Reed Smith announced a significant addition to its global Energy and Natural Resources Group with the arrival of prominent environmental lawyer Peter Trimarchi, who joins the firm as a partner based in New York. Trimarchi was previously a partner at Nixon Peabody, where he led that firm’s environmental team and advised on all aspects of environmental law for nearly a decade, with a particular focus on high-profile energy deals and complex regulatory and enforcement matters.
“We are very pleased to welcome Peter in New York as part of our broader strategic initiative to add senior-level support across the firm,” said London-based Prajakt Samant, who chairs Reed Smith’s global Energy and Natural Resources Group. “We are experiencing a high demand for Peter’s particular skillset, which fits seamlessly into our environmental team, while increasing the bandwidth of our busy Global Corporate Group.”
Trimarchi helps clients identify and manage environmental risks in a wide variety of transactions, from banking and real estate deals to mergers and acquisitions. He has extensive experience in energy deals, advising lenders and developers on complex permitting and environmental issues on natural gas-fired, solar, wind, ethanol, and geothermal power plants. A triple threat, Trimarchi also brings substantial experience in regulatory and enforcement issues and complex environmental and commercial litigation.
“I’m very excited to join my new colleagues at Reed Smith, whose reputations for excellence in the global energy, commodities, and transportation sectors precede them,” Trimarchi said. “Reed Smith’s broad and integrated environmental capabilities are essential to my clients’ increasingly complex needs, which include navigating evolving regulations, supply challenges and the transition to a carbon-neutral future.”
Trimarchi’s clients include the industry leader in the rapid delivery of compressed natural gas; publicly-traded industrial companies, New York’s leading developer of in-state solar projects, and two of the world’s leaders in the development, investment, construction and operation of renewable energy projects.
“Peter brings nearly a quarter century of experience helping market leaders manage environmental risks and permitting challenges,” said Jennifer Smokelin, a fellow partner on the firm’s Environmental, Health, and Safety team. “His high-level experience in renewable energy will especially bolster our growing focus on the environmental, social, and governance matters that are most impacting our clients today.”
Areas of focus
Trimarchi most frequently works in three areas of law: project development; acquisitions and divestitures; and regulatory compliance.
For projects, he obtains environmental and land use permits for developers and helps lenders with detailed due diligence for major solar, wind, ethanol and natural gas facilities. He also has substantial experience in drafting and negotiating most of the major contracts associated with such projects, including power purchase agreements and leases, and for community solar projects, subscriber and customer management agreements.
Trimarchi also performs environmental due diligence for acquisitions and divestitures involving real estate, renewables and conventional energy projects of every kind. He has analyzed and managed environmental risks on facilities ranging from major industrial sites to nuclear power plants and commercial redevelopment projects. As just a few examples, he has represented a contractor in its widely publicized $3.8 billion acquisition of a concession to operate the Indiana Toll Road, represented the seller of a nuclear power plant at the outset of the decommissioning process, and represented the owner of a brownfield site being redeveloped into some 150 affordable housing units.
Trimarchi also made his mark in environmental regulatory compliance by helping clients prepare for new regulations, interpret challenging requirements, obtain permits, and, when necessary, represent them in investigations and enforcement proceedings. For example, he advised a top chemical manufacturer in a joint investigation between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation into alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. He has also advised a major U.S.-based manufacturer in renewals and modifications of Clean Air Act permits (including Title V permits) in multiple different jurisdictions.
A thought leader in his field, Trimarchi chairs the Capital Region Chapter of the New York League of Conservation Voters, the premiere American advocacy group for sound environmental laws and policies. He also writes, speaks and is asked for comment in the media on the latest developments in environmental law, such as New York's ambitious Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which requires the state to reduce its economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 85% no later than 2050.
“Between the CLCPA, the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act, and the upcoming regulation of PFAS and 1-4, dioxane, we are entering an exceptional period in the history of New York environmental laws,” said Trimarchi. “The state of New York will issue a steady tide of disruptive regulations over the next several years, which will create new challenges, but also new opportunities. Those who understand these new paradigms and work creatively within them will have a distinct advantage over their competitors.”
A native of Albany, N.Y., Trimarchi obtained his law degree, cum laude, from the University at Buffalo School of Law in 1998 after graduating from the University at Albany, State University of New York, cum laude, in 1994 with a degree in American History.
Committed to his community, Trimarchi has also served as a trustee of the Albany Institute of History and Art and on the Board of Fresh Youth Initiatives, a nonprofit focused on youth development and education in Upper Manhattan. He currently lives in Niskayuna with his wife and two daughters and enjoys golf, hiking, and spending time with his family.