EBC 25th Annual EBEE Awards

On June 27, 2018, the firm was pleased to sponsor and participate in the Environmental Business Council of New England’s 25th Annual EBEE Awards.  The event was our Managing Shareholder, Tom Mackie’s, last hurrah as the Chair of the EBC.  Tom’s tenure as Chair deepened the firm’s ties to the EBC and the environmental community.  During this time as Chair, the EBC significantly increased the number of programs and overall attendance at EBC events.

Tom Mackie recognized the 2017 EBC Ascending Leaders, presented the Paul G. Keogh award to MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg.  Tom also received the Steve G. Lewis Merit-Award for Service to the Environmental Industry.

Congratulations to all of the impressive 2018 EBEE Award Recipients!

Thank you to the EBC staff, Dan, Ann, and Jackson, for an excellent event.

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Firm Activities – Summer 2018

Peter Durning as co-chair of the Boston Bar Association Energy and Environmental Section, and Tom Mackie, as chair of the Environmental Business Council of New England, were honored to introduce the new EPA Regional Administrator, Alexandra Dunn, at a joint BBA/EBC program in February.

In January, Tom mimicked David Frost when he interviewed EOEEA Secretary Matthew Beaton for the second annual update from the Secretary.  Secretary Beaton spoke enthusiastically about the Department of Energy Resources’ impending “tremendous procurement” of renewable hydro and other Class 1 renewable energy and development of 1600 MWs of new off shore wind.

In July, Tom and Gretchen Carey, Recycling and Organics Coordinator for Republic Services, will Co-Chair an EBC Solid Waste Program on Innovative Solid Waste Management Technologies. Meanwhile Tom continues to Chair a series of EBC Solid Waste Management Committee Stakeholder meetings and participate as a Member of the MassDEP Solid Waste Advisory Committee in preparation for the MassDEP’s upcoming review of the Solid Waste Master Plan.

Peter was on a panel discussing Environmental Due Diligence for a Boston Bar Association CLE program in April.

At its annual meeting, the Charles River Watershed Association gave its Clean Charles Award to Boston Duck Tours and its CEO Cindy Brown.  During the ceremony, CRWA Executive Director Bob Zimmerman (now retired) and Cindy acknowledged John Shea for his political acumen and legal skills during the permitting of the iconic land and water tour.

Firm Successes – Summer 2018

Mackie Shea has again been recognized by Chambers USA 2018 as among the best law firms for Environmental Law in Boston.  In April Tom Mackie and John Shea were selected by Best Lawyers of America in its 2018 Edition of New England’s Best Lawyers for Environmental Law and Environmental Litigation.  The Firm was ranked in Best Law Firms as Tier 1 Boston and Tier 2 nationally.  Best Law Firms is the oldest and most respected peer- review publication in the legal profession for “legal expertise, ethics and professionalism of the highest caliber.”

Following an appeal to the Land Court, Peter Durning secured a Special Permit from the Acton Board of Selectmen for the Town of Concord’s new surface water treatment plant at Nagog Pond.  For other clients, Peter also settled numerous enforcement matters with the MassDEP and the Attorney General’s office alleging solid waste and wetlands protections violations.   

On June 27, Tom Mackie will be awarded the Stephen G. Lewis Environmental-Energy Merit Award for Service to the Environmental Industry at the Environmental Business Council of New England 25 Annual EBEE Awards Dinner.  The Stephen G. Lewis Award is given in recognition of meritorious service, leadership and dedication to improving the quality of the environment and to the development of the environmental industry in New England.

Tom obtained a major modification to site assignment for a waste to energy plant to implement a Net Recycling project to increase the amount of recyclables the plant will recover.

John Shea secured local approval for a large dock and pier in Marlblehead, and averted “Pier Wars” with a neighbor by brokering a shared pier and dock project with MassDEP concurrence.

