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Each client faces a unique legal challenge. Because of this, I provide personalized and tailored service to help them understand the complexities of environmental and oil & gas laws and regulations and how they may apply to their situations. I understand the distinct environmental challenges that my clients face, and I apply my knowledge of federal, state, administrative, and municipal law to achieve creative outcomes that solve their issues while also achieving their business objectives.

Rebecca Pritchett joins Adams and Reese as an experienced environmental, natural resources, and oil and gas attorney, focusing on the Intersection of Government and Business. With a deep background in environmental and natural resources law, Rebecca’s practice includes environmental permitting and compliance, enforcement defense, brownfield redevelopment, hazardous waste, CERCLA contribution and cost recovery, water quality, water rights, oil & gas exploration and production, mining, timber, legislative drafting, and lobbying. 

Rebecca advises developers, property owners, and lenders during the redevelopment of urban and rural brownfield properties and landowners with issues related to wetlands, endangered species, concentrated animal feeding operations, borrow pits, and the construction of logging roads. She has litigated environmental cases in federal and state courts and administrative hearings before state environmental agencies and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Rebecca helps clients deal with all aspects of contaminated property, from environmental permitting and reporting requirements to brownfield redevelopment, financial incentives, and financing options. She also represents clients in CERCLA/Superfund matters, including negotiating administrative orders with EPA, performing multi-party cost allocations, managing cooperating groups of potential responsible parties (PRPs), and bringing cost recovery actions on behalf of PRP groups.

Rebecca assists commercial, industrial, and municipal utility clients in Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act issues, including regulatory compliance, internal environmental audits, permitting, citizen suit defense, and administrative enforcement defense. Rebecca also works with estate planning and administration attorneys in planning and administering estates with potentially contaminated property. 

Rebecca also represents operators, working interest owners, and mineral owners in matters before the Alabama Oil & Gas Board and environmental regulatory matters. 

Rebecca earned her J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law, where she also received a Certificate of Completion in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. Further, she received her B.S. in Journalism and Public Relations from the University of Southern Mississippi and recently served on their Foundation Board. She credits her public relations background as a critical factor in her ability to create a unique and creative strategy to help solve her clients’ issues and meet their goals. 

Rebecca is a member of the Alabama State Bar and the past chair of its environmental and natural resources section, actively involved in the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s Leadership Council, and the former president of Birmingham Commercial Real Estate Women (BirminghamCREW). She is a former regulator, having served for eight years on the Alabama Oil & Gas Board where she oversaw the exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the state. She is Alabama’s appointee to the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission’s Environmental Committee. Rebecca has held numerous leadership roles in the American Bar Association since joining in 1994, including serving on the Section of Environment, Energy and Resources’ governing Council. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Wildlife Federation and is past president of the Alabama Wildlife Federation.

Publications

Inside the Minds: Navigating Water Use and Pollution Laws (Aspatore Books/Thomson Reuters, new edition to be published). (Authored Alabama chapter.)

Land Use Law: Current Issues in Subdivision, Annexation and Zoning, National Business Institute, 2017, (Authored section entitled “Stay on Top of Environmental Considerations”.)

The Transition to a Water Resources StatuteWater Resources Law Symposium Proceedings, CLE Alabama/University of Alabama, 2017.

Alabama Water Law: To permit or not to permit? That is the question, Proceedings of the 24th Annual Beach & Bar Symposium, Alabama State Bar Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section, 2016.

So Your Client Wants to Sell Contaminated Property, GPSolo magazine. (American Bar Association, May/June 2016 (33:3) issue.) (This issue won an APEX Award for Publications Excellence in the “Green: Magazines, Journals & Tabloids” category.)

Rainy with a Chance of Regulation: Hot Topics in Water Law – Moderator’s Overview, Key Environmental Issues in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, American Bar Association, 2015.

Real Estate Law: Advanced Issues and Answers, National Business Institute, 2014. (Authored section on “Environmental Issues in Real Estate Transactions.”)

The Future of Flow: Federal and State Initiatives to Regulate Streamflow as a Pollutant, 31st Annual Water Law Conference Proceedings, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, 2013).

Implementing Institutional Controls at Brownfields and Other Contaminated Sites, Second Edition American Bar Association, 2012. (Authored Alabama chapter.)

Real Estate Closing Deskbook, Third Ed. American Bar Association, 2012. (Co-authored Alabama chapter with Joan M. Budd.)

Environmental Law Update, Alabama Forestry Association, 2012.

Brownfields: A Comprehensive Guide to Redeveloping Contaminated Property, Third Edition American Bar Association, 2010. (Authored Alabama chapter.)

Natural Resource Damage Assessments and the Gulf Coast Oil Spill, Deepwater Horizon: Legal Challenges & Environmental Consequences course materials, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana State Bars, 2010.

Environmental Law from A to Z, National Business Institute, 2010.

New Owner Discovery of an Environmental Problem, Environmental Law: Real Problems and Real Solutions, Proceedings of the 18th Annual Beach & Bar Symposium, Alabama State Bar Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section, 2009.

Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee Newsletter, American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy and Resources, Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee, 2008-2009.

EPA’s Audit Policy: New Incentives for New Owners, Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee Newsletter, February 2009 (Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee, American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy and Resources, 2009).

Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Year in Review Electronic Update, Spring 2008 (Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee, American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy and Resources, 2008).

The Year in Review 2007, “Environmental Transactions and Brownfields, American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy and Resources, 2008.

Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Year in Review Electronic Update, Fall 2007 (Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee, American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy and Resources, 2007).

Brownfield Redevelopment in Alabama, Birmingham Regional Planning Commission, 2005.

Current Issues in Wetlands Regulation, Lorman Education Services, 2004.

An Advanced Look at Alabama Real Estate Law, National Business Institute, Inc., 2004.

Alabama Land Use: Current Issues in Subdivision, Annexation and Zoning Law, National Business Institute, Inc., 2003.

Natural Resource Damage Assessments: Should Your Company Be Worried? Manufacture Alabama Seminar, 2003.

Alabama Land Use: Current Issues in Subdivision Annexation and Zoning Law, National Business Institute, Inc., 2003.

Riparian Rights and Their Effect on Alabama Manufacturers, Manufacture Alabama Member News, Manufacture Alabama, February 2003.

Mold Litigation: The Next Asbestos? The Counsellor, Sirote & Permutt, P.C., Fall 2002.

Federal Changes Regarding Redevelopment of Brownfields, The Counsellor, Sirote & Permutt, P.C., Summer 2002.

Amendments to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, Sirote Weekly Alabama Law Update, Sirote & Permutt, P.C., June 2002.

Amendments to Superfund Law Affect Liability and Brownfield Redevelopment, Sirote Weekly Alabama Law Update, Sirote & Permutt, P.C., February 2002.

Sirote Environmental Law Update, Sirote & Permutt, P.C., 1998-2006.

Education

  • University of Oregon School of Law, J.D., 1993
  • University of Southern Mississippi Honors College, B.S., 1990

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama

Court Admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama

Community Involvement

  • National Wildlife Federation, Board Member
  • Alabama Wildlife Federation, Past President
  • Birmingham Women’s Forum, Incoming President
  • The Nature Conservancy, Alabama Chapter, Government Relations Advisory Committee Member
  • University of Southern Mississippi Foundation, Former Trustee
  • Fresh Water Land Trust President’s Advisory Board, Former Member
  • Hunting Heritage Foundation, Founding Board Member
  • Hunters United Now and Tomorrow (H.U.N.T.) Alabama, Founding Board Member
  • Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources Becoming an Outdoors Woman Program, Outdoor Photography Instructor
  • Boy Scouts of America, Cub Scout Pack 93, Former Assistant Den Leader
  • Former Alabama DHR Foster Parent
  • Habitat for Humanity, Volunteer
  • Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust, Former Trustee

Acknowledgements

  • Chambers USA - Environmental (Alabama) 
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Peer Review Rated attorney
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Rated attorney, Judicial Edition
  • Birmingham Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40
  • Birmingham Business Alliance Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Birmingham Best Lawyers Environmental Lawyer of the Year
  • AVVO Top-Rated Lawyer
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Environmental Category
  • Alabama Super Lawyers®, Environmental Category
  • U.S. News & World Report’s Best Law Firms in Alabama
  • Birmingham Magazine’s Best Lawyers, Environmental and Land Use Categories
  • B Metro Magazine’s Best Lawyers, Environmental Category
  • B Metro Magazine’s Top Women Attorneys
  • Top Attorneys in The Mid-South
  • Business Alabama’s Top Attorneys in Alabama
  • Corporate Counsel’s Top Energy, Environmental & Natural Resources Lawyers
  • Birmingham Business Journal’s Best Attorneys in the Birmingham Area, Environmental Category
  • Birmingham Business Journal’s Best of the Bar, Environmental Category

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Alabama State Bar
  • California State Bar
  • American Society for Testing and Materials, Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management and Corrective Action
  • Birmingham Commercial Real Estate Women (BirminghamCREW)
  • Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW National)
  • Alabama Water Agencies Working Group, Riparian and Other Legal Issues Focus Area Panel
  • Represented a manufacturing client in an enforcement action by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding environmental reporting requirements, eliminating altogether the administrative order and monetary fine proposed by EPA.
  • Represented an individual client in an enforcement action by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding multiple violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, successfully decreasing the fine from $1.2 million to $10,000.
  • Represented a manufacturing client in a Clean Water Act permit negotiation with a state environmental agency, successfully doubling the client’s permitted discharges and allowing them to significantly increase production.
  • Defended a real estate developer in a Clean Water Act citizen suit that threatened to derail a $60+ million construction project. We defeated the plaintiff’s request for preliminary injunctive relief and won the case on summary judgment, allowing the project to proceed as planned.
  • Convinced a sophisticated lender to finance the ground lease of a manufacturing facility listed on the National Priorities List (a Superfund site) where the responsible party and EPA had not yet settled on a remedy and the estimated cost of cleanup ranged from $6 million to over $400 million.