Christopher J. McAuliffe counsels clients on obtaining environmental approvals for new development, climate change laws, and compliance with water pollution control and air pollution control requirements. He also advises clients on solid and hazardous waste, site remediation, brownfields, natural resource damages, and environmental cleanup cost recovery matters. Chris brings to his practice experience gained while working as vice president of environmental, litigation, and employment in the law department of a large energy company.
Chris advises clients on the environmental disclosures of publicly traded companies. He also assists in obtaining necessary approvals for projects within the Highlands region of New Jersey, including defending those approvals in administrative and New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division proceedings. Chris has an extensive background in environmental due diligence for the acquisition and sale of assets and companies.
Highlights of Chris’s experience include negotiating one of the first voluntary consent decrees in the utility industry to resolve allegations of noncompliance with new source review (NSR) and prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) requirements. He has represented clients in litigation and regulatory proceedings arising out of land, sediment and waterbody environmental cleanup sites including the Passaic River and Newark Bay complex.
Chris also obtained the environmental approvals needed for New Jersey’s largest utility to divest its electric generation business into a new affiliated company without triggering site remediation obligations under New Jersey’s Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA). Additionally, he obtained concurrence from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection that ISRA did not apply to the transfer of a petroleum refinery, terminal, tank farm, and pipeline to a newly created company.
Chris provides environmental compliance assistance for facilities located in multiple states. He has experience in advising clients with respect to permits under the Clean Water Act for cooling water intake structures at power plants, and compliance with the Clean Air Act’s restrictions on engine manufacturing.
While in-house counsel, Chris provided legal advice and representation to the company’s electric delivery, gas delivery, and electric-generating business. His job focused on matters arising under environmental, real estate, land use, and intellectual property law, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. He managed a group of lawyers and paralegals who provided environmental, litigation, and employment legal services to the corporation.
Chris is listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2011–2015); The Best Lawyers in America (2014); and in New JerseySuper Lawyers (2008–2014).He publishes and speaks on environmental compliance issues, and regularly moderates panel presentations on renewable energy and green technology innovations.
Boston College Law School, 1993, J.D.
College of the Holy Cross, 1990, B.A.
Awards and Affiliations
Recommended, Industry focus: Environment: regulatory, The Legal 500 US (2020, 2021)
Ranked,Environment, New Jersey, Chambers USA (2011–2021)
Recognized, Environmental Law, Princeton, The Best Lawyers in America (2015, 2017–2020)
Lawyer of the Year, Environmental Law, The Best Lawyers in America (2017)
Recognized, New Jersey Super Lawyers (2008–2014)
Rising Star, New Jersey Super Lawyers (2006, 2007)
Mentor, PSEG Mentoring Program (2005)
Recipient, PSEG Environmental Achievement Award (2004)
Recipient, PSEG Special Achievement Award, RCRA Exemption for Coking Waste (2001)
Recipient, PSEG Special Achievement Award, ISRA Exemption for Restructuring (2000)