Peter Lacouture, who has over four decades of experience practicing law, frequently represents clients in the siting and permitting of large infrastructure projects. He also assists clients with other public utility, zoning, environmental, and land use cases in Rhode Island. Mr. Lacouture is a member of the firm’s Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group.
Infrastructure and Facilities Siting and Permitting
Mr. Lacouture assists utility clients with obtaining the necessary permits and approvals for electricity and gas-related energy projects, such as high voltage transmission lines and substations. He regularly appears before state and local agencies, including the Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board, the Public Utilities Commission, the Department of Environmental Management, Coastal Resources Management Council, and municipal zoning and planning boards. He has argued numerous cases before the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Mr. Lacouture also assists clients in other industries with securing all required zoning and environmental approvals for their developments in Rhode Island. Mr. Lacouture has negotiated cultural resource agreements between energy project developers and Native American tribes.
Pro Bono and Public Service
Mr. Lacouture served as editor of Recent Developments (formerly the Annual Report) of the American Bar Association's Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section for 12 years. He will serve as chair of the Section from August 2017 through August 2018.
Mr. Lacouture has been involved in many pro bono activities, which often intertwine with his public service and charitable endeavors. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Rhode Island Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and he also has done pro bono work for TNC. He helped incorporate and obtain tax-exempt status for a number of non-profit corporations, including the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society, the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association, and the Exeter Historical Association. He represented a group of parents and students in an action against their local school district over funding. Mr. Lacouture, an active volunteer firefighter, deputy chief, and President of Exeter Volunteer Fire Company No. 2, provided pro bono legal assistance by drafting the charter for the Exeter Fire District and served for eight years as chair of the District.