Mackie Shea Durning, PC Receives Accolades from Chambers USA

The Boston boutique environmental law firm of Mackie Shea Durning, PC was recognized again as one of the top environmental law firms in Massachusetts in the 2021 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. In addition to the recognition for the firm as a whole, all three shareholders were individually ranked among the leading practitioners of environmental law in the state.  

The firm is known for its “respected practice, noted for its litigation prowess and representation before state and federal agencies, its effective handling of licensing disputes, (and) broad experience in matters such as solid waste management, renewable energy plants, and residential and commercial developments.”  Clients state the Mackie Shea Durning “team provides an outstanding service [and their] depth of knowledge sets them apart from others in this area of law.”  The attorneys are “highly regarded and known for the depth and breadth of their experience,” including expertise in “solid waste, Superfund and contaminated site issues.”

Thomas A. Mackie is considered “the leading solid waste attorney in Massachusetts.”  Tom also has strong experience in recycling, renewable energy, and due diligence investigations.  According to one client, “Thomas Mackie never disappoints; he’s very detailed and creative in his approach to a task.” Another reports, Tom “is very knowledgeable and fantastic to work with.”

John F. Shea is recognized for his expertise in hazardous waste cleanups, defense and cost recovery, water, and wetlands laws. He has represented the metal recycling industry since 1988. He is known for doing a “phenomenal job of translating the rules and regulations” of environmental law into practical advice.  Clients observed that “John gives sound advice and is extremely knowledgeable,” and he “is strong in the areas of environmental enforcement, compliance and permitting.”

Peter F. Durning has notable experience in handling a wide range of environmental disputes concerning wetlands and water supply permitting, including enforcement defense.  Clients observed that Peter “has a very strong understanding of environmental law and drinking water design issues.”  They also commented that Peter is “very strategic on important decisions” and provides “excellent litigation representation” in issues concerning water rights, PFAS cleanups and cost recovery actions, and a host of land use matters.

Chambers rankings are based on client interviews and opinions of colleagues and competitors assessing legal ability, professional conduct, client service, diligence, commitment and business sense.

Mackie Shea Durning PC Secures Decision from SJC to Protect Concord’s Drinking Water Withdrawals from Nagog Pond

On March 11, 2021, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) issued its decision in the litigation among Concord, Littleton, and Acton regarding the Towns’ respective rights to use Nagog Pond as a drinking water source.  

 

Mackie Shea Durning PC successfully represented Concord in the SJC and in the prior proceeding in the Land Court on this Water Law case. 

All three towns were given rights to access Nagog Pond from an act of the state legislature in 1884, but Concord is the only town that has exercised its right of withdrawal. Concord exercised its rights under the 1884 Act in 1909 and has been using Nagog Pond for drinking water ever since. Following the passage of the Water Management Act (WMA) in 1985, Concord applied for and received a Registration from the State which grandfathered its existing withdrawal volume at Nagog Pond.

The central issue in the litigation was whether Littleton and Acton could supersede Concord’s WMA Registration based on a provision of the 1884 Act that reserved a priority withdrawal right for those two towns.

The SJC concluded the 1884 Act remained viable and still gave each of the three towns the ability to use Nagog Pond as a water supply. However, the SJC also ruled the legislature’s decision to adopt the WMA and its structure of protecting and grandfathering existing withdrawals under a separate classification of registration, effectively repealed the priority provision in the 1884 Act.

Mackie Shea Durning PC specializes in environmental law and has deep experience in a range of water supply and wastewater issues, supporting cities, towns and developers to address critical drinking water supply and wastewater management goals. The team of attorneys working with the Town of Concord on this matter included Peter Durning, John Shea, Gail Magenau Hire and Peter Vetere.

 

 

Mackie Shea Durning, PC Ranked by U.S. News & World Report And Best Lawyers®

Mackie Shea Durning, PC, the Boston boutique environmental law firm, is proud to announce that it is ranked by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® as Metropolitan Boston Tier 1 for Environmental Law and Environmental Litigation, and National Tier 2 for Environmental Law and Environmental Litigation. Tier 1 is reserved for the highest scoring firms during the annual review process. The firm will be listed in the 2021 edition of Best Law Firms.

Tier designation reflects the highest level of respect a firm can earn among other leading lawyers from the same practice areas and by clients. The firm was recognized for professional excellence, integrity, and breadth of experience by clients and peers. To be eligible, a law firm must have at least one lawyer selected by The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes 5% of lawyers practicing in the United States. Tom Mackie and John Shea have been selected for over a decade.

Mackie Shea Durning, PC concentrates in environmental and land use law, and related litigation. The firm provides advice and representation to national, regional and Massachusetts businesses, individuals and municipalities.  www.mackieshea.com

MACKIE SHEA DURNING, PC RECEIVES ACCOLADES FROM CHAMBERS USA

The Boston boutique environmental law firm of Mackie Shea Durning, PC and its three shareholders were recognized again as one of the top environmental law firms in Massachusetts in the 2020 edition of Chambers USA Guide

The firm is known for its “respected practice, noted for its litigation prowess and representation before state and federal agencies, its effective handling of licensing disputes, (and) broad experience in matters such as solid waste management, renewable energy plants, and residential and commercial developments.”  Clients state the Mackie Shea Durning attorneys “are good at thinking out of the box and respond in a timely manner.”  The firm has “a really in-depth knowledge of the environmental regulations and is familiar with the regulators.”

Thomas A. Mackie is considered “the leading solid waste attorney in Massachusetts.”  Tom also has strong experience in recycling and renewable energy.  According to one client, Tom “understands the nuances of state regulatory law and has a straightforward approach to all issues, even the most difficult ones.”

John F. Shea is recognized for this expertise in hazardous waste, water, wetlands and wildlife laws, and is known for doing a “phenomenal job of translating the rules and regulations” of environmental law.

Peter F. Durning has notable experience in handling a wide range of environmental matters, including permitting issues and enforcement defense.  He is “very strategic on important decisions” and provides “excellent litigation representation” in issues concerning water and wetlands.

Chambers rankings are based on client interviews and opinions of colleagues and competitors assessing legal ability, professional conduct, client service, diligence, commitment and business sense.

Mackie Shea Durning PC secures an important ruling on the Water Management Act

Town of Concord’s water supply at Nagog Pond.

On October 11, 2019, Judge Jennifer S.D. Roberts of the Massachusetts Land Court issued a Memorandum of Decision granting summary judgment to the Town of Concord resolving a dispute among  Littleton, Acton and Concord regarding which statutory authority governed the water withdrawal rights from Nagog Pond.

Nagog Pond has  been a source of public drinking water for Concord since it took the pond via eminent domain in 1909.  Littleton and Acton argued that a provision in an 1884 Act, which gave Concord rights to Nagog Pond, reserved withdrawal rights for the two towns where the pond is located. Concord argued its withdrawal rights were superior to any provisions of the 1884 Act, because it held a Registration under the 1985 Water Management Act, which grandfathered qualified existing water withdrawal rights.

Mackie Shea Durning PC attorneys Peter Durning, John Shea, and Gail Magenau Hire compiled an analysis of the legislative history for the Water Management Act and provided a statutory interpretation of the language of the statute to demonstrate that the Legislature intended to repeal prior special acts, like the 1884 Act, as it set up a new regulatory regime under the Water Management Act.

In her written Decision, Judge Roberts confirmed that the Water Management Act was “a comprehensive statute that was designed to address a state-wide problem – the preservation and allocation of water resources” without regard for municipal or other political boundaries.  Judge Roberts noted that in its deliberations on the scope of the Water Management Act, the Legislature was concerned with pre-existing rights created by approximately 650 prior special acts regarding water withdrawals, like the 1884 Act. Judge Roberts affirmed that the legislature “chose to address that concern by registering existing water withdrawals and continuing those registrations, upon timely renewal, ‘forever’.”  Based on the language of the two statutes, Judge Roberts concluded the “1884 Act is repugnant to and inconsistent with” the Water Management Act and that any rights granted to Littleton and Acton under the 1884 Act were extinguished.

The Land Court’s Decision to uphold Concord’s Registration to withdraw water from Nagog Pond will allow Concord’s investment in the construction of a new state-of-the-art water treatment facility to go forward without a lingering concern that Littleton and Acton might attempt to usurp Concord’s Registration which perfected and protected its withdrawal rights at Nagog Pond.

