W. Richard Smith Jr.

Partner

  • Overview

    Biography

    Richard Smith is a partner in the firm's Environmental and Utilities Group, where his practice focuses on environmental and resource management law. He advises a wide variety of business, utility, and municipal clients regarding their environmental compliance and permitting strategies, risk management issues, crisis management, emergency response, and business continuity planning, resource development projects, and commercial transactions.

    Natural Resource Matters

    Mr. Smith has assisted both businesses and municipal clients in the development and permitting of public and private water supply systems under the state's diversion permit authority and the state water supply planning process. Other resource-sensitive projects managed by Mr. Smith include the construction and operation of coastal facilities. These projects typically require discharge permits under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (and its state law analog) and the approval of structures, dredging, and filling activities under the Coastal Zone Management Act and related statutory permit programs administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and state and local agencies. Mr. Smith is an advisor to the National Aquaculture Association Board and has assisted the association and aquaculture businesses in addressing a variety of industry issues related to state and federal aquaculture programs, including animal health and quarantine orders, compensation for product loss, biosecurity matters, and proposed regulations and legislation.

    Environmental Investigation and Remediation Projects

    Mr. Smith also counsels clients with respect to the evaluation, mitigation, and allocation of potential liability for environmental conditions and the remediation of contaminated property. He has conducted environmental due diligence investigations and risk management projects for more than 200 sites being considered for acquisition or lease. He has also counseled a state bond authority with respect to environmental permitting and compliance issues of borrowers in numerous transactions valued at a total of more than $600 million.

    Commercial Transactions

    Mr. Smith counsels clients in the purchase and sale of businesses and real estate development projects, focusing on environmental risks, permitting, and legal requirements related to the transfer of regulated operations, including environmental remediation programs.

    Health and Safety Regulation

    Mr. Smith counsels food industry and agricultural sector clients with respect to regulatory programs administered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These projects concern matters ranging from food labeling standards to animal health issues and the disease eradication and compensation program of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. His publications and public speaking in this area include the legal requirements and obligations of governmental and private sector entities related to public health emergencies, as well as business continuity planning strategies. 

    Mr. Smith has been named to the Connecticut Super Lawyers® list in the area of Environmental Law since 2006 (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.). He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® as Hartford Lawyer of the Year in the area of Environmental Law for 2011 (Copyright 2010 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC) and has been listed in the area of Environmental Law since 2007 (Copyright 2016 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC).

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

      • Evaluate emergency response protocols and facility incident response for confidential infrastructure client.
      • Counseling food industry with respect to the FDA registration requirements of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.

      • Represented lead party in the first regionalization effort in Connecticut to join communities in a water distribution infrastructure system to address potable water supply needs and infrastructure security requirements. The project included the construction of approximately $12 million of new infrastructure to connect existing water supply systems in multiple municipal utilities. Our efforts included preparation of several agreements for construction, funding, rate-setting, and system operations requirements of the project. The project has been heralded by regulators as a model for future efforts to optimize efficient allocation of increasingly scarce water resources and to address water security objectives related to natural, accidental, or man-made water supply emergencies.
      • Represented client before the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), in a disease eradication project. This project included negotiation of measures for stock depopulation, facility disinfection, development of biosecurity protocols, and financial compensation for lost stock at an aquaculture production facility.
      • Representation of private dam owner in permitting procedure before Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to partially remove structure below regulating threshold, including analysis of permitting criteria for ecosystem impacts and hazard analysis standards.

      • Representation of a public golf course facility as permit applicant under Connecticut Water Diversion Policy Act for approval of a water supply pond and irrigation distribution system for public golf course facility.
      • Representation of a private golf course facility as permit applicant under Connecticut Water Diversion Policy Act for approval of a water supply pond system and irrigation distribution system for golf course facility.
      • Representation of a municipal water department in the earliest multimunicipal permit and operating agreement with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection regarding coordinated water supply diversions from the Quinnipiac River.
      • Aquaculture permit project representing a commercial aquaculture operation in securing state and federal structures permits.
      • Public ferry terminal expansion project representing a municipal ferry operation in securing state and federal permits for the expansion of a coastal ferry terminal.
      • Counseling national telecommunication company on environmental issues associated with facility siting projects, coordinating environmental due diligence investigations of prospective sites, and assisting in the evaluation of environmental compliance requirements, site development, and remediation issues in Connecticut.
      • For marina and coastal residential development project, representing the developer in securing local zoning, coastal management approval, and Corps of Engineers structures permits for 86-slip marina, public fishing pier, and 116-unit residential development project.

      • back to top
    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      American Bar Association
      Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Law, Vice Chair of Public Service of Homeland Security Committee

      National Aquaculture Association
      Board of Directors, Advisor

      ASIS International

      National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
      Council of Counsel Member

      United States Delegation to Second Session of the United Nations Committee on Fisheries
      Subcommittee on Aquaculture, Trondheim, Norway; Private Sector Advisor (2003)
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® as Hartford Lawyer of the Year in the area of Environmental Law for 2011 (Copyright 2010 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC)

      Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Environmental Law since 2007 (Copyright 2016 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC)

      Listed in Connecticut Super Lawyers® in the area of Environmental Law since 2006 (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.)

