Richard Smith is a member of the firm's Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group, where his practice focuses on environmental and utility regulation, and resource management law. He advises a wide variety of business, utility, and municipal clients regarding their environmental compliance and permitting strategies, telecommunications facility permitting, risk and crisis management, emergency response and business continuity planning, resource development projects, and commercial transactions.
Natural Resource Matters
Rich has assisted both businesses and municipal clients in the development and permitting of public and complex private water supply systems under the state's diversion permit authority and the state water supply planning process. Other resource-sensitive projects managed by him include the permitting, construction and operation of coastal facilities. These projects typically require discharge permits under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (and its state law analog) and the approval of structures, dredging, and filling activities under the Coastal Zone Management Act and related statutory permit programs administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and state and local agencies. Rich is an advisor to the National Aquaculture Association Board and has assisted the association and aquaculture businesses in addressing a variety of industry issues related to state and federal aquaculture programs, including animal health and quarantine orders, compensation for product loss, biosecurity matters, project permitting and proposed regulations and legislation.
Environmental Investigation and Remediation Projects
Rich also counsels clients with respect to the evaluation, mitigation, and allocation of potential liability for environmental site conditions and the remediation of contaminated property. He has conducted environmental due diligence investigations and risk management projects for more than 200 sites being considered for acquisition or lease. He has also counseled a state bond authority with respect to environmental permitting and compliance issues concerning borrower facilities in numerous transactions valued at a total of more than $600 million.
Rich counsels clients in the purchase and sale of businesses and real estate development projects, focusing on environmental risks, permitting, and legal requirements related to the transfer of regulated operations, including environmental remediation programs.
Health and Safety Regulation
Rich counsels food industry and agricultural sector clients with respect to regulatory programs administered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These projects concern matters ranging from food labeling standards to animal health issues and the disease eradication and compensation program of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. His publications and public speaking in this area include the legal requirements and obligations of governmental and private sector entities related to public health emergencies, as well as business continuity planning strategies.
Rich has been selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list in the practice area of Environmental Law from 2006 to 2012. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America© as Hartford Lawyer of the Year in the area of Environmental Law for 2011, and has been listed by that organization in the practice area of Environmental Law since 2007.