Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. has extensive experience in taking large, complex projects through a multi-jurisdictional permitting review process. These projects often involve municipal, county, state and federal approvals as well as environmental assessments and impact statements. These projects can involve new manufacturing facilities, refineries, electric generating facilities, commercial offices, large residential buildings, laboratory complexes, waterfront developments and mixed use developments. The projects may involve brownfield or greenfield sites, or require major infrastructure improvements or rehabilitation. Typically, these projects implicate complicated assessments of environmental impacts or mitigation measures. Finally, these projects could involve substantial expansion of existing facilities with the need for new infrastructure and transportation access.
Complex projects usually require in-depth consideration of environmental and other impacts. Impact statements for these projects typically encompass areas such as land use and zoning, visual and aesthetic resources, socioeconomics, environmental justice, air resources, traffic and transportation, cultural resources, noise, geology, soils, terrestrial ecology, infrastructure, cumulative impacts, water resources and construction impacts. Beveridge & Diamond has played a key role in advising clients and their consultants regarding the scope of the analyses required for each area and ensuring that the studies conducted for the project are consistent with information developed to support key permit applications.
Throughout the permitting process, Beveridge & Diamond takes a lead in interfacing between the client and its consultants to ensure that the necessary studies are completed in a timely fashion. One of the Firm’s critical responsibilities for complex projects is to ensure that legal and consulting costs are controlled without jeopardizing the project’s ability to obtain necessary approvals to proceed with development.
Whether review proceeds under NEPA, or a state equivalent, one area of particular concern for complex projects is an analysis of alternatives to the proposal under consideration. In advising clients, Beveridge & Diamond seeks to ensure the alternatives analysis is sufficient without creating a record that leaves project vulnerable to attack by opponents. For example, for several electric generating facility proposals in New York, Beveridge & Diamond successfully resisted calls by interveners to study alternative sites for the proposal, thereby avoiding the time and expense of such an undertaking.
For a number of projects, clients retain Beveridge & Diamond’s services through the development phase to ensure that the project complies with construction-related permit conditions. This can be particularly important where a brownfield redevelopment or critical environmental resource is involved.
Examples of these types of projects that Beveridge & Diamond has successfully guided through the complex permitting and review process include: