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Bennet Heart specializes in environmental, land use, design and construction law. Bennet joined Noble, Wickersham & Heart LLP in 2007 and became a partner in 2010. Bennet provides a breadth of experience working on environmental and land use matters to private, public, and nonprofit clients. Current and recent environmental and land use work includes:
- Permitting counsel for a large Western Massachusetts wind project.
- Environmental and land use counsel for solar panel manufacturer in regulatory proceeding to address facility noise violations.
- Successfully represented a regional airport in DEP administrative proceeding in which the 401 Water Quality Certification Variance issued for the airport’s expansion was challenged.
- Successfully advocated for contribution of response costs under ch. 21E on behalf of a nonprofit boat club to remediate oil spill.
Bennet also advises design firms and others in the construction industry on a wide variety of matters such as contract formation and negotiations, dispute resolution, and ownership transition. Bennet joined Noble, Wickersham & Heart LLP in 2007 after serving as General Counsel of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, and prior to that as Principal Deputy General Counsel and Acting General Counsel of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. At EOEA he advised the Secretary of Environmental Affairs and directed the legal work of this cabinet-level office. At MassDEP, Bennet managed over thirty attorneys and worked on the broad range of legal and policy issues facing the agency, from the regulation of air quality, wetlands, and tidelands (Chapter 91) to contracts and employment disputes. Before joining state government, Bennet was a Senior Attorney for the Conservation Law Foundation in Boston, one of the nation’s foremost regional environmental advocacy organizations, where he directed CLF’s Smart Growth program. His work at CLF focused on land use law, permitting, housing development and transportation issues. While at CLF, Bennet edited and co-authored the publication Community Rules: A New England Guide to Smart Growth Strategies. Bennet also brings to Noble, Wickersham & Heart LLP significant litigation experience, having served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where he prosecuted environmental crimes and civil offenses. He also practiced litigation and environmental law for Hale and Dorr (now WilmerHale) in Washington, DC. Bennet began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge Walter E. Black, Jr. of the United States District Court in Baltimore,Maryland. Bennet is an honors graduate of the George Washington University Law School, and he received his B.A. degree from Wesleyan University.
Prior Professional Experience:
General Counsel, Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (2006). Principal Deputy General Counsel & Acting General Counsel, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (2004-06) Conservation Law Foundation, Senior Attorney & Smart Growth Program Director, Boston, MA (1996-2004) Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Assistant Attorney General (1992-96) Hale and Dorr (now WilmerHale), Associate, Washington, D.C. (1988-1992) United States District Court, Law Clerk to Judge Walter E. Black, Jr., Baltimore, Maryland (1987-88)
Adjunct Professor, Boston University School of Law (2006 – 2008), seminar on Advanced Environmental Law
Professional Registrations, Activities, and Memberships:
Admitted to bar, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. Member: American Bar Association, Boston Bar Association
George Washington University Law School, J.D. 1987, with honors.
Wesleyan University, B.A. 1983.