Water & Wastewater

The firm's comprehensive water and wastewater practice involves representation of clients before the Susquehanna and Delaware River Basin Commissions, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board, and state and federal courts. The firm serves as Solicitor to the Pennsylvania Rural Water Association, the largest association of water system and wastewater service providers in the Commonwealth, and also represents individual members of that Association. In addition, HMS represents several ad hoc groups of wastewater clients seeking pre-enforcement review of new regulatory requirements.

HMS's regulatory practice covers all legal aspects of drinking water and wastewater treatment operations. Our firm provides guidance and advice on a range of issues, including:

  • Structuring businesses and operations to address questions of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission jurisdiction
  • Setting and defending user rates and rate structures
  • Representing private and municipal utility operations in rate increase, service, certificate and acquisition proceedings
  • Ensuring compliance with state and federal regulatory requirements
  • Negotiating enforcement matters such as consent orders, adjudications, administrative orders, and investigations
  • Answering legal questions arising from operations, including termination of service and customer notice requirements
  • Advising clients about water withdrawal and wastewater issues related to hydraulic fracturing in developing Marcellus Shale gas
  • Representing groups of water and wastewater providers on state-wide and federal regulatory changes
  • Representing clients with issues related to Total Maximum Daily Loads, nutrient cap loads, nutrient credit trading, and other effluent-related issues arising from efforts to improve the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay