by NHDES as a result of release of oil into the Piscataqua River in Newington, NH. 

Petroleum Storage Facility in NHDES Enforcement Action

Serve as lead PRP counsel and Chair of Steering Committee for over 100 participating PRPs at Plymouth, Maine NPL Superfund site; represent parties in Removal Order, RI/FS Order, Remedial Design AOC and ongoing Technical Impracticability Waiver effort; manage all site issues with EPA and state including PCB issues, Natural Resource Damage claims, post-remediation obligations and financial assurance.

PRP Counsel for Superfund NPL Site in Plymouth, ME

Represented several Maine pulp and paper facilities on MEPDES licensing renewals and modifications, including review of nutrient limitations and development of site-specific metals limitations.

Pulp and Paper Facilities Waste Discharge Licensing

Represented Portland Pipe Line, a major oil terminal and pipeline company, in all aspects of its effort to reverse the flow of oil in its existing pipeline that traverses three states and part of a Canadian province.  This project included successful federal, state, and local permitting, and related counselling.

Reversal of Major Oil Pipeline

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

We assisted Sappi with a $42.5 million project to rebuild a paper coater at its Westbrook Mill by obtaining all necessary environmental permits for the project.

Sappi North America Environmental Permits to Rebuild Paper Coater

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

Served as lead counsel on state and local licensing of a new 1,000 ton-per-day solid waste transfer station and construction and demolition debris processing facility approved after contested adjudicatory hearings before the Maine Board of Environmental Protection and City of Westbrook.

Solid Waste Transfer Station and Processing Facility Licensing

We represent Nestlé Waters North America/Poland Spring in Maine on all permitting matters for new spring sites in Rumford and Lincoln. This included obtaining state and federal land use and environmental approvals for water extraction and wetland impacts, acquiring land rights, and negotiating water supply agreements. Pierce Atwood also provides all real estate due diligence, and transaction work and governmental relations for NWNA/Poland Spring in Maine.

Spring Water Bottling Facilities Permitting

We successfully represented Berwick Iron & Metal Recycling in obtaining the necessary environmental and land use permits to allow construction and operation of an automobile shredder, the first large industrial metal shredder in the State of Maine. The permits included the necessary air emissions and waste facility processing permits from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and the necessary land use permits from the Town of Berwick Planning Board. We successfully defended the DEP permits before the Maine Board of Environmental Protection, and we successfully defended the Planning Board permits before the Maine courts. Read the full opinion denying the appeals of the Town permits: Duffy v. Town of Berwick, 2013 ME 105.

Successful Defense of Permits for Metal Recycling Facility

Represented 16-member performing party group at Superfund site in New Hampshire with various USEPA and NHDES compliance issues, including the planning, drafting, negotiation and execution of environmental covenants as part of a water line extension.

Superfund Group in USEPA & NHDES Compliance Issues

Represented the owner of a closed manufacturing facility landfill in Solon, Maine in the transfer of the Maine DEP closure order for the landfill, in 2010. 

Transfer of Closure Order for Landfill

Represented multiple large clients at the Wells, Maine Waste Oil site as lead PRP counsel and Chair of Steering Committee in case with over several hundred participating PRPs. Nationally recognized innovative cash out settlement with state, involving property and liability transfers, insurance protections, and toxic tort protections. Continuing to represent the entity that completed the cleanup and manages the site post-closure, including addressing financial assurance matters.

Waste Oil Site

Representation of real estate developer in connection with wetlands and Chapter 40B permitting of a 144-unit, age-restricted multifamily project in Abington, Massachusetts in close proximity to the Abington commuter rail station.

Wetlands & Chapter 40B Permitting of Multifamily Project

Massachusetts counsel for Yankee Atomic in decommissioning outdated nuclear plant, including restoration of integrated dam components after removal of nuclear plan foundations, arrangements for safe storage of fuel rods and preservation of roadway with capacity for future removal of fuel, site closure and post-closure monitoring plans.

Yankee Atomic Nuclear Plant Decommissioning

Contaminated or potentially contaminated properties present risks and opportunities.  We work with both buyers and sellers to identify and minimize the former and maximize the latter.  We have experience providing a range of services associated with contaminated property and brownfields redevelopment, including:

  • Analyzing and resolving liabilities among multiple parties
  • Conducting due diligence and all appropriate inquiry assessments
  • Drafting and negotiating environmental covenants
  • Managing consultants and cleanup
  • Recovering investigation and remedial expenses
  • Defending and resolving government claims for liability and windfall liens

Also, in Maine we have guided many clients through the VRAP program and successfully secured liability protections under state law. 

Finally, not all real estate and business deals involve contaminated property.  We regularly work with buyers and sellers to perform environmental due diligence and to coordinate the transfer of existing permits with federal and state regulatory agencies.

