Mirick O’Connell’s Environmental Law Group is an interdisciplinary team of seasoned environmental, land use, litigation, and municipal attorneys assisting our clients in all aspects of environmental litigation, enforcement, regulatory appeals and permitting. We also work with an extensive network of experienced environmental and engineering consultants to deliver a custom-designed approach to every matter. Our clients include manufacturers, developers, property owners and municipalities in waste site cleanup disputes, cost recovery actions and related environmental insurance claims, as well as enforcement and permitting matters involving air, water, wetlands and endangered species. From cutting-edge issues involving emerging contaminants like PFAS and 1,4 dioxane at landfills and manufacturing facilities to more common releases involving chlorinated solvents, oil and gasoline at dry cleaners and gasoline stations, our team has the knowledge, experience, network and contacts to navigate the evolving landscape of federal, state and local regulation of our environment.
e-Alert: Should Employers Consider Surcharges for Unvaccinated Workers?[ read full story ]
e-Alert: What Employers Need to Know about President Biden's "Path Out of the Pandemic" COVID-19 Action Plan[ read full story ]
Amanda Baer was quoted in Ragan's Workplace Wellness Insider article "5 Issues Every Organization Should Consider in Planning Their Return to Work[ read full story ]
Dave McCay interviewed by Go Green Radio, "PFAS in Your Water? You Have Rights"
Who will pay to remove PFAS from the public water supply - taxpayers? Can a resident sue their local government if their illness is connected to PFAS in the drinking water? Tune in to find out.[ read full story ]
e-Alert: Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave - Updated Guidance and Resources[ read full story ]
PODCAST: Ken Pickering discusses Preventing, Detecting and Responding to Employee Fraud[ read full story ]
e-Alert: Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave - Employer Guidance[ read full story ]
Reid Wakefield quoted in Forbes article "What the EEOC's Updated Covid Guidelines Mean for Business Leaders"[ read full story ]
Amanda Baer quoted in Workest by Zenefits article "Can Small Businesses require COVID Vaccines in the Workplace?"[ read full story ]
PODCAST: Mirick O'Connell attorneys discuss Remembering RBGT: Her Life and Legacy[ read full story ]
PODCAST: Chris Collins discusses the Benefit of Serving in the Community[ read full story ]
PODCAST: John Shea discusses Mediation in Divorce Cases[ read full story ]
Dave McCay quoted in Telegram & Gazette article, "Fight to protect drinking water from 'forever chemicals' begins to boil"[ read full story ]
e-Alert: Should Employers Consider Surcharges for Unvaccinated Workers?9/14/2021[ read full story ]
Obtained a judgment and award of attorney’s fees for a property owner under M.G.L. c. 21E (the Massachusetts Superfund statute), and successfully defended the judgment on appeal, against a municipality requiring it to conduct a multi-million dollar assessment and remediation of an historic landfill.
Represented a municipality in the defense of a citizen suit claims alleging 1,4 dioxane contamination from a municipal landfill under the federal Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and state claims under M.G.L. c. 21E and various tort theories.
Represented a customer of a barrel recycling facility in federal litigation under CERCLA involving a Rhode Island site contaminated with dioxin.
Represented an international bank in a dispute involving TCE contamination of a distressed property briefly owned by our client after a foreclosure.
Successfully obtained the rescission of our client’s purchase of a 78-acre property based on the seller’s failure to disclose known-PCB contamination.
Represented a municipality in litigation and drafting regulations related to the potential siting of a soil reclamation facility.
Obtained a multi-million dollar arbitration award and judgment for breach of contract and unfair business practices claim on behalf of a leading designer of pollution control systems for power plants.
Represented a regional school committee in the defense of various constitutional and tort claims involving the alleged lead contamination of drinking water.
Represented property owners, operators and municipalities in various wetland enforcement actions under the Massachusetts Wetlands Act and state and local wetlands regulations.
Represented a Massachusetts municipality before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in a case of first impression regarding regulatory takings.
