Pete is chair of the firm's Environmental Practice and the Climate Change Practice. He counsels large, medium, and small companies across the United States to help them manage and resolve their environmental liabilities and capture new business opportunities arising from the convergence of the energy and environmental demands of the world. A thought leader on issues surrounding climate change, Pete has authored a number of articles on the topic.
Pete represents an offshore wind energy company to help secure regulatory approvals for a new project on the Outer Continental Shelf off of the New Jersey Coast. He also is environmental counsel to two natural gas pipeline projects designed to increase natural gas supplies to communities in the northeast to lower electricity and heating costs and reduce carbon emissions and criteria air pollution. He advises pipeline owners on a multitude of environmental regulatory issues and interfaces with state and federal agencies. He has deep experience counseling a wide range of businesses to assess, manage, and resolve environmental liabilities associated with soil, water, and air pollution. Pete leads Cozen O’Connor’s Brownfields Development Practice, which assists landowners and developers to identify, manage, and resolve challenges posed by real or perceived soil and groundwater contamination. This includes helping manage due diligence, negotiate environmental provisions in purchase agreements, procure liability protection from insurers and regulatory agencies, and structure remediation projects. He has advised landowners and developers on some of the most complex brownfields projects, including helping secure closure, remediation, and redevelopment of sites in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maryland. He has deep experience advising laboratories and testing services companies on data integrity issues. He also helps companies to structure and implement internal environmental compliance programs, including compliance audits, policy development and implementation, and internal investigations. He routinely 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. He advises consumer product manufacturers in connection with toxic and hazardous substances subject to California's Proposition 65 and similar state and federal laws.
Pete has represented several clean technology companies including energy storage companies and electric vehicle companies, seeking to develop projects and explore new markets. In 2008, he conceived and helped form the Battery Electric Vehicle Coalition, which successfully advanced federal legislation creating a federal investment tax credit for electrical vehicle charging infrastructure to level the playing field for electric vehicles.
Prior to private practice, he was an enforcement lawyer with the Office of Enforcement, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., where he helped write regulations implementing the 1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act, prosecuted civil violations of environmental laws, and served as a Special Assistant to the Director of Civil Enforcement. He received the EPA's Award for Excellence for his contribution to the EPA's first multimedia enforcement team. He routinely draws on his EPA experience to help clients navigate EPA and state agency regulations to achieve practical solutions to their environmental problems.
Outside the office, Pete is active in several civic engagements in the Greater Philadelphia community. He helped secure passage of three open space public referendum questions in 1998, 2005, and 2006, which created stable funding for preserving open spaces, farms, historic sites, and recreational areas in Camden County, N.J. From 1999 to 2013, he chaired Camden County's Open Space Advisory Committee, which has preserved more than 2,000 acres of farmland and open space. He recently served on New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's environmental and energy transition committee where he developed a set of policy recommendations to address climate change. He is a board member of the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association, a conservancy dedicated to protecting birds of prey through raptor conservation science and education. He is a former board member of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the state's oldest land conservation organization.
Pete earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Hampshire in 1986, where he was a member of the varsity soccer team. He received his J.D. from George Washington University Law School in 1990.