  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      "Pandemic Flu: Operational Impacts and Regulatory Requirements," published in Robinson & Cole's Environmental and Utilities Legal Update (9/2009)

    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "Permitting Challenges for Offshore Marine Aquaculture Facilities," spoke at the Aquaculture America 2015 meeting in New Orleans (2/21/2015)
      • » more info

      "Water Supply, Conservation & Use: Market Drivers & Responses," co-presented with Earl W. Phillips Jr., presented to the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (3/2014)

      "Emergency Management and Continuity Planning – The Developing Legal Issues," presented to the Connecticut Power & Energy Society, program on How Do We Get Prepared? (3/2013)

      "Getting a Good Deal Buying or Selling an SSG Business – Business and Environmental Legal Strategies," at National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, co-presented with Earl W. Phillips Jr. (3/21/2011)

      "Aquaculture 101: Selecting a Business Entity That Works for You – Alternatives & Considerations," at Aquaculture America 2011 Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana (2/2011)

      "Future Environmental Standards for Offshore Aquaculture," at Aquaculture America 2009, Chair of daylong session of 12 speakers concerning U.S. offshore aquaculture (2/2009)

      "Selecting an Aquaculture Business Entity That Works for You," at Aquaculture America 2009 (2/2009)

      "Future Environmental Standards for Offshore Aquaculture," at Aquaculture America 2008 in Orlando, Florida (2/2008)

      "Aquaculture 101: Selecting a Business Entity That Works for You – Alternatives & Considerations," at Aquaculture America 2008 in Orlando, Florida (2/2008)

      "Public Health Emergency Powers: Management of Property," at Public Health Emergency Law course, by the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Yale Center for Public Health Preparedness, Moderator and Speaker (6/2007)

      "The Challenges to a National Offshore Aquaculture Act Program," at USB-Aquaculture Coalition Meeting held at Aquaculture America 2007 (2/28/2007)

      "Marine Aquaculture: A Growing Business, Legal Landscape – State Programs," at Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. (2/2007)

      "Avian Influenza and Business Continuity Planning," presented to Connecticut Business & Industry Association (8/2006)

      "Animal Feeding Operations – USEPA Air Compliance Agreement," at the Connecticut Farm Bureau Association, Windsor, Connecticut, a discussion of the proposed USEPA Consent Agreement to settle enforcement exposure and to conduct monitoring investigations for agriculture facilities under the Clean Air Act, CERCLA, and EPCRA. (5/2005)

      "U.S. Offshore Aquaculture: Elements of a Viable System," at Aquaculture America 2005, New Orleans, Louisiana (1/2005)

      "The Operational Challenge of Effective Biosecurity Programs," at Aquaculture 2004, Honolulu, Hawaii, co-presented with John R. MacMillan, Ph.D., President, National Aquaculture Association (3/2004)
      • » more info
      • View article

      "U.S. Regulation of Offshore Aquaculture: Can We Compete in a Global Market?" at Aquaculture 2004: The International Triennial Meeting of the National Aquaculture Association, the World Aquaculture Association, and the American Fisheries Society, Honolulu, Hawaii (3/2004)
      • » more info
      • View article

      "The Aquaculture Facility Permit Process and Regulatory Compliance Requirements: How to Explain Them to Your Banker," at Aquaculture 2004, Honolulu, Hawaii (3/2004)
      • » more info

      "Impact of Environmental Regulation on Aquaculture Operations and Business Planning," at Aquaculture America 2003, Louisville, Kentucky (2/2003)

      "Legal and Regulatory Hurdles for Aquaculture," at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Joint National Aquaculture Program Planning Workshop, St. Louis, Missouri (11/2002)

      "Clean Water Act Requirements for Recirculating Aquaculture," at The Fourth International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture, Roanoke, Virginia (7/2002)
      • » more info

      "Water Quality Concerns for Aquaculture," at Water Quality Initiative Conference, Baltimore, Maryland (2/2002)

      "Future Obligations for Wastewater Discharges in Aquaculture: Braving a New World," at Aquaculture America 2002, San Diego, California (1/2002)

      "Aquaculture Facility Permits – The State/Federal Permitting Process, Public Participation, and Multi-Agency Review," at Aquaculture America 2001, Orlando, Florida (1/2001)
      • » more info

      "Aquaculture and the Environment: Regulatory Issues and Responses," at Connecticut Sea Grant Program (3/2000)
      • » more info

      "What Every Contractor Needs to Know About Brownfields," at Connecticut Construction Industries Association (11/1998)
      • » more info

      "Aquaculture and the Environment – Environmental Regulations, Permits, and Operating Issues: How to Maintain a Sense of Humor," at Aquaculture America 2000, New Orleans, Louisiana

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • March 4, 2015

        Richard Smith Speaks on Offshore Aquaculture Permitting

        • » more info
      • December 9, 2014

        Environmental and Utilities Lawyers Plan HRSC Presentation

        • » more info
      • April 4, 2013

        Hartford Lawyers Participate in Energy, Environment, and Economic Development Conference

        • » more info
      • July 20, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Participates in Legal Food Frenzy for Massachusetts Food Banks

        • » more info
      • April 8, 2011

        Earl Phillips and Rich Smith Present at National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association Convention

        • » more info

      R+C News Releases

      • August 15, 2016

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

        • » more info
        • View article
      • August 18, 2015

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

        • » more info
        • View article
      • August 19, 2014

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

        • » more info
        • View article
      • August 16, 2013

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

        • » more info
        • View article
      • October 22, 2012

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

        • » more info
        • View article
      • August 28, 2012

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

        • » more info
        • View article
      • September 12, 2011

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

        • » more info
        • View article
      • November 10, 2010

        Best Lawyers Names Five Robinson & Cole Attorneys as Lawyers of the Year, Most Chosen in the Hartford Community

        • » more info
        • View article