Attorneys and advisors in the firm’s Transportation Practice regularly assist clients in navigating the highly complex (and often interrelated) legal, regulatory, and policy challenges facing private- and public-sector entities operating within transportation industries and sectors. We have extensive experience advising our clients on a broad range of transportation-related issues, including securing funding and approvals to develop major transportation infrastructure projects; advising on compliance with the myriad regulations that apply to transportation agencies and projects; defending lawsuits; and advocating for our clients’ interests before Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and its modal agencies (including Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)).

Our public sector clients have included transportation authorities, departments of transportation, and municipalities in New York, Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia, California, and Connecticut. We have also represented private parties in connection with securing the use of transportation rights-of-way and airport lands for development projects, obtaining regulatory approvals from transportation agencies, evaluating and mitigating transportation and traffic impacts of development projects, and complying with federal and state transportation regulations.

Project Development
Our transportation attorneys have more than 20 years of experience advising clients in developing highway, toll road, bridge crossing, airport, transit, rail and intermodal projects totaling in the billions of dollars. We understand the broad range of laws and regulations that apply to these major transportation projects, including, among others, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act, and regularly advise on environmental review and permitting, planning, procurement, project design and construction requirements. We have a strong track record of assisting our clients in securing the permits and approvals that are critical for transportation projects to succeed. And for controversial projects, we identify and assist in navigating ever-present political and public relations hurdles. We regularly work with USDOT modal agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO).

Regulatory Compliance
The attorneys in our transportation practice are experienced with the wide range of regulatory requirements that attach to both transportation projects and utilizing federal funding and financing, including procurement, environmental review, design/build, non-discrimination, and funding and grant assurances. We assist and counsel our clients in identifying, interpreting and complying with the regulations that apply to their activities, and addressing and resolving alleged regulatory violations or non-compliance.

Transportation Policy and Advocacy
Members of our transportation practice advise clients on a broad range of matters before Congress and USDOT’s modal agencies. We develop strategies for securing the necessary support at the federal, state and local levels; assist in securing federal funds and low-cost financing; draft legislation and regulatory amendments to further our clients’ transportation-related interests; and advise on and prepare comments to federal rulemakings.

Our practice team includes former Congressional staff that have been involved in the passage of transportation authorization legislation and securing appropriations funding for transportation projects. We have close relationships with the Committees on Transportation in both the House and Senate, as well as within USDOT, FAA, FHWA, the, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Litigation
Developing major transportation projects and operating transportation agencies often results in significant litigation. Our transportation and litigation attorneys have extensive experiencing defending lawsuits challenging project approvals and permits and violations of transportation-related laws and regulations.

Representative Matters
  • Advised on the environmental review, planning and development of major highways, toll roads, and bridges in Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, and California.
  • Represented state and local transit authorities in the planning and environmental review of transit stations, transportation campus improvements, and subway and rail extension projects.
  • Advise developers in securing FAA Determinations of No Hazard to Air Navigation for renewable energy projects.
  • Assisted developer in securing approvals from FAA to build a solar project on airport land.
  • Assisted developer in securing a right-of-way for a transmission line over FAA land.
  • Successfully negotiated settlement with FAA to allow flight school to retain its certification and secured multiple exemptions from FAA flight training regulatory requirements to ensure safety of students.
  • Represented transit agency in state enforcement action alleging environmental violations.
  • Assisted in successfully negotiating and settling major litigation challenging the development of a toll road.
  • Defended state transportation agencies in challenges alleging violations of environmental laws, including NEPA, CWA, ESA, Section 4(f) and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
Team
headshot of team member Al Carlacci
Al Carlacci Senior Environmental Consultant, Air Permitting and Compliance acarlacci@lippes.com 716.853.5100
headshot of team member Bobby  Cornett
Bobby Cornett Senior Policy Advisor bcornett@lippes.com 202.888.7610 x1603
headshot of team member Michael G. Rossetti
Michael G. Rossetti Office Partner-in-Charge, Washington, D.C. | Team Co-Leader - Indian Law mrossetti@lippes.com 202.888.7610 x1601
headshot of team member Ian A. Shavitz
Ian A. Shavitz Partner | Team Leader - Environment & Energy ishavitz@lippes.com 202.888.5963 x1602
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