Chambers Commentary on Mackie Shea, PC

Chambers & Partners ranked Mackie Shea, PC in Band 3 for Massachusetts Environmental Law.  Here is the Chambers Commentary based on their research:

What the team is known for Respected practice, noted for its litigation prowess and representations before state and federal regulatory agencies. Noted for its effective handling of licensing disputes. Broad experience in matters such as solid waste management, renewable energy plants, and residential and commercial developments.

Strengths Interviewees comment: “The team are very knowledgeable and willing to dig into the details to achieve the correct answer.”

One client remarks: “They are smart, responsive and successful.”

Work highlights Acted for Artis Senior Living Memory Care Residences in its negotiation of an Administrative Consent Order for restoration and mitigation of historically filled wetlands. Also assisted the client in securing agency approval for a RAM Plan for the remediation of soil and groundwater during construction.

Represented Prolerized New England Company in a range of environmental compliance matters which included overseeing the assessment and cleanup of an offsite waste disposal.

Notable practitioners

Thomas Mackie has a broad environmental practice encompassing experience across a wide range of complex matters including hazardous waste, cost recovery, and clean contamination issues. One client reports: Tom is outstanding: He is very smart, well focused and understands the multiple interactions of the complicated Massachusetts regulatory environment.”

John Shea is a highly experienced environmental and land use attorney. He has significant expertise across hazardous waste, water and wetland issues and brownfield remediation.

Peter Durning has notable experience handling a wide range of environmental matters. He is skilled across land use, contaminated property and permitting issues. He is also experienced in enforcement disputes.

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Firm Successes – Fall 2017

Tom Mackie and John Shea were selected by Best Lawyers of America (2018 edition) for Environmental Law and Environmental Litigation.  The Firm was ranked in Best Law Firms as Tier 1 Boston and Tier 2 nationally.  Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer- review publication in the legal profession for “legal expertise, ethics and professionalism of the highest caliber.”

Peter Durning obtained Special Permits approving the Town of Concord’s replacement of an aged public water supply treatment facility and surface water intake pipe, after a year-long hotly contested public hearing.      

John conducted a multi-day public hearing on a transfer station site assignment modification for the Northbridge Board of Health.

Peter obtained an Order of Conditions approving a uniquely designed single-family home against vociferous neighborhood opposition for over a year in Arlington.

The New England Real Estate Journal selected John’s client’s commercial mixed-use development as “Project of the Month” (September 22-28, 2017, Section B, centerfold, nerej.com).  Olde Shrewsbury Village was a colonial-style shopping center with a footbridge at the junction of Routes 9 and 20 in Shrewsbury.  Turtle Rock, LLC, the owner, developed an ambitious revitalization plan that included relocating an internal stream to the property perimeter in order to create parking close to the retail shops.  Mackie Shea was on an elite development team that advanced a creative technical, legal and political strategy, and over four years secured local, state and federal permits and approvals.  Little Bummet Brook was transformed from a stormwater drainage ditch into a vibrant stream and ecosystem.  Construction was timed to avoid potential impacts to the Northern Long-Eared Bat, a newly listed endangered species.

John obtained two novel Advisory Opinions under MEPA. The first confirmed that land alternation (including a 5-year look back) did not require environmental review for a 50-acre commercial subdivision in Lancaster.  He also secured a Determination from MassDEP that a wastewater treatment plant is not required, and assisted in obtaining public water supply wells for the “anchor” businesses.  The second Advisory Opinion confirmed that an Eversource solar power array on his client’s coal ash landfill was non-jurisdictional, and could proceed with MassDEP post-closure use permitting.

John negotiated Administrative Consent Orders (ACO) with MassDEP approving wetland restoration and mitigation for sedimentation for a national home builder, a regional condominium developer, and a national assisted living and memory care company for historically filled wetlands and an MCP Brownfields cleanup.

Tom successfully defended against a Town’s attempt to invalidate the extension of contracts to operate a municipal transfer station, and to transport and dispose of the Town’s waste; negotiated a purchase and sale agreement for acquisition of a recycling facility on a Brownfields site; and obtained a site assignment modification allowing a construction and demolition debris processing facility to transfer by rail municipal solid waste and mildly contaminated soil.