Mackie and Shea in Best Lawyers

Mackie Shea, PC, the Boston boutique law firm, is proud to announce that  Thomas A. Mackie and John F. Shea have been selected by Best Lawyers® (2020 edition) for environmental law and environmental litigation.  Tom and John each have been recognized for over ten years.

Best Lawyers® is the oldest and most respected publication in the legal profession.  Recognition is widely regarded by both clients and lawyers as a significant honor conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers.  Listing is based entirely on a transparent survey process evaluating professional abilities and the quality of legal services.

Mackie Shea, PC concentrates in environmental, land use law, and related litigation.  www.mackieshea.com

Firm Successes

Gail Magenau Hire’s parents, Tom and Mary Beth Magenau, won the 2019 National Wetlands Landowner Stewardship Award from the Environmental Law Institute for wetlands restoration work at their Tri-State Marine (TSM) dealership in Deale, Maryland.  For more than 50 years, the Magenaus have combined business goals with sustainable practices to protect the Chesapeake Bay.  Their recently completed, state-of-the-art, green infrastructure project provides habitat and food for wildlife and protects Herring Bay by filtering runoff to one of its tributaries.  From humble beginnings in 1965, TSM has grown into a successful, full service marine business that sells and services powerboats up to 37 ft.  Starting in 1999, TSM has funded complex permitting and specific land acquisitions, including placement of 40 acres into permanent conservation that led to this project’s feasibility.  The Executive Director of the Arundel Rivers Federation described the project as “the first public private partnership for storm water management in South Anne Arundel County and will prevent nearly 10,000 pounds of sediment to annually flow into the nearby creek.”  Anne Arundel County’s incentive program allows a fifty percent reduction in stormwater fees for such voluntary and sustainably-managed stormwater projects.  Other benefits included construction jobs and student and community group engagement. 

The firm and its three shareholders were recognized again as one of the top environmental law firms in Massachusetts in the 2019 edition of Chambers USA Guide.  According to Chambers, the firm is known for its “respected practice, its litigation prowess and representation before state and federal agencies, its effective handling of licensing disputes, (and) broad experience in matters such as solid waste management, renewable energy plants, and residential and commercial developments.” Clients state the Mackie Shea attorneys “understand the Massachusetts regulations extremely well and have the ability to strategize in the context of the state and local political realities.” The firm’s lawyers are “professional, responsive, knowledgeable and skilled.”

Peter Durning prevailed on motions in the Supreme Judicial Court and the Land Court on a water rights dispute between two municipalities.

John Shea negotiated an Administrative Consent Order with Penalty (ACOP) with MassDEP for a national home builder.

Tom Mackie negotiated an ACOP with MassDEP for a commercial wastewater treatment facility.

Since our most recent newsletter, Tom represented clients in solid waste site assignment hearings resulting in modification to an existing site assignment allowing the vertical expansion of an ash landfill; a site assignment for a new rail served handling facility, and modification to an existing site assignment allowing a construction and demolition debris handling facility to accept municipal solid waste. 

 

Mackie Shea, PC Recognized Among Top Environmental Law Firms

Chambers & Partners ranked Mackie Shea, PC in Band 3 for the 2019 Massachusetts Environmental Law Rankings.  Here is the Chambers Commentary for Mackie Shea, PC 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. Clients include defense companies and municipalities.

Strengths:

Sources report: “The Mackie Shea team are professional, responsive, knowledgeable and skilled.”

Clients say: “They understand the Massachusetts regulations extremely well and have the ability to strategize in the context of the state and local political realities.”

An interviewee says: “They are one of the leading firms in New England with respect to solid waste matters.”

Work highlights:

Negotiated an Administrative Consent Order and suspended penalty, on behalf of Raytheon Company, to restore wetlands damaged in mitigating flood damage.

Notable practitioners:

Thomas Mackie is a strong choice of counsel for matters connected with solid waste, recycling and renewable energy. Sources consider Tom to be “the leading solid waste attorney in Massachusetts.”

According to sources, John Shea is “great at permitting disputes, as well as working effectively with regulators to reach a compromise.” His expertise covers wetlands, water, wildlife and hazardous waste laws.

Sources report Peter Durning “advocates for his clients very effectively.” He offers expertise in a multitude of environmental matters, including permitting issues and enforcement defense.