Our environmental practice is diverse and vigorous. We guide corporate, individual, governmental, and non-profit clients through the VRAP process, state and local environmental permitting, compliance matters, state and local administrative appeals, and enforcement actions.
Using our in-depth knowledge of the law and our strong working relationships with regulatory agencies, we assist clients with obtaining permits and approvals from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (such as under the Maine Site Location of Development Act, the Maine Hazardous Waste, Septage and Solid Waste Management Act, the Maine Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA), and the Maine Stormwater Law), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (submerged lands leases), the Maine Land Use Planning Commission, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, and the Maine Department of Transportation (traffic movement permits). Our practice also involves negotiating the cleanup of contaminated sites, including petroleum, hazardous waste, and brownfield sites, with governmental authorities and third party landowners, and minimizing our clients’ potential future liability.
We also spend much of our time evaluating and minimizing our clients’ environmental risks as they pursue and complete real estate and business transactions that involve the transfer of contaminated or potentially contaminated properties. We advise clients of their potential liabilities under federal environmental laws, including CERCLA (Superfund), RCRA, TSCA and the Clean Water Act, including federal point source discharge laws, and their Maine counterparts, including the Maine Uncontrolled Sites Law, the Maine Oil Pollution Liability Act, the Maine hazardous waste laws, and MPDES. We regularly assist clients with environmental due diligence in connection with acquisitions, mergers, and the sales of commercial and industrial properties. We advise clients and advocate for them in connection with sale or lease agreements in which there are complicated allocations of environmental liability, and work with clients in the resolution of outstanding environmental issues in connection with those transactions, such as the closing out of environmental escrow accounts, or advising them on exercising indemnification provisions.
Environmental Practice Chair Jim Katsiaficas has served as chair of The Maine State Bar Association’s Natural Resources and Environmental (now “Environmental and Energy”) Law Section and its Public Sector and Government Lawyers’ Section. He served as the elected Chair of Maine’s E2 Tech (Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine) from 2013-2016. He has represented both municipal and private clients in federal Superfund and state uncontrolled hazardous substance site matters and in brownfield site proceedings.
Joe Siviski has been practicing at Perkins Thompson since 2012. He has a BA from Colby College in Environmental Studies and practical work experience as an environmental scientist for a Maine consulting firm. Joe is Secretary of the MSBA Environmental and Energy Law Section and is an elected Trustee for the Portland Water District.
It is our specialized knowledge of environmental law, coupled with our commitment to personal service, efficiency, and relationship-building that makes us effective representatives for our clients. The Environmental Practice Group also handles matters relating to renewable energy, brownfield redevelopment, general environmental and land use permitting, endangered species, and water quality.
- General counsel to and helped create the Long Creek Watershed Management District, consisting of over 100 public and private property owners, in response to the USEPA’s first in the nation use of its Residual Designation Authority to require restoration of an urban impaired stream
- Successfully obtained Portland harborfront remediation and development permits from local, state, and federal regulators in a coordinated buyer-seller effort
- Represented the Town of Wells in obtaining permits for its harbor dredge and beach nourishment from the DEP, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Conservation Bureau of Parks and Land
- On behalf of a scrap yard client, successfully worked towards the defeat of legislation that would have prohibited any scrap yard facility from locating within 1000 feet of any waterbody in the state of Maine
- Represented the Maine Municipal Association in drafting a sample post-construction stormwater regulation ordinance for use by thirty Maine cities and towns affected by the Clean Water Act (small MS4 municipalities)
- Led environmental due diligence efforts in a potential joint venture with a large renewable energy company, and in refinancing of renewable energy projects
- Advised a multinational company on desired allocation of environmental liability in a multi-site sale of commercial sites throughout the Northeast
- Worked with State regulators to facilitate payment to clients under state groundwater cleanup funds for reimbursement of remediation costs at petroleum contaminated sites
- Advised a utility client on various options for proceeding with the sale or lease of contaminated property, including mechanisms for the transfer of environmental liability for the same
- Worked with a local land trust to acquire potentially contaminated and contaminated properties while minimizing the land trust’s environmental liability
- Assisted in the donation of a former Portland-Bangor Waste Oil site in Wells
- Negotiated with regulators the relocation of a scrap yard facility from the Bayside neighborhood of Portland to another brownfield site in an industrial area of the city
- Representing the City of Old Town with regard to expansion of the state-owned Juniper Ridge Landfill
- Counseled several municipalities regarding their solid waste obligations and contracts