Environmental Law & Land Use

Lawyers who know the lay of the land can help you reach your land use goal expeditiously.

If you have plans to use or develop property, there is broad range of laws that impact how, or even if, those plans will be realized. While you keep your focus on your ideal outcome, you need a team working for your that can foresee the potential road blocks to achieving your goal, before they even crop up.

As lead counsel to industrial, commercial and municipal entities faced with significant environmental, regulatory and compliance issues as well as real estate developers and resorts pursuing large-scale permitting projects, Downs Rachlin Martin's Environmental Law and Land Use team has just that capability. With sharp legal skills, in-depth experience, regulatory relationships, and technical understanding, the team has the comprehensive knowledge to address a full spectrum of environmental, regulatory and land use needs.

Environmental and land use attorney Peter Van Oot is a Charter Fellow of the American College of Environmental Attorneys.  Peter was appointed to the Brownfields Task Force by Vermont Governor Shumlin to recommend and support efforts by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development to recover “Brownfield” sites across the state in order to clean up the contamination, attract new business development and create jobs. He previously served on the Brownfields Advisory Committee to the Vermont Legislature and on the advisory board of Vermont Law School's Environmental Law Center and Land Use Institute. Peter serves on the board of directors of The Nature Conservancy – Vermont Chapter.  He previously served as a member of Vermont Governor Howard Dean's Council of Environmental Advisors and as a board member and chair of the Vermont Land Trust. He is a past visiting professor of environmental law at Williams College (1999-2003) and was a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Patrick J. Leahy (1980-1985).

Recent Accomplishments

Downs Rachlin Martin's Environmental Law and Land Use team was lead counsel for each of the following permitting projects:

  • Act 250 Master and Construction approvals for three major Vermont ski areas (Mt. Snow, Burke Mountain and Killington/SP Land).
  • Building a 37,500 sq. ft. yogurt manufacturing facility and 23,013 sq. ft. expansion for Commonwealth Dairy LLC, in Brattleboro, Vermont.
  • Grafton Village Cheese Company Cheese Manufacturing Project, Brattleboro, Vermont.
  • Bennington Landfill/Kocher Dump, Darling Hill, Parker Landfill and Pine Street Barge Canal Superfunds Sites, Bennington, Lyndon and Burlington, Vermont.
  • US EPA Lead Abatement/Clean Air Act, US EPA SPCC/Clean Water Act and Vermont Agency of Natural Resources solid waste enforcement matters.
  • Lead counsel at Pine Street Canal Superfund Site in Burlington, Vermont.
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