Tom obtained reconsideration and reversal of a regional electrical transmission authority’s determination that a request for extension of an interconnection agreement with a transmission company was a major modification, avoiding new interconnection studies and applications.

Tom and John were named for Environmental Law and Peter for Environmental Litigation to the 2017 Massachusetts SuperLawyers List.  Gail Hire was selected as a Rising Star.  SuperLawyers have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.  The designations are based on third-party research, balloting by lawyers, and a peer review process.

Tom Mackie Provides Pro Bono Legal Services to the Greenwood Memorial United Methodist Church in Dorchester

With pro-bono legal help from Tom Mackie the Greenwood Memorial United Methodist Church in Dorchester recently replaced its roof and made significant other exterior repairs. The Greenwood Church was constructed between 1900-1901 and designed by Boston architect Walter J. Paine. The building is a shingle-style Gothic Revival, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2016, the church received an emergency grant from the Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Projects Fund to address roof and wall leaks.

Tom has provided pro-bono legal help to the Greenwood Church for over a decade. His first project involved the installation of a handicap access ramp project co-sponsored by the Sudbury United Methodist Church sister congregation that Tom attends. For the roof replacement project, Tom worked with Greenwood Trustee, Jeanette Merren, to document a loan from the United Methodist Foundation, satisfy requirements of the Mass Historical grant, and review the construction contract.

Firm Successes – Spring 2017

Tom Mackie and Peter Durning secured final victories over the Conservation Law Foundation and other opponents to our client’s proposed Springfield, MA biomass energy facility by defeating an air plan appeal in the Superior Court and a noisome trade site assignment petition before the Springfield Public Health Commission.

John Shea assisted Jacqueline Nuñez of the WonderGroup in securing a MassDEP Superseding Determination of Applicability that allows this first-of-its-kind green housing development within the City of Boston to move forward.

Through their adjudicatory appeal of a MassDEP air plan approval, John Shea and Peter Durning secured protection for the neighbors to a new industrial facility in the form of additional air emission controls; compliance testing; noise mitigation and monitoring; and limited hours of operation.

Peter Durning and John Shea provided due diligence support and compliance advice under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan for structuring the acquisition and cleanup of a contaminated property to a national developer who is building a mixed-use residential and commercial project in Belmont.

John Shea assisted in achieving a Temporary Solution in compliance with a Consent Judgment deadline for the cleanup of a metal finishing site in Taunton, and conducted public hearings on site assignment modifications for landfill operations as the Hearing Officer to the Taunton and Westminster Boards of Health.

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Thomas A. Mackie, Esq., to Chair Environmental Business Council of New England

Thomas A. Mackie, Managing Shareholder of the Boston environmental law firm Mackie Shea, PC, has been elected Chairman of the Board of the Environmental Business Council of New England. A Board member for 13 years, Mackie has most recently served as Vice Chair of Membership on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.

On his election Mackie said “I am thrilled to serve as Chairman of the EBC, an organization that has ably served the environmental and energy business sector for over 25 years.”

Attorney Mackie is an environmental business lawyer. For more than thirty years he has provided advice to businesses and municipalities facing complex environmental issues. He handles a wide variety of environmental matters and business transactions.

Appreciation for Your Kind Words

For many years, our firm and its lawyers have been recognized for our accomplishments and skills by lawyer rating services like Martindale-Hubbell, Chambers USA-America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Best Lawyers in America, U.S. News and World Report-Best Lawyers and Best Law Firms, and SuperLawyers.  These recognitions are very humbling and gratifying because the ratings are based on third-party validation by independent research, client referees and peer reviews.  The rating services rank law firms and lawyers on specific qualities such as technical legal ability, professional conduct and client service.  It is rewarding for our boutique firm to be ranked in the same tier as the largest firms.  Some recognitions are totally unexpected like when John Shea was selected as Boston 2013 Environmental Law Lawyer of the Year.  We are careful not to believe our press, rest on our laurels, or wear our super hero capes in public.  We pledge to work hard with the highest ethical standards, to continue our winning tradition and to enjoy your trust and praise for years to come.