Representative Experience

Pierce Atwood acted as real estate and environmental permitting counsel for Calpine Corporation in its $530 million acquisition of the 809 MW Fore River Generating Station in North Weymouth, Massachusetts from Exelon Corporation in 2014. Pierce Atwood attorneys from the Real Estate, Energy, Environmental and State and Local Tax practice groups worked seamlessly to analyze and resolve the many complex land use, tax, and environmental issues. The initial bid preparation through purchase agreement negotiation was accomplished in 15 weeks. Our work included analysis and management of complex tidelands, former coal ash disposal, dual fuel delivery requirement, and management of active MassHighway bridge relocation through the center of project site.

Calpine Acquisition of Fore River Generating Station

Represented Casella Waste Systems in connection with the acquisition of waste hauling and handling company, Oceanside Rubbish, Inc., based in Sanford, Maine.

Casella Acquisition in Maine

Pierce Atwood represented Casella Waste Systems in the acquisition of Complete Disposal Company, Inc. and its subsidiary, United Material Management of Holyoke, Inc., owner and operator of a solid waste transfer station in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Casella Acquisition in Massachusetts

Represented Casella Waste Systems, Inc. in connection with the acquisition of waste hauling company Central Maine Disposal Corporation based in Fairfield, Maine.

Casella Acquisition of Central Maine Disposal

Representing company in acquisition of brownfields real estate (site of former paper mill), water rights, fish egg import license, and all necessary land use and environmental permits and submerged land leases for construction and development of large land-based North Atlantic salmon farm on Penobscot Bay.

Development of World-Class Recirculating Aquaculture Farm

Represented Expera Specialty Solutions, LLC, a portfolio company of KPS Capital Partners, LP, in its 2014 purchase of Maine's Old Town Fuel and Fiber paper mill and related assets. We obtained a DEP permit transfer order in 21 days.

Expera Specialty Solutions Acquisition of Maine's Old Town Mill

Represented Florida Power and Light on real estate title, easements, entitlements, and documentation, as well as the transfer of federal, state, and local environmental and land use approvals, in connection with the acquisition of the Seabrook, New Hampshire Nuclear Power facility.

Florida Power & Light Nuclear Power Plant Acquisition

Represented large land owner on environmental and land use issues associated with a long-term lease for a large wind power project in northern Maine.  This matter also involved significant coordination with our Real Estate Department. 

Long-Term Lease for Wind Power Project

Assisted in cleanup, redevelopment, and permitting of a former paper mill on a 40-acre river site into a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Brewer, Maine, which is now constructing large-scale, high-tech building components for industrial facilities and shipping them via ocean barging. The firm addressed state and local environmental and land use permitting and real estate issues, including issues arising from historic contamination, negotiated numerous environmental and real estate concerns with interested parties, and facilitated the Voluntary Response Action Plan issued by the Maine DEP.

Module Manufacturing Facility at Brownfield Site

We represented a major out-of-state developer in the due diligence, acquisition, remediation and redevelopment of idle and contaminated properties in Lewiston, Maine. This work included obtaining liability protection for the client under the State’s Voluntary Response Action Program and preparation of an environmental covenant. The site is now back in productive use as new retail store, gas station and car wash.

Redevelopment of Brownfield Grocery Store & Gas Station

We represent a major developer in the acquisition and redevelopment of an idle, contaminated former Maine DOT maintenance facility. This work has included obtaining liability protection for the client under the State’s Voluntary Response Action Program and preparation of an environmental covenant. The 10+ acre property is now redeveloped and the site of large office buildings employing hundreds of workers.

Redevelopment of Brownfield Maine DOT Site

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 Verso Paper with respect to the transfer of the Jay-Riley-Livermore and Otis Hydroelectric projects from Verso Androscoggin LLC to Verso Androscoggin Power LLC, including obtaining the necessary governmental approvals.

Verso Paper Transfer of Hydroelectric Projects

Representative Experience

The $1.5 billion Maine Power Reliability Program was the largest transmission project in Maine's history, with approximately 350 miles of new high voltage transmission line and five new substations. Pierce Atwood was instrumental in helping CMP assess the need for the project through the ISO-New England regional transmission planning process, overseeing the studies to develop the transmission solution for that need, preparing the non-transmission alternative assessment for the project, and obtaining all federal, state, and municipal environmental and land use permits for the project.

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$1.5 Billion CMP Maine Power Reliability Program

Pierce Atwood served as lead counsel to Casella Waste Systems in its $47 million acquisition of waste disposal assets in western Massachusetts and Albany, New York from publicly traded Republic Waste and its affiliates.

