Environmental Compliance and Permitting


Manufacturers, property owners, and developers turn to Robinson+Cole's Compliance and Permitting Group for our proven ability to identify effective strategies that address not only regulatory requirements  but also the physical and operational limitations and other competing factors affecting compliance and permitting efforts.

Our Services

Whether serving as active members of corporate compliance teams and auditing efforts,  or representing applicants in state and federal permit proceedings, we provide the legal analysis and support that our clients seek regarding the range of regulatory programs they face. These include the following federal programs and their state and local counterparts:

  • the Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Act
  • the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Act (MSHA)
  • the Clean Air Act
  • the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act
  • the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
  • the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act

Our understanding of these programs allows us to provide clients with effective advice and representation regarding their environmental, health, and safety concerns, such as the following:

  • wastewater discharges
  • stormwater runoff and erosion and sedimentation controls
  • worker safety measures
  • air emissions
  • solid and hazardous waste
  • underground storage tanks
  • financial assurance
  • spill and safety reporting
  • oil and chemical release planning and prevention
  • corrective action
  • cleanup, remediation, and other release and emergency response actions
  • abatement of asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and other building material constituents

Our Team

Our group leads or closely follows the latest discussions and changes affecting our clients, including new and emerging efforts to address sustainability and climate change concerns, and the expanding reach of toxic and chemical substance regulations such as those taking effect under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, as well as the continuing requirements of TSCA; EPCRA; the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) program; California’s Proposition 65; and other regulatory initiatives.

Our Compliance and Permitting Group lawyers draw on experience gained not only from representing a diverse range of clients and industries but also from having members with science and engineering degrees and formerly holding positions in federal, state, and local environmental agencies. 

    • Experience
      • Represented a waterfront fuel oil terminal owner in the investigation, negotiation of alternative clean standards, remediation, and structuring of transaction to sell and convert the terminal to upscale residential apartments.

      • Prepared a voluntary disclosure submittal to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for manufacturing facility under Section 313 of Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Company identified as part of a routine environmental management program the presence of an inadvertently produced byproduct in wastewater discharge. EPA allowed 100 percent reduction of potential penalty.

      • Represented a subsidiary of a conglomerate client on the steering committee of a multiparty Midwestern Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) site.

      • Represented owner of a 46-acre municipal solid waste landfill required to close landfill, construct cap, install landfill gas collection and treatment system, perform groundwater zone of influence study, prepare wetlands mitigation program, and obtain all related air, water, solid waste, and wetlands permits and approvals.

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

      • Assisted client with ongoing efforts to pursue stabilized status under the USEPA Voluntary RCRA Corrective Action Program.

      • Assisted large retail fuel oil company in preparing a compliance handbook covering release reporting, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), permitting, antitrust, and other industry-related issues.

      • Counseled a chemical company on obtaining an Environmental Land Use Restriction.

      • Acted as environmental permitting counsel to a public ferry operation in securing state and federal permits for the expansion of a coastal ferry terminal.
      • Retained by Parsons Brinckerhoff and the City of New York to prepare a regulatory analysis of the city’s proposal to upgrade and convert various existing movable bridges to fixed bridges. Part of this regulatory analysis was assessing the applicability of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to the proposed project actions. 

      • Represented owner and operator of rowing club in obtaining coastal permits for docks, piers, and related wetlands impacts.
      • Aquaculture permit project representing a commercial aquaculture operation in securing state and federal structures permits.
      • Representation of an aquaculture production business in the development of a program to disinfect production facilities, remove stock animals, implement a farm repopulation and importation program, and secure federal funding and compensation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service).

      • Represented major PRP and served as lead negotiator for PRP group in addressing EPA response cost claims for a Superfund site in the southeastern U.S.

      • Managed the land use permitting for Bridgeport’s sports and entertainment complex, referred to as the Arena and Transit Garage at HarborYard®, and assisted the city in complying with the requirements of the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

      • Defended marina owners and operator from Notice of Violation issued by the Connecticut DEEP and successfully negotiated resolution that permitted all existing structures.

