Michael D. Klein

Senior Counsel

Recent News:

Lawsuits Against PFAS Manufacturers and Other PFAS-Related Parties

Michael Klein provides an update on a few of the many lawsuits impacting the water sector that are the result of PFAS and PFOA levels in rainwater often exceeding the EPA’s Michael’s article in The Water News Source analyzes lawsuits similar to the suit filed by the Municipal Water Authority of Westmoreland County.

Michael has a national practice, spanning over 40 years, representing utilities, municipalities, corporations, and developers in a broad array of water, wastewater, and energy related matters. In the water sector, Michael is legal counsel to state chapters of a number of associations of public water suppliers. He has served as general counsel for public water suppliers in Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. He has significant experience in the regionalization and sale of public water and sewer facilities, and in the siting and construction of such facilities. He has also negotiated numerous management services agreements and bulk water sales and purchase agreements. He has represented clients in obtaining water allocation permits/approvals from state agencies and interstate compacts.

In the energy sector, Michael has been involved in the leasing of natural gas and oil interests. He has represented companies involved in the fracking of shale plays, including the Marcellus. He has significant experience in the permitting, siting, and construction of large energy projects, including wind farms and solar energy facilities.

With respect to project development, Michael has extensive experience in construction law, having grown-up working in his family’s building supply and construction operation. Through the years, he has helped guide a broad spectrum of clients through significant construction issues and legal challenges, involving NPDES permits for storm water discharges associated with construction activities; erosion and sediment control permits; post-construction storm water management plans, land use, and eminent domain. When legal challenges to permits and other approvals issued to clients arise, Michael has the experience and knowledge to defend in negotiations and litigation, the permits and other approvals issued to his clients. Michael has years of experience litigating cases before federal and state courts, and other forums, including state environmental hearing boards, state public utility commissions, and local zoning hearing boards.

Michael writes a regular column providing water law updates for a water industry magazine, is quoted by national and international media, and is often a featured speaker at law conferences on subjects ranging from crisis communications to utility infrastructure projects, and regulatory compliance. Michael is rated by Martindale-Hubbell® as AV Preeminent, the “highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards.”

Experience

News

Lawsuits Against PFAS Manufacturers and Other PFAS-Related Parties

October 11, 2022

Michael Klein provides an update on a few of the many lawsuits impacting the water sector that are the result of PFAS and PFOA levels in rainwater often exceeding the EPA’s Michael’s article in The Water News Source analyzes lawsuits similar to the suit filed by the Municipal Water Authority of Westmoreland County.

Michael Klein Receives Pennsylvania’s Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network’s Highest Honor

September 01, 2020

Harrisburg, Pa., September 1, 2020 – Michael D. Klein, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Utility & Energy Practice, has been named the 2020 recipient of the Gold Star Award by the Board of Directors of Pennsylvania’s Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (PAWARN).

Baltimore Voters Test Resistance to Privatization

November 02, 2018

Michael Klein, a member of the firm’s Utility, Environmental & Energy Practice, is quoted in Bloomberg on a ballot measure that, if approved, would prevent the city of Baltimore from selling its government-owned water and sewer system.

Investor Owned Utilities Benefit As Fair Value Legislation Incentivises System Sales

December 01, 2016

Michael Klein discusses the adoption of fair market value legislation for investor-owned utilities in several U.S. states in Global Water Intelligence.

Rising Sun Signs Contract with Chester Water Authority

August 25, 2016

Michael Klein discusses a new agreement between Rising Sun, Maryland, and the Chester Water Authority to address the town's inadequate water supply issues.

Publications

Resolving Violations Under the PA Safe Drinking Water Act

August 04, 2022

Michael Klein provides an update on resolving the PA Safe Drinking Water Act (Act) violations in the Pennsylvania Perspective newsletter.

Municipal Authority Files Legal Action Involving PFAS

July 14, 2022

Michael Klein analyzes the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County (MAWC) v. 3M Company et al. complaint in The Water News Source. MAWC filed a complaint containing six separate causes of action, alleging that more than 20 defendants are responsible for the contamination and pollution of natural resources in and around Westmoreland County.

Selling Chester Water Authority Assets: The Latest on Litigation Efforts by the City of Chester [The Water News Source]

December 31, 2021

Michael Klein provides insight into the possible sale of Chester Water Authority (CWA) by the City of Chester that resulted in a September 2021 decision issued by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court and followed by CWA’s appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in The Water News Source.

COVID-19 and the Critical Infrastructure Worker

February 19, 2021

Michael Klein provides an update on an emergency order issued by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC).

Court Rules on City of Chester’s Authority over CWA Assets [The Water News Source]

July 20, 2020

Michael Klein discusses a long-awaited decision by the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Pa., involving the City of Chester’s request that the court declares that the city is authorized by law to convey the water system assets of the Chester Water Authority (CWA) to the city for its own use.

Pennsylvania April 15 COVID-19 Health Measures Order for Certain Businesses, Including Utilities [Alert]

April 17, 2020

Michael Klein discussed Pennsylvania's new order providing guidance for essential businesses, including utilities, to protect employees and the public.

Update on N.J. and Pa. Restrictions on Construction Activities — Utility and Other Projects [Alert]

April 13, 2020

Michael Klein and Michael Connolly provide updates to restrictions Pennsylvania and New Jersey have issued on the energy industry.

COVID-19 Emergency Mandates on Utility Construction Activities and Supplies

April 07, 2020

Dave Zambito, Michael Klein, Michael Connolly, and Jonathan Nase explain what utility companies need to know about their construction projects in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

COVID-19 and the Utility, Energy, Telecommunications & Transportation Sectors: What [Alert]

March 24, 2020

David Zambito, Michael Klein, Michael Connolly, Gregory Eisenstark, Ira Megdal, and Jonathan Nase discuss the executive orders in New Jersey and Pennsylvania impacting the utility industry.

The Latest on the Regulation of PFAS Substances, and the Jurisdiction of the PA Public Utility Commission [The Water News Source]

February 07, 2020

Michael Klein authored an article in the Pennsylvania American Water Works Association’s quarterly magazine, The Water News Source, on regulations related to PFAS contamination.

PFAS and Public Water Supply in Pennsylvania: Challenges & Opportunities [Alert]

May 20, 2019

Peter Fontaine, Michael Klein, and Marcia Mulkey discuss the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's tracking approximately 19 sites with known contamination with PFOA and PFOS and its PFAS sampling plan, targeting 300 public water supplies with elevated potential for contamination and testing for six PFAS compounds

Baltimore Ballot Question: A Wave or a Ripple? [The Authority]

April 18, 2019

Michael Klein authored an article on a ballot question in Baltimore that would determine if the city’s water and sewer systems could be sold, leased, or privatized.

The Criminalization of Violations of the PA Safe Drinking Water Act [The Water News Source]

March 29, 2019

Michael Klein discusses the civil and criminal charges water companies could face if found in violation of the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act.

Sex and Water Do Not Mix [PAAWWA]

January 01, 2018

Michael Klein, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Utility, Environmental & Energy Practice Group, discusses the rise of sexual harassment awareness in every sector of society, including the water industry, in Pennsylvania American Water Works Association's magazine, The Water News Source.

Education

  • Dickinson School of Law, J.D., 1976
  • King's College, B.A., magna cum laude, 1973

Awards & Honors

Pennsylvania Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network Gold Star Award

Judge James McGirr Kelly Award For Excellence

American Water Works Association Special Recognition Award

Martindale Hubbell rated AV® Preeminent

  • District of Columbia
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court -- Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Member of the American Water Works Association