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$47 Million Acquisition of Waste Disposal Assets

Pierce Atwood attorney Gareth Orsmond played a leading role as part of a team that secured a waterways license for Cronin Holding’s 150 Seaport Boulevard project, a 250-foot tall, 22-story mixed use development in Boston’s Innovation District.  Gareth defended Cronin in multiple lawsuits brought by the Conservation Law Foundation and worked with former Massachusetts Governor William Weld to reach a settlement.  The project, built around an iconic building designed by Elkus Manfredi, will break ground in the spring of 2018 and will bring about significant public benefits, including 46 units of deeply subsidized senior housing and long-term funding to provide waterfront and Boston Harbor experiences to disadvantaged children from the City of Boston. 

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150 Seaport Boulevard Waterways License

Pierce Atwood was the only U.S. law firm included on the AECOM Water Team that received one of three large business contracts for a $1 billion USAID Water and Development IDIQ (indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity) project. The AECOM team assisted USAID in implementing its worldwide 2013-2018 Water and Development Strategy, aimed at improving access to clean water in developing countries, emphasizing how sustainable use of water is critical to saving lives, promoting sustainable development, and achieving humanitarian goals.

AECOM Water Team USAID Water and Development IDIQ Project

Represented Maine Blueberry Commission in development of new pesticide application general permit for application adjacent to water bodies.

Agriculture Association in Pesticide Application Permit

Represented Bath Iron Works in 2011 in successfully defending against appeals of dredge permits issued to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for dredging of the Kennebec River to allow the U.S.S. Spruance to sail from BIW’s Bath, Maine shipyard. Appeals were filed with the Maine Board of Environmental Protection and the U.S. District Court. Phippsburg Shellfish Conservation Comm’n v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, No. 2:11-cv-00259-JAW (D. Me. July 29, 2011).

Bath Iron Works Dredging and Dredge Disposal Permits

We represented Berwick Iron & Metal Recycling in obtaining and defending state and local permits for expansion of a metal recycling operation. In December 2013, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued a decision rejecting the appeals and upholding the town-issued permits, Duffy v. Town of Berwick, 2013 ME 105.

Berwick Iron Permits to Expand Metal Recycling Facility

Represented biomass facilities in regulatory challenge to allocation of REC credits in Rhode Island.

Biomass Facilities in Regulatory Challenge To Allocation of RECs in Rhode Island

Represented a boatyard with response to an information request from the EPA filed under the Clean Water Act regarding compliance with Maine Multi-Sector General Permit for Industrial Activities.

Boatyard in Response to EPA Information Request

Represented two boatyards to successfully respond to EPA 114 air compliance investigations and pursue air licensing strategies that avoided enforcement issues.

Boatyards in EPA Compliance Investigations

Represented Brookfield Renewable Power in matters concerning the Ripogenus and Penobscot Mills, including judicial appeals of FERC license orders. We obtained a favorable ruling in Conservation Law Foundation v. FERC, 216 F.3d 41 (D.C. Cir. 2000).

Brookfield Renewable Power in Ripogenus and Penobscot Mills Matters

We advised Burgess Biopower on all aspects of financing the redevelopment of a shuttered paper mill into a state-of-the-art 75 MW biomass power plant located in Berlin, New Hampshire, which will burn waste biomass and sell power to the grid. The financing involved several sources of funds, including $63.5 million of new markets tax credit financing with allocation from six CDEs. The project also involved a $90 million section 1603 cash grant in lieu of an investment tax credit or production tax credits. The balance of the project was financed by $200 million of rated bonds provided by a consortium of financial institutions. We also advised with respect to EPC agreement, off-take power purchase agreement with PSNH and all project related agreements.

Burgess Biopower New Hampshire Mill Redevelopment

Pierce Atwood acted as real estate and environmental permitting counsel for Calpine Corporation in its $530 million acquisition of the 809 MW Fore River Generating Station in North Weymouth, Massachusetts from Exelon Corporation in 2014. Pierce Atwood attorneys from the Real Estate, Energy, Environmental and State and Local Tax practice groups worked seamlessly to analyze and resolve the many complex land use, tax, and environmental issues. The initial bid preparation through purchase agreement negotiation was accomplished in 15 weeks. Our work included analysis and management of complex tidelands, former coal ash disposal, dual fuel delivery requirement, and management of active MassHighway bridge relocation through the center of project site.

Calpine Acquisition of Fore River Generating Station

Represented Casella Waste Systems in connection with the acquisition of waste hauling and handling company, Oceanside Rubbish, Inc., based in Sanford, Maine.

Casella Acquisition in Maine

Pierce Atwood represented Casella Waste Systems in the acquisition of Complete Disposal Company, Inc. and its subsidiary, United Material Management of Holyoke, Inc., owner and operator of a solid waste transfer station in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Casella Acquisition in Massachusetts

Represented Casella Waste Systems, Inc. in connection with the acquisition of waste hauling company Central Maine Disposal Corporation based in Fairfield, Maine.

Casella Acquisition of Central Maine Disposal