Member Information

Earl Phillips
Earl W. Phillips
Earl Phillips

Robinson & Cole LLP

280 Trumbull St.
Hartford, CT06103-3597

Earl Phillips is founding chair of the firms Environmental Practice Group. Earl has represented clients before congressional hearings on environmental legislation, engaged in regulatory rule making proceedings and has been engaged in administrative permitting and enforcement proceedings before US EPAs headquarters and the majority of its regional offices, OSHA, and roughly 30 State environmental agencies. His practice includes environmental compliance and risk management counseling defense, cost recovery and allocation transactional counseling brownfield development project and utility (energy and water) siting crisis management preparation and response and federal-state and local permitting. He regularly represents research and manufacturing interests, natural resource (water, stone, sand, and gravel) companies, metal reclamation and recycling, pharmaceutical, chemical, petroleum, and waste companies, as well as property owners, facility and project developers, municipalities, and utilities. Mr. Phillips is widely published and has lectured to diverse business and legal audiences throughout the United States and abroad. He has taught courses in environmental, water, and land use law at a number of New England colleges and universities and is presently a visiting scholar and Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law and Policy for the College of the Environment at Wesleyan University and Adjunct Instructor in the Graduate School of Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy at Tufts University. Mr. Phillips is a past chair of the Environment Section of the U.S. Law Firm Group, consistently ranked in the top tier of environmental lawyers in Chambers USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business and has received highest ratings (AV Preeminent ) from Martindale-Hubbell for his entire career.

Work Phone:

EPA Region:
Region 1 – (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, and VT)
Year of induction:
Catholic University of America J.D. 2 years 1980 University of Pittsburgh J.D. (first year) 1979 Wesleyan University 1977 B.A., Earth Environmental Science (Geology) cum laude
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, State of Connecticut, State of Maine, State of New York, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, District of Columbia
Court Admissions:
Admitted to Practice Before the Courts in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C. New York, Pennsylvania U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut
Professional Societies and Organizations:
Past Chair of the Environmental Section of the US Law Firm Group and the National Institute of Municipal Law Officers served as a member of the CT Council on Environmental Quality Chairman of the Environmental Section of Connecticut Bar Association member of the Executive Steering Committee of the Environmental Policies Council of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association the Environmental Committee of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts member of the Executive Board, Connecticut Chapter of the National Brownfield Association Environmental Section of Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) National Sand, Stone and Gravel Association (NSSGA) National Energy & Fuels Institute Massachusetts
Other Environmental Career Experience:
Geologist for the Nature Conservancy Contract Geologist for Army Corps of Engineers research project Intern Council on Environmental Quality
Illustrative Projects:
COMPLIANCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SAFETY MANAGEMENT Developed the organizational Environmental Health Safety (EHS) architecture and oversaw the implementation of a comprehensive EHS management system and auditing campaign for a mid-size public company with operations in 8 states. Served as lead outside counsel for a large public company engaged in a national EHS auditing and voluntary disclosure effort. Assisted a public company in developing its EHS Compliance and Auditing approach and training, while acting as lead outside counsel. PROJECT DEVELOPMENT Served as lead counsel for the design, permitting, remediation, liability protection, and construction of a global development corporate headquarters for a Fortune 500 public company on a waterfront brownfield. Lead environmental counsel for hundreds of transactions involving public and private companies with efforts including drafting and negotiating Site Access Agreements, representations and warranties, hold harmless and indemnification provisions, remediation obligations, and environmental land use restrictions. Resolved major on and off-site remedial obligations and liabilities for a private manufacturer interest through the permitting, contracting, design, development and procurement of western water rights and ultimate construction of two separate water supplies and related infrastructure to serve two separate municipalities. Served as co-lead counsel for the property acquisition, permitting, environmental justice process, and drafting of all Community Benefits and Tax Agreements for a large independent energy company siting a new power plant. Secured all rights and permits to raise the dam and expand a water supply reservoir on behalf of a municipality. SITE REMEDIATION Successfully structured the acquisition of a brownfield site for the development of a corporate facility by securing liability protection from the government that included No Further Action letter, Comfort Letter that the Government would not pursue the client, and a formal obligation of the State to conduct any and all investigatory and remedial work that might be required in the future. Assisted client with conversion of an above ground tank farm to a high end condominium development. Served as lead counsel, and successfully advanced alternative remediation standards that were the first of their kind in the state. Served as co-lead counsel in developing a remedial approach for onsite and offsite conditions related to historic operations. This approach involved the creative reuse of groundwater extracted treated as part of the remedial effort for irrigation and other non-potable water supply, and onsite soil remediation reuse. This approach helped limit and resolve third party exposures, governmental, as well as natural resources damages claims. Served as lead counsel in well over 100 site investigation remediation projects throughout the U.S. and beyond. Projects have ranged in size - from providing representation in some of this country's largest and most significant superfund sites, to negotiating remedial approaches at single site locations. DEFENSE, ALLOCATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION Served as lead counsel to major public and private companies in enforcement actions brought by the USEPA and State Environmental Agencies related to Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, RCRA, Superfund, and TSCA. Served as lead counsel to major public and private companies in permitting and licensing disputes with the USEPA and State Environmental Agencies under the CWA, CAA, RCRA, and TSCA. Served as lead counsel to major public and private companies relative to CERCLA (Superfund) enforcement, allocation proceedings, and related enforcement disputes. EMERGENCY PREPARATION AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT Served as lead counsel for several multistate fuel oil supply companies with respect to emergency planning and all crisis management, such as transportation accidents and releases, tank failures, and building spills. Represented large pharmaceutical company, as lead counsel, for explosion, fire, and chemical release, including assisting with all incident and regulatory responses and cause analysis. Achieved successful conclusion with all governmental authorities and cost recovery against third party suppliers. Provides lead representation for several regional gasoline and fuel oil suppliers, with respect to response to all emergency incidents, such as failure of underground storage tanks posing threats to the public drinking water supply, and regional pipeline distribution failures. Served as lead counsel for a water supply company relative to well head protection and response, as well as responses to potential threats to wells or critical aquifer. For major utility client, reviewed and analyzed its emergency preparedness and crisis management procedures and approach. LEGAL RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT Serve as outside legal relationship manager and informal general counsel for a mid-size manufacturing (metal) interest with an international manufacturing and distribution presence. Helped the company manage its investigation and remediation risks, conduct environmental, health, and safety risk management, structure transactions, secure permits, evaluate corporate and organizational structure, and address employment issues. Counsel and serve as informal outside general counsel to a mid-size manufacturing (chemical and consumer products) interest with a national and international manufacturing and distribution presence acquire facilities, expand operations, and resolve employment, environmental, health, and safety exposure. Provide outside legal relationship management and informal general counsel services for a highly diversified private company with multi-state wholesale and retail holdings, multiple hospitality and real estate interests, and multi-state renewable energy interests. Structured all of the transactional and risk management work, performed all of the energy siting, real estate, and permitting for the renewable energy interests, and assisted with the structuring of all transactional and permitting work for the hospitality interests. Serve as co-lead in the legal relationship management of a portfolio of site investigation, site remediation, and compliance matters across the US for a fortune 100 public company.