Represented numerous clients in a variety of industries (including technology, manufacturing, automotive and construction) defending and resolving environmental compliance actions brought by State and federal regulators.
A Classic Distinction Between Legal Remedies and Equitable Remedies: 1st Circuit Overturns Decades-Old Precedent On Citizen Enforcement of Clean Water Act
The First Circuit recently overturned a thirty-one year old decision on citizen enforcement of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The now-overruled decision is North and South Rivers Watershed Ass’n v. Town of Scituate, 949 F.2d 552 (1st Cir. 1991), in …[ load webpage to read more ]
Municipal Law: Supreme Court Lightens Up On Standard of Review for Certain Sign Bylaws
Recently, the Supreme Court addressed a challenge from two private entities related to the constitutionality of a sign bylaw (“Bylaw”) instituted by the City of Austin (“City”). In City of Austin v. Reagan National Advertising of Austin, LLC, et. al., …[ load webpage to read more ]
“A Trap for the Unwary:” Bankruptcy Court Declares Debtor’s Homestead Deficient
In In re Luu, Danny Luu (the “Debtor”) argued that he had a homestead exemption in the amount of $324,960.00. He argued that because he filed a homestead declaration on March 18, 2021—just two days prior to filing his Chapter …[ load webpage to read more ]
State’s Highest Court to Determine Scope of Dover Amendment Solar Protection in M.G.L. c. 40A
Last week, the SJC heard oral arguments for a case that is anticipated to potentially impact municipal zoning, specifically in the realm of solar energy projects. The outcome of this case will either aid or inhibit a municipality’s ability to …[ load webpage to read more ]
Remote Public Meetings Authorized Through April of 2022; New Law Extends Additional COVID-19 Emergency Rules
Public bodies may continue to hold remote meetings through April of 2022 under new legislation enacted this week. The statute, Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021, authorizes a quorum of a board or committee to meet remotely and require remote …[ load webpage to read more ]
Municipal Permitting Timelines Resume on December 1
Effective December 1, municipal boards must follow the usual permitting deadlines following a COVID-19 statute enacted last week. Towns and cities had been operating under Section 17 of Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020, which tolled the deadlines for commencing …[ load webpage to read more ]
Important Update – The Impact of Coronavirus on the Construction Industry
Since our post on March 18, a lot has happened from both a health and regulatory standpoint as far as the impact from the outbreak of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) on local and state construction practice. Here is an update, as of …[ load webpage to read more ]
The Impact of Coronavirus on the Construction Industry
The outbreak of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) has impacted all industries, including construction. First and foremost, we are in the midst of a public health crisis, and the safety and well-being of all project participants should be top of mind. We are …[ load webpage to read more ]
Executive Order Loosens Open Meeting Law Requirements During Coronavirus Emergency
Governor Baker signed an Executive Order relieving government boards and committees from compliance with certain Open Meeting Law requirements during the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. The Order gives public bodies greater leeway to hold closed-door and remote meetings, so that government agencies …[ load webpage to read more ]
SJC Reverses Appeals Court on Standing Requirements Under the Zoning Act – With Record Speed
All zoning conformities are alike, to rephrase Tolstoy’s famous opening line, but each zoning-related injury is injurious in its own way. Such has been the time-honored tenant of Massachusetts law for abutter standing under the Zoning Act. To successfully challenge …[ load webpage to read more ]
PFAS Concerns Mounting for Cities and Towns as MassDEP Proposes Maximum Contaminant Level in Drinking Water
Many of our readers will be aware that on December 27, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) proposed a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for PFAS in drinking water of 20 parts per trillion (0.02 ug/L or ppt) for six PFAS …[ load webpage to read more ]
Building the Boroughs: A Year in Review
In 2019, Mirick O’Connell’s permitting attorneys were proud to help our clients, large and small, with local approvals in Marlborough for 6 great projects. Thank you to our clients and the City of Marlborough for a wonderful year! Click here …[ load webpage to read more ]