Peter J. Fontaine is co-chair of the firm's Energy, Environmental & Public Utility Practice Group and the Climate Change practice. He has a national practice in environmental and energy law working with large, medium and small companies to help them manage and resolve their environmental liabilities and exploit new opportunities arising from the convergence of energy and environmental imperatives. Peter joined the firm in 2002 and was the impetus behind Cozen O’Connor’s formation in 2004 of a combined environmental and energy practice.
Peter helps a wide range of businesses to assess, manage, and resolve environmental liabilities associated with soil, water and air pollution. He advises consumer product manufacturers in connection with toxic and hazardous substances subject to California's Proposition 65 and similar state and federal laws. He assists Fortune 500 corporations to structure and implement internal environmental compliance programs, including compliance audits, policy development and implementation, and internal investigations. He defends and prosecutes environmental claims in state and federal courts and administrative agencies, including before the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board and the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law.
Peter leads the firm's brownfield development practice, assisting land owners and developers to identify, manage, and resolve the challenges posed by real or perceived contamination. This includes helping to manage due diligence, negotiate environmental provisions in purchase agreements, procure liability protection from insurers and regulatory agencies, and structure remediation projects. He has advised land owners and developers on some of the most complex brownfield projects, including helping secure closure, remediation and redevelopment of sites in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maryland.
Peter also represents companies in the clean energy arena, helping companies in the wind, solar, biogas, and electric vehicle sectors to develop projects and exploit new markets. In 2008, Peter conceived and helped form the Battery Electric Vehicle Coalition which advocates for legislation to level the playing field for electric vehicles.
Outside the office, Peter is an active member of the greater-Philadelphia community. He helped secure passage of three open space public questions in 1998, 2005, and 2006, which created stable funding sources for preserving open spaces, farms, historic sites, and recreational areas in Camden County, N.J. He chairs Camden County's Open Space Advisory Committee, which since 1999 has preserved more than 2,000 acres of farmland and open space. He served on Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell's transportation transition team. He is a board member of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the state's oldest land conservation organization.
Peter earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Hampshire in 1986 and his J.D. from George Washington University Law School in 1990.