Robert S. Melvin

Partner

  • Overview

    Biography

    Bob Melvin has over 20 years of experience counseling clients on environmental, health, and safety compliance, sustainability, emergency response efforts, site remediation, and development projects. He also represents companies and organizations in related real estate and corporate transactions, and in proceedings before agencies and courts. A wide range of clients benefit from his services, including aerospace and other manufacturers, stone and aggregate producers, metal finishers, municipalities, educational institutions, and water and wastewater utilities.

    Sustainability and Environmental, Health and Safety (EH+S) Regulatory

    Mr. Melvin’s broad “EH+S” experience helps manufacturers and other businesses, institutions, and utilities address the range of regulatory demands they face, such as the following federal programs and their state counterparts: 

    •    Worker safety standards enforced under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Mine Safety and Health Act
    •    Clean Water Act permitting of wastewater and stormwater discharges
    •    Clean Air Act emissions regulation
    •    Hazardous waste management and underground storage tank requirements under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
    •    Spill and chemical reporting and release prevention under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, Oil Pollution Act, and Clean Water Act
    •    Regulation of chemical manufacturing and distribution under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
    •    Environmental disclosures under Regulation S-K of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)  and corporate reporting of environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters to the public and interested investors

    Mr. Melvin’s studies in chemical engineering and prior experience as an environmental engineer at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) help him appreciate the mix of legal and technical issues affecting his clients' matters. Recognizing the growing and evolving scope of EH+S concerns, Mr. Melvin helped create and now co-chairs the firm’s Sustainability Group. This interdisciplinary team provides the firm and our clients with the coordination and experience required to successfully identify and implement sustainable strategies for minimizing the impacts of their operations and products. Mr. Melvin has also held positions on the University of Connecticut’s Environmental Policy Advisory Council and a DEEP “lean” task force formed to help the agency streamline its adjudication process.

    Site Remediation and Development

    Mr. Melvin helps clients and their technical consultants navigate through the obstacles that can delay or burden site cleanups and restorations, brownfield redevelopment efforts, infrastructure and other construction projects, solar/wind energy generation installations, and water supply and distribution projects. His guidance and representation allows clients and their project teams overcome the inevitable mix of legal, technical and financial challenges they face, such as:

    •    Securing financial and technical assistance available to owners and their communities seeking to redevelop brownfield properties or complete clean energy and conservation projects
    •    Establishing cleanup criteria, institutional controls, financial assurance mechanisms, and other measures required under CERCLA and RCRA
    •    Developing strategies to meet TSCA remediation and disposal standards for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and authorization to use encapsulation and similar abatement methods for PCBs, asbestos, and other building materials
    •    Completing the analysis and application proceedings required for projects’ regulatory requirements, including wetlands and other EH+S permitting
    •    Scoping and completing impact assessments and reviews required under the National Environmental Policy Act
    •    Completing surveys and identifying mitigation plans addressing Endangered Species Act concerns

    Mr. Melvin has served on several business-government partnerships to develop better environmental policies and standards. He worked on the Connecticut task force that reviewed the state's first rules for site remediation. Mr. Melvin continues to work closely with business, agency, and elected officials on brownfield redevelopment and conservation projects.

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

      • Represented diversified public corporation undertaking redevelopment projects on several of its business units' campuses, including counsel on related legislation and tax incentives and representation in the environmental and land use permit proceedings required to construct and renovate buildings pursuant to a master plan for creating educational, housing, entertainment, retail, and employment opportunities in a mixed-use development district.

      • Represented a Fortune 500 company in connection with the due diligence, permitting, remediation, and construction of a $280 million pharmaceutical facility on a waterfront and coastal brownfield.

      • Represented a municipal water pollution control authority (WPCA) in claims against a centralized waste treatment facility for unpermitted discharges and unpaid sewer use charges. Led the firm's investigation of the matter, then counseled the client on sewer use charge issues and the adoption of regulations and permit program elements restricting these indirect discharges. Worked on multidisciplinary team that represented the WPCA through permit and rate proceedings, related litigation and collection efforts, and a global settlement between the WPCA and the industrial user.
      • As a component of Robinson & Cole's Preferred Environmental Counsel position with United Technologies Corporation, Bob Melvin, Earl Phillips, and other senior attorneys in the firm's Environmental Practice Group manage a portfolio of matters involving Superfund; Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA); cost recovery; and other site remediation claims. These cases involve both active and discontinued manufacturing facilities, as well as landfills and similar disposal facilities. To provide UTC with enhanced management of legal fees, we developed an alternative fee arrangement with fixed monthly payments for each of UTC's business units to create incentives for fee reductions and eliminate the variability associated with hourly fees. Our work at many of these sites extends into real estate, brownfield, and other efforts to redevelop former manufacturing sites into appropriate new uses.
      • To support our client's efforts to redevelop portions of a manufacturing and office campus in West Palm Beach, Florida, Robinson & Cole works as part of a team comprising in-house and local counsel, surveyors, and technical consultants on a complex set of legal and transactional concerns, including real estate leasing and sales, environmental, utility, endangered and protected species, and municipal matters. Our services have involved the creation and use of a Community Development District by owners and tenants of the redeveloped property, as well as transactions and regulatory proceedings with Palm Beach County and the State of Florida.
        1. Represented large high-technology manufacturer and after-market service provider in the negotiation and related legal support required to design and permit several connected "sustainable campus" projects at its headquarters, including multimillion-dollar wastewater treatment and reuse upgrades eliminating NPDES-permitted discharges, installation of a combined heat and power cogeneration facility, and related infrastructure changes.
      • Representation of a world leader involved in designing, manufacturing, and servicing aircraft engines, space propulsion systems, and industrial gas turbines for legal work concerning waste management, wastewater discharge, air emission, site cleanup, and other environmental and real estate issues regarding redevelopment of major campuses in California and Connecticut.

      • Assisted redeveloper with environmental investigation and remediation issues arising in the development of a corporate complex in South Norwalk, Connecticut.

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    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Environmental Law for 2010 and since 2013 and in Litigation - Environmental since 2011

      Listed in Connecticut Super Lawyers® in the area of Environmental Law for 2006, 2007, and 2010 to 2016 (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.)

      Ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business in the state of Connecticut in the area of Environment for 2009

  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      "Ruling Paves Way for Clean Water Act Litigation," published in Connecticut Law Tribune, co-authored with Emilee Mooney Scott (4/9/2012)

      "Connecticut Regulatory Updates," published in New England's Environment, co-authored with Todd R. Berman (quarterly)
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      "Painful Prescription Inhibits Industry Innovation: Another View on Industrial Recycling Under RCRA," published in Environmental Law Institute, www.eli.org (Jan/Feb 2002)

      Brownfields Law and Practice Connecticut chapter and updated biannually (2001)
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      "Connecticut Environmental Regulatory Developments," published in Connecticut Environmental Forum
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    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "EPA & DEEP Morphing, Citizens & NGOs Rising: Updating Your Compliance Program in the New Regulatory World," co-presented with Todd R. Berman and Brian C. Freeman, at the CBIA 2017 Energy & Environment Conference in Farmington, Connecticut (6/16/2017)
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      "Regulatory Trends and Outlook for 2017," presented at Presentation to the Connecticut Environmental Forum (CEF), co-presented with Todd R. Berman, Emilee Mooney Scott and Brian C. Freeman, 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 Brian C. Freeman, Todd R. Berman, Emilee Mooney Scott and Earl W. Phillips Jr. (1/18/2017)
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      "Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) and Real Estate Issues Facing Manufacturers," co-presented with Sorell E. Negro, at the National Business Institute (NBI) webinar "Manufacturing Law" (12/15/2016)
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      "Understanding the Legal and Regulatory Dimensions: The laws and regulations that affect ownership, liability, remediation, and land use," at Rebuilding Our Cities & Towns: Planning for the Redevelopment of Environmentally Impaired Properties Workshop, Berlin, CT, co-presented with Earl W. Phillips Jr. and Kirstin M. Etela (Spring 2006)

      "Connecticut's Nitrogen TMDL and Credit Exchange Program," at Association of Metropolitan Sewer Agencies, (3/2003) presented at New York City Bar Association and Connecticut Bar Association (6/2003)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • June 20, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Participates in CBIA Energy & Environmental Conference

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      • June 2, 2017

        Environmental + Utilities Group Members Volunteer to Keep Bushnell Park Beautiful

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      • February 7, 2017

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

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      • January 17, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Participate in NBI Manufacturing Law Webinar

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      • June 11, 2014

        Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Recognizes Robinson+Cole for Sponsoring Home Run for Heroes

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      • April 23, 2012

        Environmental and Utilities Lawyers Write About Supreme Court Decision on Clean Water Act

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      R+C News Releases

      • August 15, 2017

        Fifty-Nine Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018

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      • October 18, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • August 15, 2016

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

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      • February 1, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Forms Sustainability Cross-Practice Team

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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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      • June 21, 2013

        Local Organizations Recognize Robinson & Cole’s Pro Bono Service

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      • October 22, 2012

        Super Lawyers® Names 49 Robinson & Cole Attorneys to 2012 List and Recognizes 26 as Rising Stars

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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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    • Newsletters

      Newsletters

      EPA Launches eDisclosure Portal and Modifies FOIA Presumption, co-authored with Earl W. Phillips Jr., Megan E. Baroni and Jonathan H. Schaefer (Dec 2015)