Overview

Robert P. Frank is a Philadelphia environmental and real estate attorney who has extensive transactional and advisory experience in federal and state issues raised by contaminated properties and by deals involving the development, construction, operation and sale of wind energy plants, solar power plants, natural gas-fired plants and transmission lines. Mr. Frank has also handled a wide range of real estate matters, particularly in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including advising on the purchase and sale of hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities and other real estate. Mr. Frank regularly counsels clients performing due diligence on a variety of environmental and energy issues, and has represented real estate developers, power plant developers, the lenders to these developers, companies generating and handling pharmaceutical waste, and various private equity investors evaluating the environmental liabilities of their targets.

Mr. Frank has also provided developers and lenders with legal opinions on the sufficiency of state and federal permits needed to construct and operate various energy projects. He has drafted and reviewed power purchase agreements (PPAs). He has counseled clients on the remediation of federal Superfund sites, sites contaminated by petroleum and other brownfield sites. Mr. Frank has also successfully litigated several key issues presented by the federal Superfund law and helped to resolve matters without litigation liabilities under that law.

Mr. Frank has practiced environmental and energy law for more than 30 years. In that time, his engagements have included the following:

  • advised a private equity investor on transactions involving the purchase and sale of businesses in upstate New York having land and water contaminated by releases of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and other perfluoroalkyl substances
  • acted as counsel to three trustees appointed pursuant to a federal consent decree and charged with overseeing the continuing remediation of what was one of the first Superfund sites in Pennsylvania
  • advised a developer of power plants on its construction and permitting of a subterranean transmission line running beneath the Delaware River and connecting the electrical grid systems of southern New Jersey and Delaware
  • litigated a key Third Circuit decision on the relationship between bankruptcy and environmental law, and obtained a decision holding that federal Superfund liability asserted against a reorganized company had been discharged in that company's bankruptcy
  • wrote in 2007 for the U.S. Supreme Court an amicus brief on how the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Atlantic Research, 127 S.Ct. 2331 (2007) could affect the relationship between bankruptcy and environmental law
  • obtained California Energy Commission certification to construct and operate a natural gas-fired power plant, and then worked on issues surrounding construction of the plant and the sharing of its natural gas pipeline with a different developer of an adjacent power plant
  • advised a Pennsylvania municipality and a group of approximately 30 homeowners whose residences were built early in the 20th century using radioactive waste on the remediation by the United States of contaminated homes and land within the first wholly residential federal Superfund site; obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) without litigation a decision to use the Superfund not just to demolish the contaminated homes but also to replace them with new residences for the homeowners
  • defended a corporate parent against allegations that the parent had incurred federal Superfund liability as the operator of an oil refinery formerly owned by the parent's subsidiary
  • counseled landowner during a two-year cleanup of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination of its former train shed in Philadelphia, a remediation completed in order to sell the shed and enable restoration of it as the main hall of the Pennsylvania Convention Center
  • counseled a landowner on the extinguishment of an underground refuse fire which had been burning on landowner's property for approximately 30 years and threatening an active rail line adjacent to the property
  • reviewed and drafted legal opinions on the sufficiency of permits obtained to construct and operate wind energy plants in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Texas
  • advised on the development of a solar energy plant and its permitting by the California Energy Commission
  • obtained the first federal appellate decision to reject a Superfund settlement which had been endorsed by the United States and approved by the lower court
  • advised on development of a waste-coal fired plant in Pennsylvania in view of both challenges to the project's air permit and the impact of federal and state regulation of mercury emissions
  • litigated a federal civil action under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the federal Clean Water Act on behalf of a landowner whose property was adjacent to and contaminated by a release of No. 6 heating oil from underground storage tanks (USTs) located near the landowner's property; counseled this landowner on the remediation undertaken by the owner of the USTs pursuant to the Pennsylvania Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act, commonly known as Act 2

Credentials

Education
  • Boston College Law School, J.D.
  • University of Pennsylvania, M.A.
  • Dickinson College, B.A., summa cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News