Practice GroupEnvironment & Energy

Print this page

The Environment & Energy Regulatory Compliance Practice Group counsels clients on regulatory compliance, advocacy, permitting, cleanup and redevelopment issues, and provides representation before state and federal environmental and energy agencies and in state and federal courts.

The practice involves all areas of air, water, wetlands, shoreland protection and solid and hazardous waste permitting and compliance, as well as energy facility and transmission siting and operations issues, and occupational safety and health matters at the federal, state and local levels of government. For the general benefit of all of the firm’s clients, group members maintain a sound working relationship with state regulators and often participate with the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association in assisting the State Department of Environmental Services in drafting revised and new environmental regulations. Our attorneys also have extensive experience in addressing matters before the state’s Public Utilities Commission and other state agencies and boards.


Our Environmental Litigation group complements our full service environmental practice, representing governmental and municipal entities as well as private commercial clients in assisting their compliance with federal, state, and municipal environmental regulations, and, when necessary, defending clients against adverse actions taken by regulatory bodies, or in third party actions implicating environmental concerns.

We have represented clients with varying degrees of involvement at Superfund sites in New Hampshire, New England and across the country.  We have handled complex and challenging cases involving the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Oil Discharge and Disposal Clean Up Fund, as well as water and mineral rights cases.

We have also represented major manufacturers, developers and municipalities in private cost recovery actions, state and federal government enforcement matters, insurance coverage disputes and complex multi-party cases, including facility siting and complex permitting matters.  Our work in this area spans a wide variety of industries, from reclaiming a brownfield site into a professional sports stadium complex, to working with natural gas pipelines and oil companies looking to expand, to defending clients involved in contamination claims.

Environment, Health and Safety

Our attorneys work extensively with their clients’ managers and consultants to develop appropriate responses to environmental problems ranging from small oil tank leaks to resolving Superfund site problems, and from wastewater permitting to workplace toxics exposures. We regularly work with clients in the manufacturing and services sectors to anticipate regulatory changes and plan for the most economic means of compliance, including the development of environmental management systems. In addition, we have represented developers and other parties in connection with numerous Brownfields sites and serve as special counsel to the Pease International Tradeport and New Hampshire Division of Ports and Harbors. The group’s services are also available on an as-needed basis to the firm’s banking, commercial and corporate clients, especially in matters involving the purchase and sale of commercial properties. The group works closely with the firm’s Real Estate and Land Use Practice Groups on a wide range of site development matters.


Our experience in energy matters has, in many instances, been closely integrated with our work on environmental matters. For eighteen years, the Firm represented the now-former owners of Seabrook Nuclear Power Station in regulatory matters before various state agencies, including the Public Utilities Commission and the Nuclear Decommissioning Financing Committee. Sheehan Phinney also has represented the developers of a major natural gas pipeline before the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Committee, an interagency body that holds hearings and makes permitting decisions under the state’s Energy Facility Evaluation Siting, Construction and Operation statute. The firm also has extensive experience with the permitting and operation of renewable energy facilities, has been involved with various hydroelectric matters and major dredging projects, and counsels its client businesses on contracts and other matters related to energy suppliers.

photo of chair for print purposes

Practice Chair

Lynn J. Preston

Lynn serves as chair of the firm’s Environmental and Energy Practice Group and focuses her practice in the areas of environmental compliance, enforcement actions and transactional matters. She frequently represents clients regarding regulatory and enforcement concerns relating to state and federal contaminated site cleanup and redevelopment and other issues involving CERCLA, RCRA, TSCA, EPCRA, the CWA, the CAA and OSHA.