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George C. Hopkins

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Hopkins, George C.

Biography
Casey advises and represents clients in a wide variety of matters relating to environmental laws. In transactional contexts, he has structured allocations of liability in mergers and acquisitions, assisted clients in creative approaches to restructuring environmental requirements and led the conduct of diligence and negotiations on environmental requirements in connection with asset sales and project financings within the United States and internationally In addition, he has advised clients on environmental issues in connection with securities offerings and private placements. Casey has also represented various companies in obtaining environmental approvals required for energy infrastructure projects. Casey has defended civil and criminal enforcement actions in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies and has also advised companies on various regulatory issues including pipeline and fuel regulatory issues.


Representative Experience
Regulatory
  • Represented pipeline companies in obtaining FERC environmental approvals for several pipeline projects including one that introduced natural gas into southwestern Virginia by crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail
  • Represented a company with hazardous liquids pipelines in resolving several PHMSA enforcement actions, disclosure of other violations, and outsourcing of operation and maintenance of pipelines
  • Represented a pipeline company on various issues relating to fuel blending requirements under federal law
Transactional
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  • Represented leading private equity group in acquisition of 300,000 barrel per day crude oil refinery in Philadelphia including in connection with obtaining ground-breaking environmental approvals from federal, state, and local governments
  • Represented leading private equity company in multiple acquisitions of pipeline and bulk storage businesses
  • Represented leading energy company on environmental matters in connection with construction and operation of coal-fired power plant in South America
Enforcement
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  • Part of briefing team that obtained dismissal by trial court of Clean Air Act enforcement action against a former owner of a coal-fired power plant seeking extensive injunctive relief; Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal in unanimous 68-page opinion
  • Defending client against NSR initiative against sulfuric acid industry
  • Played a leading role in defending joint federal and state investigation into inland oil spill that entailed collection, review and production of millions of documents, interviews of witnesses, meeting with prosecutors and preparation of presentations, and resolution of investigation on terms satisfactory to the client
Litigation
Case Citations | View All
  • Defended a private arbitration arising out of sale of plant targeted in EPA's New Source Review Initiative wherein seller paid less than fifty cents on dollar for costs of restoring plant to compliance
  • Played leading role in trial and appellate team that overturned a lower-court decision holding client liable for 20 percent of a $36 million site in a reported decision
  • Defended a Fortune 50 client in a CERCLA private cost recovery action involving seven sites in seven states with a potential liability exceeding $100 million by developing novel theories of economic benefit and culpability for the contamination; resolved on highly favorable terms involving a pay-out of 17 cents on the dollar, despite client's ownership of many of the sites for as long as 75 years
Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Education and Professional Background
  • Boston College Law School, J.D., 1985
  • Tufts University, B.A. cum laude, 1981
  • Admitted to practice: New Jersey, 1985; Pennsylvania, 1985; District of Columbia, 1993
Professional Recognition
  • Legal 500 U.S. in environmental litigation, 2013
Publications and Presentations
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George C. Hopkins
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2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 500 West
Washington, DC 20037-1701

Tel  +1.202.639.6641
Fax  +1.202.879.8841
ghopkins@velaw.com

Industries/Practices
Climate Change

Energy

Environmental Litigation and Enforcement

Environmental Regulation and Permitting

Export Controls and Economic Sanctions

Mergers and Acquisitions

Middle East and North Africa

Mining and Metals

Project Finance and Development

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act