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Friedman to be honored at Environmental Law Forum

April 12, 2018
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Harrisburg, Pa. – (April 11, 2018) Recently retired McNees Wallace & Nurick Attorney Richard H. Friedman will be honored with the 2018 PA Bar Association Environmental and Energy Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award during the section’s Environmental Law Forum, April 11 and 12 at the Harrisburg Hilton & Towers.

The award honors contributions made to the section and general efforts that enhance the development, improvement and furtherance of the practice of environmental law that benefit the community or represent outstanding personal achievement.

“Rick’s commitment and dedication to the PBA Environmental and Energy Law Section and to our Clients is why he is a well-deserving recipient of this award and recognition,” McNees Chairman David M. Kleppinger said.

Rick was a member of the Environmental and Energy Law Group where he practiced environmental counseling and litigation with a focus on environmental compliance and permitting matters, complex transactions, the Clean Air Act, Superfund and cost recovery, Brownfields and land use, environmental due diligence and environmental management issues.

Rick gained experience as a senior enforcement attorney at the headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1977-1989. He was responsible for nationwide civil and criminal prosecutions. While at the EPA, Rick also developed and implemented programs to enforce compliance with environmental laws, including matters under the Clean Air Act.

In private practice, Rick expanded his air emissions practice, counseling and defending clients regarding state and federal air compliance and permitting matters. He was hired by insurance companies to represent groups of defendants in private-party environmental cleanup cost recovery actions. By acting as ‘group’ counsel, common issues can be more efficiently and effectively litigated.

Rick also worked with insurance companies to structure insurance policies that provide security for cleanup to facilitate the sale of property known to contain significant environmental contamination and to obtain state environmental regulatory acceptance of the insurance policy as a cleanup guaranty sufficient to issue liability releases. These ‘Brownfield’ projects facilitate the reuse of blighted property while ensuring environmental protection.

A member and past chair of the PBA Environmental and Energy Law Section, Rick has been active with the section for more than 15 years. During his time as chair, the PBA House of Delegates adopted a resolution advanced by the section calling for action on the issue of climate change.

He also managed the sponsorships program for the section’s Environmental Law Forum and was one of the first initiators of using the funds generated to create and fund the Environmental Law Student Summer Internship, a program providing a $10,000 stipend to a law student for a pro bono summer internship in the field of environmental and/or energy law.

Outside of the legal profession, he belonged to and held leadership positions in various local and state organizations, including the environmental committees of both the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and PA Chamber of Business and Industry.

Rick graduated from the University of Maryland and the American University Washington College of Law. He is a frequent speaker on various environmental topics, including environmental permitting; environmental, health and safety management compliance strategies; the Clean Air Act; environmental aspects of business and property transactions; environmental cost recovery litigation; and environmental cleanup and liability protection.

The Environmental Law Forum will feature opening remarks from Patrick McDonnell, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, on April 11. More information about the event can be found on the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s website.


McNees is a full-service law firm based in central Pennsylvania with more than 130 attorneys representing corporations, associations, institutions and individuals. The firm serves clients worldwide from offices in Harrisburg, Lancaster, State College and Scranton, PA; Columbus, OH; Frederick, MD; and Washington, D.C. McNees is also a member of the ALFA International Global Legal Network. @McNeeslaw LinkedIn