Cozen O’Connor: Klein, Michael

Michael D. Klein

Member

Harrisburg

(717) 703-5903

(202) 640-5521

Washington, D.C.

(202) 912-4822

Michael has a national practice, spanning almost 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 several U.S and international 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 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.

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, and state public utility commissions.

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.”

News

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.

Michael Klein Mentioned on Standardspeaker.com

December 20, 2015

Michael Klein, co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Energy Industry Team, was mentioned in a Standardspeaker.com article about his case in the Greater Hazleton area.

Michael Klein Discusses Settlement of D&I Silica’s Suit Against Wyoming County in The Scranton Times-Tribune

November 03, 2014

In an article titled “Judge OKs silica sand settlement,” Michael Klein, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Utility, Environmental & Energy practice group, discusses the recent settlement of his client’s lawsuit against Wyoming County. D&I Silica sued the county after its permit for a proposed land development was rejected by the county planning commission. Following the settlement, Senior Judge Brendan Vanston commended D&I Silica and the county for reaching a resolution and added that without the agreement, “D&I would have prevailed and your county and tax dollars would have taken a big hit.”

Michael Klein Discusses Complaint Against Wyoming County Planning Commission in The Scranton Times Tribune

September 02, 2014

In an article titled, “Silica Sand Firm Sues Wyoming County,” Michael Klein, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Utility, Environmental & Energy Group, discusses a complaint filed on behalf of D&I Silica against the Wyoming County Planning Commission. The complaint alleges that the planning body “did not satisfy the explicit requirements” of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code when it declined to grant preliminary approval of a proposed transload silica sand facility at a hearing on July 16.

Michael Klein Introduces Victoria Binetti at the Energy, Environmental and Public Utility Symposium

June 17, 2014

Michael Klein, of the Energy, Environmental & Public Utility Group, was recently involved with the Practice Group's symposium: "Preventing Hazardous Material Catastrophes in a Changing World." Michael introduced Victoria Binetti, Chief, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Drinking Water, Region 3.

Michael Klein Interviewed by Storm Water Solutions Magazine Regarding the Privatization of Municipal Water and Sewer Systems

April 03, 2014

In a Q&A feature published by Storm Water Solutions Magazine, Michael Klein (Utility, Environmental & Energy, Washington, DC and Harrisburg, PA) discusses the increasing demand for privatized municipal water services and the effects of privatization. Michael highlights the pros and cons of privatization and provides examples of municipalities that have benefited from privatization.

Cozen O’Connor Adds Three Dewey & LeBoeuf Attorneys Including Energy Partner Michael D. Klein

April 17, 2012

Cozen O’Connor Adds Three Dewey & LeBoeuf Attorneys Including Energy Partner Michael D. Klein

Publications

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.

Drones: The Sky is no Longer the Limit for Water/Sewer Systems [PAAWWA]

April 24, 2017

David Heffernan, Michael Klein and Jennifer Urban discuss how drones will revolutionize the way water and sewer systems operate and the legal restrictions that accompany this new practice.

Pennsylvania Water Law [PAAWWA]

January 27, 2017

Michael Klein, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Utility, Environmental & Energy practice, discusses Pennsylvania water law in the PA Section - American Water Works Association.

Pennsylvania’s New Law for Valuing Acquired Municipal/Authority Water and Wastewater Systems [Utility, Environmental & Energy Alert]

May 04, 2016

Michael Klein, David Zambito and Troy Sellars discuss Act 12 that revises Chapter 13 of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Code to provide a framework for valuing, for ratemaking purposes, water and wastewater systems that are owned by a municipal corporation or authority and that are to be acquired by another entity that is or will be regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission as a public utility.

Take the Lead on Lead in Drinking Water [The Authority]

April 24, 2016

Michael Klein discusses dwindling consumer confidence in the safety of their tap water in light of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

A Thorny Aspect of Unmetered Sewer Rates Based on Metered Water Rates Has Its Day In Court

February 03, 2016

Michael Klein discusses the legal issues affecting water suppliers in Pennsylvania in the winter 2015-16 issue of the Water News Source.

Commonwealth Court Upholds the Right of an Authority to Bill and Collect for Services Previously Unbilled Due to Inaccurate Information [American Water Works Association]

October 15, 2015

Michael Klein discusses the Commonwealth Court’s recent decision in Valley Forge Sewer Authority v. Hipwell et all. involving a municipal authority’s efforts to collect rates for several years of services that had been rendered, but not previously billed by the authority due to inaccurate information.

