Brian C. Freeman

Senior Associate

  • Overview

    Biography

    Brian Freeman focuses his practice on environmental compliance counseling, permitting, site remediation, and related litigation regarding federal and state regulatory programs. Areas of particular focus include air quality, climate change, and waste management/recycling issues. He has worked with a variety of clients, ranging from Fortune 100 conglomerates to individual entrepreneurs, and across a broad spectrum of industries, including aerospace manufacturing, electricity generation, composting and organics management, pharmaceutical, petroleum, and specialty chemicals. His experience includes a several-month assignment working in the legal department of a major industrial client, where he handled a full array of environmental, health, and safety matters.

    Air Quality

    Mr. Freeman has experience across the breadth of federal and state air programs in varied contexts, including permitting, day-to-day and strategic compliance counseling, facility purchase/sale, private-party claims, and civil and criminal enforcement.  Specific areas of experience include: pre-construction permitting of major and minor new sources and modifications; Title V operating permits; federal and state hazardous air pollutant programs; New Source Performance Standards (NSPS); Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) requirements for facilities and consumer products; management of refrigerants and other Ozone-Depleting Substances; Risk Management Programs under the Clean Air Act §112(r); and federal emission standards for nonroad engines. His air experience also includes less conventional issues such as odor, noise, and open burning.

    As an active member of the State Implementation Plan Revision Advisory Committee (SIPRAC), he has worked with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to develop, implement, and amend numerous air programs in that state.

    Climate Change

    Mr. Freeman has long worked with clients in navigating the emerging and uncertain world of climate change. He has worked with clients in a variety of industries in assessing the impact of state, federal and international climate change policy and programs, and developing related strategy, advocacy, and compliance programs. His climate change experience includes both regulatory efforts to address climate change through pre-existing air permit and other programs, and development of entirely new approaches among industry, non-governmental organizations, and regulators.

    Environmental Remediation

    Another significant part of Mr. Freeman’s experience concerns environmental clean-ups. He has particular experience in complex multi-party Superfund sites, as well as petroleum release sites and underground storage tank (UST) regulation. He has worked with clients in emergency responses to new releases, enforcement actions by state and federal authorities, and claims and lawsuits by impacted drinking water well owners. For several years he has also counseled a client on a multi-faceted hazardous waste cleanup and site redevelopment at a large historic manufacturing facility under the federal Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) program.

    Waste Management/Recycling

    Mr. Freeman has worked with numerous composting and other organics waste management facilities in achieving permitting, compliance and transaction objectives. He also has served as outside counsel to the U.S. Composting Council (USCC), where he was instrumental in developing the certification programs underlying the “compostable” logo found on many consumer plastic products today, and the “Seal of Testing Assurance” logo for compost products.

    Mr. Freeman is listed among Connecticut Super Lawyers® in the area of Environmental Law (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.), and he has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Environmental Law since 2006, and in the area of Litigation - Environmental since 2013 (Copyright 2016 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC). Before joining the firm, Mr. Freeman clerked for Judge Albert J. Engel, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

        Air Quality

      • Defended and settled a significant enforcement action brought by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice against a major pharmaceutical company regarding alleged violations of hazardous air pollutant emission standards under the Clean Air Act, resulting in over 40 percent reduction in penalties and settlement of all potential prior violations.

      • Counsels numerous clients in a variety of industries (including aerospace, pharmaceuticals, petroleum, specialty chemicals, and food processing) regarding air regulatory matters in Connecticut and other states.

      • Represented large pharmaceutical research and development facility in responding to EPA information request and related detailed emissions inventorying and reporting demand under Clean Air Act section 114. Worked closely with client technical staff to address related potential compliance issues, to develop a more focused and feasible alternative approach, and to secure resolution of the matter without enforcement action.

      • Other Experiences

      • Developed analyses and tools to assist multiple Fortune 500 companies in determining applicability and relevant requirements of complex New Source Performance Standards and National Emissions Standards for hazardous air pollutants for a broad array of emission sources at facilities nationwide. 

      • Air Quality

      • Worked closely with technical and legal staff at EPA headquarters to secure exemptions for several construction equipment manufacturer clients from limits and transition deadlines under EPA's Tier 4 nonroad engine emission standards.

      • Defended and settled enforcement action against a plastics manufacturer by EPA and U.S. Department of Justice, alleging violation of New Source Review and Title V permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act. Worked with client in implementing and successfully closing out Consent Decree.

      • Have assisted several complex industrial facilities in negotiating Title V operating permits, developing related compliance assurance systems, addressing enforcement issues, and repositioning to avoid Title V applicability.

      • Environmental Remediation

      • Represent clients in a complex urban river Superfund site and related state court litigation involving several hundred private and public-sector parties. Have served on the PRP Group Steering Committee and Interim Allocation Committee.

      • Represented a petroleum industry client throughout a several-year response to a significant release. Efforts ranged from initial emergency response, negotiation of remediation agreements with impacted abutters and settlement of damage claims, and regulatory approval of remediation closure. Successfully resolved several complex issues to secure the maximum allowable coverage for the client’s seven-figure response costs from state underground storage tank cleanup fund.

      • Represented a major Potentially Responsible Party (PRP) at a Florida Superfund site. On behalf of a "large generator" PRP group,  served as the lead negotiator with EPA and several dozen other PRPs, and negotiated a favorable, swift, and efficient settlement of EPA response costs claims.

      • Successfully secured regulatory approvals of complex multilateral agreement among bankrupt former site owner, prospective purchaser, and remediation consultant to provide for transfer, remediation, remediation financing, and continued operation of two dozen environmentally impacted sites.

      • Served as the chair of the Executive Committee of a large PRP group at a Midwest Superfund site. Restored the group’s operating ability after unexpected loss of its outside counsel. Led effort to initiate technical review of current remediation program effectiveness. Coordinated implementation of enhanced remediation to speed site closure, negotiation of amendment to group's Administrative Consent Order with EPA, and group cash calls and buyouts.

      • Waste Management/ Recycling

      • Assisted national composting trade association in developing certification and logo programs for compostable plastics and compost quality testing.

      • Represented a large-scale commercial composting facility to resolve compliance issues with a state agency without formal enforcement and penalties. Assisted the client in obtaining related permit modifications, as well as authorization for a significant facility expansion.

      • Represented an organics management company as part of a facilities acquisition team for composting companies seeking operations in the Northeast and Southwest. Advised client on potential environmental regulatory issues and risk management strategies for preexisting site conditions, including one facility located within a federal Superfund site.

      • Compliance

      • Have represented numerous clients in voluntarily disclosing self-discovered compliance issues to EPA and/or state environmental agencies. All matters have been resolved without further enforcement action or penalties. Worked with clients and outside technical consultants to address issues and develop compliance management systems to prevent recurrence.

      • Served on extended assignment in the legal department of a Fortune 100 client. Worked directly with client management and personnel in refuting a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) enforcement action and resolving it without formal order or penalty, developing internal tracking and reporting system for regulated materials, voluntarily reporting noncompliance matters identified in an internal audit and resolving matters without enforcement action, and counseling regarding a variety of environmental, health, and safety issues at the client’s facilities across the United States.

      • Provided legal support and review for major pharmaceutical client in conducting voluntary self-audits of environmental, safety, and health compliance systems at facilities across the country.

      • Led the development of a comprehensive deskbook of legal issues for heating oil industry managers, and authored and edited chapters on environmental, transportation, employment, acquisition, and divestiture issues.

      • Other Experiences

      • Represented a large manufacturing client to develop and advance arguments for EPA deferral to the development of international standards for greenhouse gas emissions from certain source categories. Worked with the client’s technical, marketing, and legal personnel to develop an in-depth white paper on relevant U.S. and international law, governmental authorities, and nongovernmental organizations, as well as a strategy document setting out potential options, venues, and pressure points.

      • Climate Change

      • Represented trade association in stakeholder discussions concerning state climate change policy development and in various regulatory and legislative efforts concerning environmental matters.

      • Represent proposed power generation facility in developing a beyond compliance greenhouse gas reduction program in support of state reduction goals.

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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      Connecticut Business & Industry Association
      Energy & Environment Council - Steering Committee and Co-chair of Air Task Force (2009 - 2015)
      Air Task Force (1990 - present)

      Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
      State Implementation Plan Regulatory Advisory Committee (SIPRAC) (1993 - present)

      Connecticut Bar Association
      Environmental Law Section (1990 - present)

      Air & Waste Management Association (1998 - present)

      US Composting Council (1995 - present)
      Co-chair of Government Committee (1997 - 1999)

      Clean Air Act Information Network (2000 - 2010)
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Listed in Connecticut Super Lawyers® in the area of Environmental Law for 2006 to 2008, 2010, and 2013 to 2016 (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.)

      Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Environmental Law since 2006 and Litigation - Environmental since 2013 (Copyright 2016 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC)

  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      "EPA Turns Up the Heat on Refrigerant Regulation," published in Robinson & Cole Legal Update (October 2016)
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      "EPA Proposes Significant Expansions of Its Risk Management/Accidental Release Prevention Program," (March 2016)
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      "U.S. EPA Proposes Methane Limits for Oil and Gas Industry," (August 2015)
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      "Sediment Update: A Summary of the Procedural Status of a Collection of Sites," published in Environmental Litigation, co-authored with Megan E. Baroni and Mark Myers and Drew Pearsall, lawyers from the Seattle, Washington, office of Williams Kastner (Summer 2015)
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      "Unseen risks: New EPA vapor intrusion guide for leaking petroleum underground storage tank sites," (July 2015)

      "Major Expansion of EPA Rules for Underground Storage Tanks," (July 2015)
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      "Expanded Significant Environmental Hazard Requirements For Connecticut Site Owners: Changes, Pitfalls, and Impacts," (July 2015)

      "When Bad Things Happen at Good Facilities (Hazardous Air Pollutant Edition)," (February 2015)

      "EPA Proposal Raises Concerns About Electricity Supply," published in Connecticut Law Tribune, co-authored with Alexander W. Judd (November 2014)

      "Food Waste Recycling," published in Connecticut Green Guide, a special publication of the Hartford Business Journal (Spring 2014 )

      "EPA's Endangerment Finding for Greenhouse Gases Clears Way to Regulation," co-authored with Kirstin M. Etela, published in Robinson & Cole's Environmental and Utilities Legal Update (12/2009)

      "Climate Change: Law and Economics of Cap-and-Trade (chapter in LEXIS/NEXIS Global Climate Change Series)," published in LexisNexis Global Climate Change Special Pamphlet Series, co-authored with Earl W. Phillips Jr. and Kirstin M. Etela (1/2010)
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      "EPA Adopts Final Rules for First-Ever Nationwide Greenhouse Gas Reporting," published in Robinson & Cole's Environmental and Utilities Legal Update (9/2009)

      "A Bonus for Building Energy Efficiency Projects," published in Connecticut Law Tribune, co-authored with Kristin Etela (7/13/2009)

      "EPA Proposes Rules for Mandatory Nationwide Reporting of Greenhouse Gas," co-authored with Kirsten Etela, published in Robinson & Cole's Environmental and Utilities Legal Update (3/13/2009)

      "Another RICE Crop: EPA Proposes Additional Rules for Stationary Reciprocating," co-authored with Kirsten Etela, published in Robinson & Cole's Environmental and Utilities Legal Update (3/12/2009)

      "Climate Change Begets Legal Change," published in Connecticut Law Tribune, co-authored with Kirstin Etela and Jonathan Blaine (4/2008)

      "Developments in Individual Liability," published in 2002 Year in Review, a publication of the American Bar Association's Section on Energy, Environment, and Resources (2002)

      "Individual Civil Liability of Corporate Officers and Other Individuals for Environmental Issues: The Net Expands," published in Environmental Counselor, co-authored with Pamela Elkow (5/15/2002)

    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "Regulatory Trends and Outlook for 2017," presented at Presentation to the Connecticut Environmental Forum (CEF), co-presented with Todd R. Berman, Robert S. Melvin and Emilee Mooney Scott, Presented to the Connecticut Environmental Forum (CEF), Wethersfield, CT (2/1/2017)
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      "Environmental Regulatory Trends and Outlook for 2017: What You Need To Know," presented at R+C Environmental & Utilities Practice Group webinar/seminar, co-presented with Robert S. Melvin, Todd R. Berman, Emilee Mooney Scott and Earl W. Phillips Jr. (1/18/2017)
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      "Environmental and Compliance Trends for 2017: Practical Strategies for Staying Ahead of Regulatory Changes," presented at BLR webinar, co-presented with Todd R. Berman and Emilee Mooney Scott, webinar (11/30/2016)
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      "Environmental Compliance in 2016: Six Areas of Emerging Risk," at Connecticut Business & Industry Assoc. - Energy & Environment Council annual conference, co-presented with Jason Masi/Boehringer Ingelheim, Joel Resig/PSEG, Wojciech Krach/Kaman (6/16/2016)
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      "Air Quality Programs in Connecticut: What’s New, What’s Coming," at Connecticut Business & Industry Assoc. - Energy & Environment Council annual conference (6/19/2015)
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      "Environmental audits and self-disclosure," at Connecticut Business & Industry Assoc. - Energy & Environment Council annual conference (6/19/2015)
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      "Air Quality Programs in Connecticut: What’s New, What’s Coming," at Connecticut Business & Industry Assoc. - Energy & Environment Council annual conference (6/6/2014)

      "Air Quality Programs in Connecticut: What’s New, What’s Coming," at Connecticut Business & Industry Assoc. - Energy & Environment Council annual conference (6/14/2013)

      "Navigating the Post-Tank Fund World," at MA-CT-RI independent petroleum dealers annual (9/25/2012)

