Margaret E. Peloso

Margaret E. Peloso Counsel, Environmental & Natural Resources

Margaret’s areas of practice are environmental law and climate change. With respect to climate change, she handles a variety of matters, including advising on climate change risk management, with a particular emphasis on the changing regulatory environment, and climate change adaptation issues. Margaret works on a variety of complex environmental litigation matters, with a particular focus on issues related to expert witnesses and the use of scientific evidence in litigation. She also deals extensively with the notice and comment process on a wide range of federal environmental regulations.

Prior to joining Vinson & Elkins, Margaret completed her Ph.D. in environment at Duke University, where she wrote her doctoral dissertation on legal and policy issues associated with sea-level rise adaptation. Margaret has authored several articles on climate change and environmental law, and presented papers on a variety of climate change topics at academic and industry conferences, as well as before various federal agency groups exploring climate change adaptation.

Experience Highlights

  • Advise clients on legal issues related to climate change adaptation and flood resilience
  • Advise client on the potential impacts of proposed existing source performance standards, including the potential energy efficiency or emissions reductions measures that may be required in state implementation plans, on client’s assets across the United States
  • Assist in providing advice on appropriate consideration of climate change impacts under NEPA
  • Assist in advising client regarding compliance with 1-hour SO2 NAAQS and modeled demonstrations of attainment
  • Assist in the preparation of waiver petitions under the Renewable Fuel Standards
  • Assist in the assembly of expert witness teams in CERCLA matters
  • Assisted in the preparation of legal analyses regarding CERCLA and common law theories of liability for contaminated sediment sites
  • Assisted in preparing legal analysis and materials for negotiations with EPA regarding adjustment of environmental sampling data
  • Assist industry trade association in a federal district court challenge by national environmental groups to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision not to list the dunes sagebrush lizard under the Endangered Species Act
  • Assisted in advising various clients on carbon credit agreements and transactions under Kyoto Protocol and voluntary carbon markets
  • Assisted in the preparation of expert witness, depositions of adverse witnesses, and preparation of Daubert motions in soil contamination case
  • Assisted in environmental and climate change due diligence on transactional matters for the power and chemical manufacturing industries

Contact Details


T +1.202.639.6774
F +1.202.879.8874
2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 500 West
Washington, DC 20037-1701
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Margaret 's Practices

  • Duke University, Ph.D., Environment, 2010 (Dissertation: Adapting to Rising Sea Levels)
  • Stanford Law School, J.D. with distinction, 2009 (Editor in Chief, Stanford Journal of Law, Science & Policy; Article Review Board Chair, Stanford Environmental Law Journal)
  • Duke University, Masters of Environmental Management, Environmental Economics and Policy; Coastal Environmental Management, 2006
  • Duke University, B.S., Biology summa cum laude, 2005 (Phi Beta Kappa)
  • Admitted to practice: New York; District of Columbia
  • Other language: Conversational in Spanish
  • Chambers USA, "Star Associate" in Climate Change (Nationwide), 2015−2017; Environment (District of Columbia) "Associates to Watch", 2016 and 2017
  • American Bar Association
    • Chair: Section of Environment, Energy and Resources 46th Spring Conference
    • Chair: Special Committee on Public Service of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources
    • Chair: Climate Change Sustainable Development and Ecosystems Committee (2012–2014)
  • Member: Law360 Environmental Editorial Advisory Board (2013-2014)
  • Board Member: Women’s Energy Network, Washington, D.C. Chapter
  • Member: Women’s Energy Network, National Advisory Council