Pennsylvania Water Law: The PA Supreme Court Makes Decisive Eminent Domain Ruling [American Water Works Association]

January 29, 2015

In an article titled ''The PA Supreme Court makes decisive eminent domain ruling,'' Michael Klein, co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Energy Industry Team, discusses Pennsylvania’s Property Rights Protection Act and how investor-owned water utilities are not regulated under the Act, but remain subject to the Eminent Domain Code and applicable case law that provide restrictions on their exercise of the right of eminent domain.

Pennsylvania Water Law: Contamination Incidents and Liability [American Water Works Association]

October 31, 2014

In an article titled “Pennsylvania Water Law: Contamination Incidents and Liability,” Dexter Hamilton, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, Michael Klein, co-chair of the firm’s Energy & Utilities Industry team, and Thomas Leonard, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, address recent water contamination incidents and the inevitable legal actions that follow.

Preventing Hazardous Material Catastrophes In A Changing World [Webcast]

June 17, 2014

Cozen O'Connor's Energy Environmental & Public Utility Group convenes a symposium of national experts in Philadelphia to discuss emerging issues surrounding catastrophic releases of hazardous materials.

The Freedom Industries' Chemical Spill: It Didn't Stay in West Virginia [The Authority]

April 28, 2014

In an article titled, “The Freedom Industries’ Chemical Spill – It Didn’t Stay in West Virginia” published in the April issue of The Authority magazine, Michael Klein (Utility, Environmental & Energy, Washington, DC and Harrisburg, PA) discusses the ramifications of the recent Freedom Industries chemical spill and encourages public water suppliers to prepare for such an event by updating their vulnerability assessments, emergency response plans, and employee training programs.

Your Vulnerability and Emergency Response Plan -- Friends or Enemies? [Keystone Tap]

March 19, 2014

In an article titled “Your Vulnerability and Emergency Response Plan – Friends or Enemies?” Michael Klein recommends – following the recent Elk River chemical spill in West Virginia – that every public water system consider doing at least two things: (1) review and update existing vulnerability assessments and emergency response plans; and (2) regularly train and educate employees with respect to the assessments and plans.

Utilities Sector To Be a Focus of Executive Order Directing Development of Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Framework [Energy, Environmental and Utilities Alert]

February 20, 2013

Little more than a week after reports of cyber attacks targeted at the Department of Energy, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, President Obama declared in his State of the Union address that these forms of attacks on the nation’s critical infrastructure are rapidly growing and present “real threats to our security and our economy.”

The Future of Environmental Regulation and the Impact on the Practice of Environmental Law [Inside the Minds: The Impact of Environmental Issues on Business Transactions]

January 01, 2013

Over the last several years, attorneys have begun to see the focus of environmental regulations in the United States shifting from cleaning up legacy contamination to anticipating the environmental challenges of the future.

Pennsylvania Amends Municipality Authorities Act to Restrict Authority Expenditures [Energy, Environmental and Utilities Alert]

July 05, 2012

Pennsylvania Amends Municipality Authorities Act to Restrict Authority Expenditures - Energy, Environmental and Utilities Alert - On June 27, 2012, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed into law Senate Bill 375, which had been approved by a vote of 47-0 in the Senate on June 13 and by a vote of 196-0 in the House on June 19. The bill places certain restrictions on municipal water and sewer authorities’ ability to expend resources on activities not related to their core purpose.

EPA Issues Final Emissions Standards for Oil & Natural Gas Sector [Energy, Environmental and Utilities Alert]

May 04, 2012

EPA Issues Final Emissions Standards for Oil & Natural Gas Sector - Energy, Environmental and Utilities Alert - On April 17, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized performance and emissions standards for emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells and
other source categories in the oil and natural gas sector. Specifically, the rule revises New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) under 40 C.F.R. part 60, subparts KKK, LLL and new OOOO as well as National Emissions Standards for hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) under 40 C.F.R. part
63, subparts HH and HHH.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

2019 PA AWWA’s Annual Conference

April 17, 2019 - Hershey, PA

Bond Buyer Mid-Atlantic Municipal Conference

October 24, 2018 - Philadelphia, PA

2018 WWOAP Conference

September 24, 2018 - Boalsburg, PA

Pennsylvania AWWA Annual Conference

May 10, 2018 - Pocono Manor, PA

PBI Public Utility Law Conference

May 31, 2017 - Harrisburg, PA

PA AWWA 69th Annual Conference

April 25, 2017 - Hershey, PA

PA-AWWA's 66th Annual Conference

May 08, 2014 - Bethlehem, PA

Public Utility Law Conference

May 30, 2013 - Harrisburg, PA

NAWC PA Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon

May 08, 2012 - Harrisburg, PA

Education

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

Awards & Honors

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 Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Rules Committee
  • Member of the American Water Works Association