      • Successfully represented waterfront owners, developers, and marinas before state agencies, including contested cases, related to permits and approvals for docks and other structures. 

      • Represented shoreline beach community before municipal planning and zoning commission to secure special use permits for sewer and water systems.
      • Represented developer of 127-unit active adult residential community on 10 acres of waterfront land in contested hearing before Connecticut DEEP on the issuance of a permit to allow on-site community sewerage system using alternative wastewater treatment technology, ultimately securing the necessary permit in the end.

      • Represented a concrete manufacturer in federal court litigation involving environmental (RCRA citizens suit), wetlands issues, and NPDES permitting.

      • Representation of a well-known diversified technology, media, and financial services company in deconstruction and remediation of a manufacturing facility with environmental, historic, and wetlands challenges in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

      • 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.
      • Representation of property owner in its discussions with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for a proposed marine container terminal in Charleston, South Carolina, and the property owner’s desire to relocate the port access road on its property to enable the use of the property for an intermodal transportation facility.

      • Representation of land trust that owns or holds interests in almost 200 acres of open space lands along the Connecticut River. Representation includes legal issues of lands that protect Bald Eagle nesting sites in Rocky Hill, Connecticut.

      • Appeared before the Hartford Flood Commission for several developers or users of streambanks of the Park River and the Connecticut River.
      • 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.

      • 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. 

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

      • Represented various composting clients, both established concerns and start-ups, concerning permitting, operational compliance, and enforcement matters.
      • Worked closely with technical and legal staff at EPA headquarters to secure an exemption from Tier 4 nonroad engine emission standards for a construction equipment manufacturer.
      • Representation of a manufacturer in self-disclosing excess volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions under its air permit to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) and resolving related CTDEEP enforcement action without penalties. Worked with client and outside technical consultants to develop a compliance management system to prevent future recurrence.

      • Represented owner of land along tidal creek bordered by deteriorating wooden bulkhead. Small tidal wetlands area with limited ecological value had developed behind the bulkhead in areas where the land had eroded due to stormwater runoff and tidal-influenced erosion. Client obtained permit from Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to reconstruct bulkhead, fill tidal wetlands behind bulkhead, and plant a new wetland area, which would allow the property to be subdivided into two buildable lots.
      • Represented shorefront property owner in application to Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for permit to rebuild house damaged by Hurricane Irene. Successfully argued that client's house had predated the passage of coastal management statutes in Connecticut and was thus eligible for permit under the simpler certificate of permission program.

      • Conducted internal investigation of pharmaceutical client's compliance with the Clean Air Act's leak detection and repair requirements. 

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    • News
      • January 9, 2014

        Environmental and Utilities Lawyers Speak at MCTA Meeting

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      • November 13, 2013

        Environmental Analyst Elected President of Connecticut Environmental Forum

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      • November 12, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Lawyers Promote Manufacturing Blog at SBANE's Prospectus 2013

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      • October 16, 2013

        Environmental Lawyer Speaks at Global Shipping Conference in China

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      • August 9, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Lawyers Featured in Scrap Magazine

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      • April 4, 2013

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

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      • June 19, 2012

        Land Use Lawyers Write About the Popularity of Land Banking and the Clean Water Act

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      • May 2, 2012

        Environmental Attorneys Discuss Siting, Moving and Expanding Operations at Scrap Metal Convention

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      • April 23, 2012

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

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      • March 21, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Among Largest Firms in Real Estate, Insurance and Environmental Law

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      • February 16, 2012

        Environmental Attorneys Offer Key Points for a Successful Property Transfer in Scrap Magazine

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      • February 3, 2012

        Environmental Partner Elected to Rhode Island Society of Environmental Professionals Board

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      • January 31, 2012

        Environmental Attorney Writes Article on ‘Tri-State’ Water War

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Our Team