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TomPaul

Associate

"Finding the answer and getting the best result I can are what drive me through those early hours and late nights."

Overview

Biography

Capitalizing on his environmental sciences background, Tom helps clients develop projects and grow their businesses by ensuring they have the proper environmental permits and protections. He routinely advises renewable energy and pipeline project developers, investors, and other clients on environmental-permitting and transactional due-diligence matters to identify and manage environmental risks through all appropriate inquires, indemnification, permit transfers, and other risk- management strategies. He also counsels museums, brokers, and other importers of wildlife and wildlife specimens regarding the complexities of US and international wildlife law and, when necessary, prepares petitions for remission to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Tom also focuses on protecting clients facing enforcement actions or litigation, using his significant environmental experience to advise clients on compliance matters, discuss and negotiate civil and criminal penalties with the NYSDEC and other environmental agencies, cross-collaborate with the firm’s litigators on case strategy, and prepare persuasive arguments concerning environmental claims and defenses. He routinely advises clients on compliance and enforcement matters involving petroleum bulk storage and the Clean Water Act, and has defended clients in numerous CERCLA cases, many of which were settled without litigation or successfully dismissed.

Bar Associations

  • New York State Bar Association
Experience

Representative Experience

  • Counsels developers and investors in solar, hydro, wind, and pipeline projects on environmental permitting and transactional due-diligence matters.
  • Advises investors and developers regarding environmental liabilities, conducting all appropriate inquiries, contractual representations and warranties, indemnification, and other environmental risk-management strategies.
  • Advises renewable energy and pipeline developers and utilities regarding federal and state-listed threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and other wildlife laws.
  • Represents a large utility in several multi-million CERCLA litigation matters.
  • Advises clients, including a petroleum product supplier and retailer, concerning petroleum bulk storage requirements and potential liability and monetary recover for spills under the NY Navigation Law.
  • Represents several clients facing criminal liability under the Clean Water Act.
  • Negotiates consent orders and the reduction of penalties on behalf of clients with the NYSDEC and USEPA.
  • Negotiated favorable settlements for a client concerning two significant multi-million federal CERCLA/Superfund sites.
  • Worked cooperatively with the NYSDEC for the release of millions tied up in an environmental financial-assurances trust account to a client.
  • Assisted a utility client during an NYS Public Service Commission audit of the utility’s environmental liabilities and prior settlements.
  • Analyzed potential threatened and endangered-species issues for an electric-transmission client in the development of a transmission-line project.
  • Provided counsel regarding state approvals for an interstate pipeline project.
  • Coordinated the transfer of environmental permits and registrations for the purchaser of an oil refinery.
  • Assisted an energy client with preparing documents in the Part 102 process before the PSC for the approval of a substation.
  • Assisted with an appellate brief for a municipality involving the successful defense of a challenge of municipal landfill operations.
  • Represents an interstate-pipeline company proposing an approximate $1 billion expansion of its existing infrastructure in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey.
  • Secured pre-action dismissal of CERCLA and related state laws related to a company's installation of gas and electric utilities with earth-moving equipment that resulted in a persuasive precedent for future cases regarding the appropriate pleading standard for CERCLA cases.
  • Providing strategic advice to an energy storage projects developer on the replacement of more efficient and cleaner turbines at an existing generating facility, including securing the necessary permit modifications to enable the project to go forward and interfacing with NYSDEC and other state and local agencies to secure the necessary permits and approvals in a timely manner.
  • Represents an energy storage projects developer in handling all aspects of the projects, including counseling on all siting and permitting issues to ensure the most efficient and successful project development while preserving the in-service dates as well as interfacing with key regulators.
  • Served as general outside counsel to a hydroelectric power project owner and developer regarding the $80 million acquisition of several hydroelectric facilities located on Maine’s Kennebec River. Handled real property title issues, obtaining necessary approvals of the assignment of US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and state regulatory licenses, and labor union issues as well as the pre-closing investigatory process with regard to potential environmental and regulatory issues and post-closing issues with management companies.

Prior Experience

  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Associate
  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Summer Associate
  • NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, Assistant Farm Products Inspector I
  • NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Forestry Summer Intern

Featured Media

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NY Green Bank and NY PSC: Energy Storage Updates

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NYS Courts to Implement Early Mandatory Mediation

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