Danielle Mettler-LaFeir focuses her practice in the area of environmental law. She advises energy utilities on complex state and federal environmental laws related to the development of energy resources and operations involving electrical generation, and counsels businesses on project development and operations, and applicable environmental laws. Her practice involves compliance, permitting, transactional and litigation work under various environmental statutes, with a concentration in the Clean Air Act, climate change, 316(a) and (b) of the Clean Water Act and environmental remediation (CERCLA).
Danielle has extensive experience with Clean Air Act permitting, compliance and the regulatory process implementing the Clean Air Act at both the state and federal level. Danielle has counseled clients including energy and utility, gas transmission and distribution and manufacturing companies on Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act legal solutions to existing, new and proposed regulations impacting these industries. Danielle has also assisted clients with creative and effective solutions to issues associated with environmental remediation pursuant to CERCLA and voluntary cleanup programs.
Danielle has significant experience with representing clients in enforcement actions initiated by the New York State Environmental Conservation and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, particularly in the area of the Clean Air Act including New Source Review, hazardous air pollutants and Title V and State Facility permitting. This experience includes negotiating orders on consent, representing clients in administrative proceedings and mediations, and responding to intervening parties and state and federal agencies. Danielle has also been involved in a number of private cost recovery actions associated with the allocation and/or reimbursement of remedial costs, including litigation, mediation and participation in potentially responsible party groups.
Danielle’s background allows her to understand the technological aspects of many environmental issues and associated laws and regulations, resulting in a deep understanding of complex environmental laws and the ability to communicate effectively with regulators. Before attending law school and receiving a Master’s in Environmental Law, Danielle received her B.S. in Environmental Management from Rochester Institute of Technology and handled environmental compliance matters as a member of the environmental staff at Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics (a Johnson & Johnson Company).
Danielle is an active member of the firm's Women's Forum, which assists in creating opportunities for personal and professional growth among women in the firm and throughout the community.
- Represented a utility in the renewal of the State Pollution Discharge Elimination System ("SPDES") permit for the electric generating facility. The main issue is Best Technology Available ("BTA") for cooling water intake structures required by 316(b) of the Clean Water Act and 6 NYCRR 704.5.
- Developed a New Source Review program for a Long Island electric generating facility in order to ensure compliance with the Clean Air Act's New Source Review Requirements.
- Served as counsel on the renewal of the Title V (Clean Air Act) permit for a combined cycle electric generating turbine. The renewal included, among other things, negotiation of terms with NYSDEC related to emissions associated with the startup and shut down of the unit. We were successful in obtaining flexible limits in order to reduce the risk of non-compliance and enforcement actions associated with such. Previous to the revisions, the facility risked non-compliance and potential citizen suits.
- Represented a manufacturing client under a voluntary cleanup agreement with the NYSDEC, which included a limitation on occupancy of the buildings until a mitigation system was installed. The client had closed its manufacturing operations at the site and was in the process of trying to sell the property, and had already lost two buyers due to the limitation on occupancy and its inability to complete the requirements of the voluntary agreement quickly enough. We assisted in working with the NYSDEC and NYSDOH to get the mitigation system installed and the occupancy restriction removed.
- Vermont Law School, J.D., cum laude; Legal Writing I Instructor, 2006
- Vermont Law School, M.S.E.L., magna cum laude; Deans Fellow, 2006
- Rochester Institute of Technology, B.S., high honors, 2002
- New York, 2007
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
- "NY Water Withdrawal Just Got Easier For Power Generators," Law360, October 23, 2014
- "New EPA Carbon Rules Change Outlook for Future Mix of Fuels," The Electricity Journal, Volume 27, Issue 6, July 2014
- "EPA Coal Rules Will Hook The Country On Natural Gas," Law360, May 23, 2014
- "EPA Rule May Crush New Coal Plants and Buoy Natural Gas," Law360, March 27, 2014
- "EPA Rule Set To Cap Growth Of Power Plant Emissions," Law360, February 4, 2014
- Presenter, "Aggregation of Air Emissions - What Does Adjacency Really Mean?" IOGANY Annual Meeting, November 6, 2013
- Presenter, "Green Is Good - The New Business Paradigm" Conference Co-Hosted By Air & Waste Management Association and New York Water Environment Association, February 13, 2013
- “Clean Air Law & Policy,” Monroe County Bar Association CLE Seminar, January 2010
- “Clean Air and Climate Change Regulation,” Con Edison CLE Seminar, December 2009
- “Federal & New York State Air Pollution Control,” Hiscock & Barclay, LLP CLE Seminar, May 2009
- “The Role of Environmental Ethics in Decision-Making,” International Environmental Management Leadership Symposium, May 12, 2009
- “Climate Change Issues Affect Corporate Risks and Opportunities,” co-authored chapter in The Legal Impact of Climate Change: Leading Lawyers on Preparing for New Environmental Legislation, Assessing Green Programs for Clients, and Working with Government Agencies on Climate Change Issues (Inside the Minds), published by Thomson Reuters/Aspatore, 2008
- Super Lawyers Magazine, 2015-2017 Rising Star for Environmental
- The Daily Record's Excellence in Law "Up & Coming Attorney Award" for 2014
- Selected as a 2013 Empire State Counsel Honoree by the New York State Bar Association
- Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Associate
- Vermont Office of the Defender General, Appellate Division, Law Clerk
- Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics (a Johnson & Johnson Company), Environmental and Safety Staff