      "CSAPR Gets Zapped, and What Next for Tackling Transported Air Pollution," at SIPRAC meeting/CTDEEP (State Implementation Plan Public Advisory Committee)

      "Greenhouse Gases in the Spotlight: Reporting, Permitting, and Litigation," at Webinar produced by the National Constitution Center, Malvern, Pennsylvania (2/3/2011)

      "Greenhouse Gas Reporting: Lessons Learned and Changes to Consider," at Environmental Law Institute Webinar, Washington, D.C., Moderator (10/28/2010)

      "First Step into a New Land: EPA’s GHG Reporting Rule," at Air & Waste Management Association, Northeast Chapter Conference (11/6/2009)
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      "Climate Change and Energy Update," at Robinson & Cole conference for in-house counsel and senior management, Newport, Rhode Island, co-presented with Kirstin Etela and Joey Lee Miranda (10/9/2009)
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      "Air Compliance and Permitting Trends," at Connecticut Business & Industry Association, Environment 2009, Waterbury, Connecticut (6/10/2009)

      "New RICE Crop: Proposed Further NESHAP Expansion for Reciprocting Internal Combusion Engines," at Connecticut Business & Industry Association, Environmental Policies Council (5/15/2009)
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      "First Step into a New Land: EPA’s Proposed GHG Reporting Rule," at Connecticut Business & Industry Association, Environmental Policies Council, co-presented with Kirsten Etela (4/17/2009)

      "Climate Change Update," at Robinson & Cole Environmental and Utilities Practice Group Briefing, co-presented with Kirsten Etela, Peter Knight, and Jon Blaine (11/19/2008)

      "Climate Change, Legal Change: A Guide to the Emerging World of Carbon Control," at Connecticut Business & Industry Association, Environment 2008, co-presented with Kirsten Etela, Esq. (6/3/2008)

      "Developments in Natural Resources Damages," at Robinson & Cole Environment and Public Utilities Group Briefing (3/19/2008)

      "Greenhouse Gas Policy and Regulation: Federal Developments and Select State Initiatives," at corporate client EH&S national conference, co-presented with Attorney Kirstin Etela (6/14/2007)

      "The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Challenges and Opportunities for Connecticut Businesses," at Soundwaters Coastal Education Center, Business & Environment Lecture Series, Stamford, Connecticut, co-presented with Attorney Kirstin Etela (6/14/2007)

      "New Source Review Update," at corporate client EH&S national conference (3/14/2007)

      "DEP Regulatory Update: Air, Waste & Water," at Connecticut Business & Industry Association's Health & Safety Conference & Expo (4/29/2003)

      "The New SPCC Rules: Enforcement Considerations," at Connecticut Business & Industry Association, SPCC Seminar (1/22/2003)

      "Advanced Environmental Law: The Clean Air Act, Inspections and Enforcement," at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute-Hartford Graduate Center and Southern Connecticut State University (2003 to 2005)

      "The New Road Map for Connecticut Air Permitting," at Connecticut Business & Industry Association, Air Permits Seminar (10/1/2002)

      "From Stratospheric to Street-Level: Developments in Federal Air Programs," at Clean Air Act Technical Conference, West Palm Beach, Florida (11/8/2000)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • February 7, 2017

        Environmental + Utilities Group Members Speak on 2017 Regulatory Outlook at CEF Forum

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      • December 1, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Environmental + Utilities Group Members Present on Compliance Trends for 2017

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      • June 9, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Co-sponsors Connecticut Green Circle Sustainability Awards

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      • June 6, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Sponsors George W. Crawford Black Bar Association's 2016 Annual Dinner

      • July 28, 2015

        Brian Freeman and Megan Baroni Co-author Article for Environmental Litigation

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      • November 26, 2014

        Hartford Lawyers Address Climate Change Regulations in Connecticut Law Tribune article

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      • March 25, 2014

        Hartford Lawyer Pens Article for HBJ's Connecticut Green Guide

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      • March 14, 2011

        New York Times Article on Greenhouse Gas Quotes Brian Freeman

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      • February 17, 2011

        Environmental Attorney Puts the Spotlight on Greenhouse Gas

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      • January 6, 2011

        Attorney Comments on Greenhouse Gas Developments

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      • November 9, 2010

        Environmental Attorney Examines Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations

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      • March 8, 2010

        Robinson & Cole Attorneys Author Chapter in Global Climate Change Special Pamphlet Series

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      R+C News Releases

      • August 15, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017

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      • October 19, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • August 18, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016

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      • October 17, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers

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      • August 19, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • August 16, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • August 28, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • September 12, 2011

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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