Energy, Utilities & Environmental


John Wadsworth’s practice combines environmental and energy experience. He represents developers and financers of projects in permitting, regulatory and environmental risk allocation issues and represents energy companies in connection with acquisitions, permitting, regulatory approvals, and development work. John has extensive experience in hazardous waste remediation projects; renewable energy projects, including solar projects in Connecticut and Massachusetts; and large scale development projects.

The range of environmental issues that John has dealt with is nearly comprehensive: Endangered Species Act compliance; solid waste facilities siting and permitting; Board of Health siting hearings; carbon trading and RGGI; wetlands permitting; air compliance issues; Brownfields Redevelopment and tax credit creation; zoning; renewable energy certificates including SRECs and ZRECs; Chapter 91 tideland licensing; Chapter 21E issues including filings of RAOs, AULs, responding to DEP audits, and dealing with PCB issues under Federal law; all aspects of the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA); environmental insurance; and general review of environmental reports in connection with corporate and real estate transactions.

John is on the Board of Directors of the Environmental Business Council and is chair of the Energy Resources Committee. He has conducted several seminars on solar initiatives in Massachusetts and Connecticut, dealing with SRECs and ZRECs/LRECs respectively. He is also an Associate Member of the Planning Board for the Town of Natick.



Representation of a waste-to-energy company in connection with environmental, zoning. land use permitting, site assignment hearings, contracting and financing matters relating to a 1650 ton per day facility secured by $150 million in tax exempt bonds; negotiation of a buyout of the facility power contract; and assistance in finding alternative means of supplying power to former customers of a separately retired waste-to-energy power plant.

Represented a charter school in connection with the acquisition and redevelopment of a school on a Brownfield site in Boston, and guided the school through recovering remediation costs upon the discovery of PCS contamination covered by an environmental insurance policy.

Representation of large biotechnology REIT in the acquisition and development of a Cambridge campus, including Chapter 91 (tidelands), Conservation Commission, zoning, utility easements and general remediation issues.

Representation of the owner of a contaminated Brownfield site in Boston in connection with its acquisition and remediation, and subsequent permitting for development of a shopping center, including issues in connection with construction, issuance of loans and environmental insurance and the creation and sale of Brownfields Tax Credits.

Representation of a utility company in connection with environmental and permitting matters relating to the development of transmission and solar facilities.

Represented a medical waste company in securing and defending a solid waste site assignment before a local Board of Health.

Representation of a major Boston teaching hospital in connection with development of a new research facility, the expansion of an existing clinical building, and the acquisition of a facility from another teaching hospital. Issues involved in the transaction include permitting matters, BRA matters, and unique issues involving provision of energy from a private energy company.

Representation of auctioneer and sales advisor of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Station, and coordination of the regulatory approval process.

Representation of a large university in the acquisition of a 1,400,000 square foot office/research and development complex for in excess of $275 million, obtaining waterway and tidelands licenses under Chapter 91, and advising on hazardous waste cleanup, permitting, Cambridge zoning and insurance issues.

Representation of a large utility in connection with real estate development projects, development of its corporate headquarters, and disposition of various parcels after maximizing the value of those parcels by undertaking zoning, permitting, Chapter 91 licensing, and other predevelopment work.

Representation of owners, lenders and buyers of contaminated properties, including acquisition of environmental insurance, and remediations funded by environmental insurance policies.

Actively involved in the development of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).


Yale University – J.D., 1987
Yale Divinity School – M. Div., 1978
State University of New York, Buffalo – B.A., 1975

Bar Admissions

Co-author, "Proposed Legislation Good For Customers, Economy And Environment," Banker & Tradesman, July 21, 2014
"A Call for Revolution,” Point Carbon's Carbon Market North America, January 2009
"House and Senate Both Consider Climate Change Legislation; How Would Cap and Trade Actually Work?" Bloomberg Law Reports: Sustainable Energy, January 2010
“Oil Refiner-Backed Study Exaggerates Burden of Climate Bill,” Point Carbon's Carbon Market North America, September 2009
“Today’s US Carbon Market,” World-Generation, December 2008
Co-author, “Time to Pay Attention to Greenhouse Gas Legislation,” Brown Rudnick Climate and Energy Group Newsletter, October 2007
Co-author, “Recent Supreme Court Decisions on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Energy Facilities,” Brown Rudnick Climate and Energy Group Newsletter, April 2007
“More Clout for the EPA,” Energy Monthly, Spring 2007
Co-author, “Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI): April 2007 Update,” Brown Rudnick Climate and Energy Group Newsletter, April 2007
“Will RGGI Increase Energy Costs to Reduce Carbon Emissions?” Mass High Tech, February 9, 2007
Co-author, “Asia Pacific Partnership,” Brown Rudnick Climate and Energy Group Newsletter, July 2006
Co-author, “States Move Ahead with Regional Initiative,” North American Windpower, June 2006
“Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Launched,” Power Magazine, June 2006
Co-author, “Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI),” Brown Rudnick Climate and Energy Group Newsletter, April 2006
“Seven Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiatives,” World-Generation, March/April 2006
"Vientiane Pact Could Be a Boon for Clean Coal Technology," Weekly Report, September 30, 2005
“Franchising in the United States,” International Franchise Law (Matthew Bender), 1993
Professional Affiliations
Massachusetts Bar Association
Energy Bar Association
Awards and Honors
Recognized by Super Lawyers as a Top Rated Environmental Attorney in Boston, MA (2004)