Gregor I. McGregor
Gregor I. McGregor, Esq.

Mr. McGregor conducts or supervises the litigation of the firm. His cases in court, administrative trials, hard-won settlements, and enforcement disputes have been at the intersection of environmental law and evolving science, usually involving application of important statutes and legal principles or resolution of noted disputes of environmental policy or practice. He is known for close attention to clients’ needs, thorough preparation of the case, and tenacious advocacy grounded in mastery of the technical issues.

At the same time, Mr. McGregor’s penchant for preparation, use of the right consultants, knowledge of agency rules and personnel, and teamwork toward results has benefited our clients who don’t need court representation, but rather confidential strategy advice and careful steps to secure government permits, acquire property rights, avoid new disputes, complete transactions, and finish projects on time.

SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT CASES

City of Brockton v. Energy Facilities Siting Board & Brockton Power Company LLC v. Energy Facilities Siting Board Special Counsel for the City of Brockton in Superior Court, Appeals Court, Supreme Judicial Court, Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB), and DEP challenging a proposed Brockton Power gas-fired electrical generating plant. The City eventually settled all claims with the company. City of Brockton v. Energy Facilities Siting Board, 469 Mass. 196 (2014); Brockton Power Company LLC v. Energy Facilities Siting Board, 469 Mass. 215 (2014).

Ten Local Citizen Group v. New England Wind, LLC. Counsel for the applicant in the DEP adjudicatory hearing under the Wetlands Protection Act and consequent Supreme Judicial Court appeal that culminated seven years litigation, clearing the way for the largest land based wind farm in Massachusetts, now constructed, Hoosac Wind, in the Berkshires. Ten Local Citizen Group v. New England Wind, LLC., 457 Mass. 222 (2010).

Lovequist v. Conservation Commission of the Town of Dennis Special Counsel for the Town of Dennis on Cape Cod, in the Superior Court and Supreme Judicial Court, in a precedent setting case upholding the Dennis Home Rule wetlands protection bylaw against Home Rule and Regulatory Taking challenges. This ruling established the legality of local environmental legislation in the form of bylaws and ordinances. Lovequist v. Conservation Commission of the Town of Dennis, 379 Mass. 7 (1979).

Parkinson v. Board of Assessors of Medfield Counsel to 16 local, state, regional and national land trusts and conservation organizations as amici curiae in the leading Supreme Judicial Court case on the legality of Conservation Restrictions under the first Conservation Restriction Act in the nation, and on the related issue of the obligation of local real estate tax assessors to take the restrictions into account in taxation valuation. Parkinson v. Board of Assessors of Medfield, 398 Mass. 112 (1986).

Ten Persons of the Commonwealth v. Fellsway Development, LLC Counsel for amici in the case of Ten Persons of the Commonwealth v. Fellsway Development, LLC, 460 Mass. 366 (2011), submitting a friend of the court brief successfully arguing that a group of ten citizens had the right to a trial to determine whether a project’s proponents illegally segmented the project to avoid review under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA).

Blair v. Department of Conservation and Recreation Counsel for amici in the case of Blair v. Department of Conservation and Recreation, 457 Mass. 634 (2010), submitting a friend of the court brief successfully arguing that the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) denial of a variance under the Watershed Protection Act to allow a proposed beach and lawn expansion did not constitute a compensable categorical or regulatory taking.

Gove v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Chatham Counsel for amici in the case of Gove v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Chatham, 444 Mass. 754 (2005), submitting a friend of the court brief successfully arguing that a Cape Cod town’s zoning bylaw banning new residential structures in a “coastal conservancy district” did not deny the owner of all economically beneficial uses so did not constitute an unconstitutional Regulatory Taking.

New England Forestry Foundation v. Town of Hawley Counsel for amici in the case of New England Forestry Foundation v. Town of Hawley, 468 Mass. 138 (2014), submitting a friend of the court brief on behalf of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) and Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts (CCCCT or The Compact), successfully arguing that commissions and land trusts operate as public and private counterparts on conservation, forest and open space conservation is a qualified charitable activity, and non-profit organizations created to preserve land in its natural state are entitled to a property tax exemption.

Mahajan et al v. Dept. of Environmental Protection Counsel to the “North End Ten,” the plaintiffs and appellants in Mahajan et al v. Dept. of Environmental Protection, 464 Mass. 604 (2013), challenging a DEP license and Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) 60-year lease to use Boston’s historic Long Wharf as a private restaurant. The SJC interpreted and applied Article 97 of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution.

TRIALS, APPEALS AND ADJUDICATORY HEARINGS

Colvin v. Town of Lynnfield Trial counsel for seven families against the Town of Lynnfield for destruction of Mill Pond by sludge from a Town dredging project. Obtained a jury verdict of over $600,000 and Contempt Judgment followed by Consent Judgment to restore the pond under the Wetlands Protection Act. Colvin v. Town of Lynnfield, 68 Mass. App. Ct. 1108 (2007) (Rule 1:28 decision).

Grazing Fields Farm v. Goldschmidt Counsel to Grazing Fields Farm in Bourne, MA, in the federal District Court and Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, successfully challenging the federal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under NEPA and plans of the Massachusetts Highway Department to build Route 25 (I-495). Forced the rerouting of Interstate 495 to the Cape via the Bourne Bridge. Grazing Fields Farm v. Goldschmidt, 626 F.2d 1068 (1980).

Expert Witness Testimony Testified as an expert witness on environmental law in a multi-day Superior Court eminent domain jury trial, on behalf of NStar, against the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) on the developability of industrial and commercial real estate on account of environmental issues, as relevant to its fair market value. Over the years Mr. McGregor has testified in a half-dozen such Commonwealth or municipal taking cases involving infrastructure, parklands, and the Boston Harbor Islands State Park.

In the Matter of David Mann Counsel to commercial cranberry bog owners in long-running state administrative case, challenging the use of salt on I-495 in Bourne, MA. Secured the first “no-salt order” against the Massachusetts Highway Department and a closed drainage system for two miles of I-495, discharged to the Cape Cod Canal rather than local cranberry bogs and groundwater. In the Matter of David Mann.

Hogan v. Conservation Comm'n of Falmouth & In the Matter of Edward C. Gordon Counsel to a Cape Cod homeowner from challenged by his neighbor on his waterfront home expansion in the Town of Falmouth. Successfully defended state and local wetland permits before DEP, Superior Court, and the Appeals Court. Hogan v. Conservation Comm'n of Falmouth, 78 Mass. App. Ct. 1124 (2011) (Rule 1:28 decision); In the Matter of Edward C. Gordon, Trustee, 120 Racing Beach Trust" (Fin. Dec. Mar. 5, 2010).

Matheson v. Town of Falmouth Conservation Commission Counsel to a Cape Cod cottage owner against the Falmouth Conservation Commission for refusing permit extensions and a new permit to finish his project. We obtained an order in Superior Court, upheld in the Appeals Court, mandating that the board approve the work and issue the necessary permissions. Matheson v. Town of Falmouth Conservation Commission, 77 Mass. App. Ct. 1116 (2010) (Rule 1:28).

Wildstar Farm, LLC, et al v. Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Counsel to the Sandy Valley Road neighborhood in the Town of Westwood, challenging a commercial horse farm, prevailing in a year-long adjudicatory hearing at DEP. Successfully defended that victory in Land Court against the applicant’s further appeal. Wildstar Farm, LLC, et al v. Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Norfolk Land Court, Civil Action No. 10-PS-443877, Stipulation of Dismissal (July 8, 2011).

LAND USE PERMITS AND TRANSACTIONS

Counsel to a family trust — Landowners on a Massachusetts island, for over 10 years, assisting on a variety of environmental issues: closing a landfill on client’s land, changing a dredging project on client’s land, documenting limited access through client’s land, defending inadvertent trimming of wetlands vegetation to re-open a road on the property, counseling the client on development rights, access issues, prescriptive easements, water rights, accretion and reliction, and maintaining effective relations with a rural community.

In the Matter of Salt Pond Association Counsel to homeowners in a small subdivision adjacent to a Cape Cod salt pond to obtain wetlands permits for restoration and maintenance of view corridors, satisfying scientific issues and policy considerations over vegetation removal, resulting in wildlife habitat restoration in tandem with the view corridors. In the Matter of Salt Pond Association.

Malloy, Trustee v. Falmouth Conservation Commission Counsel to a residential pier owner in Woods Hole, Falmouth, MA to challenge conditions on expansion imposed by the Falmouth Conservation Commission, after successful appeal to Superior Court in which the court had ruled the permit conditions were too onerous on the landowner. Malloy, Trustee v. Falmouth Conservation Commission, Barnstable Superior Court, Civil Action No. 2006-00732, Final Judgment (October 1, 2010).

In the Matter of CASE NAME — Represented a landowner to obtain local permits for the tear-down and reconstruction of a single-family residence, from a variety of boards and officials in the Town of Concord, including the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) for wetlands, the Building Commissioner and Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for zoning, and the Historic District Commission, with support of the Minuteman National Park. In the Matter of CASE NAME.

In the Matter of Ocean Edge Resort Ltd. Partnership Counsel to a popular Cape Cod resort before the Conservation Commission and DEP for local and state permits to construct and maintain seasonal docks for kayaking and swimming in a Great Pond, and to undertake a proper invasive plant removal and qualified vista pruning project in the buffer zone of the pond, restoring original views from the development. In the Matter of Ocean Edge Resort Ltd. Partnership (Fin. Dec. May 13, 2014).

NEGOTIATIONS AND SETTLEMENTS

City of New Bedford v. Consolidated Rail Corporation, et al. Special Counsel for the City of New Bedford in cleanup cost recovery claims against the railroads for PCB contamination at the New Bedford rail yard, utilizing the Massachusetts Superfund statute, G.L.c.21E, with its private right of action for response action costs, real property damages, and expert and legal fees. City of New Bedford v. Consolidated Rail Corporation, et al. Settled for $3 million.

Special Counsel for the Town of Charlton — in claims and negotiations under the federal and state Superfunds resulting in a $500,000 settlement with Exxon Corporation over water mains installed and replacement water supply obtained from a neighboring community, all in response to historic gasoline contamination of neighborhoods along Route 20.

Special Counsel to the Town of Acton  — on a 350-unit Affordable Housing project under the state Affordable Housing Statute, G.L.c.40B. Novel legal issues of housing units in the Town of Concord, but sole access in Acton at the confluence of public ways in three towns. Negotiated, drafted and executed a $1 million Development Agreement between the Town and a large national housing developer for contributions to the municipal affordable housing fund and road and sidewalk improvements.

Special Counsel to the Town of Westwood — regarding the MBTA-Amtrak rail station at Route 128, with advice on applicability of wetland protection laws, environmental impact reports, and political strategy relative to this state, carried out in a series of public hearings and successful negotiations on completing this project the gateway to the Towns commercial area.

In the Matter of Jet Aviation of America, Inc. Counsel to Save Our Heritage (SOH) in Concord, Bedford, Lincoln and Lexington, MA  — against expansion of commercial aircraft operations at Logan Airport’s Hanscom Airfield, notably the jurisdiction under municipal Home Rule wetlands protection bylaws. In the Matter of Jet Aviation of America, Inc.

ENFORCEMENT AND DEFENSE

In the Matter of Old Farm Road Water Trust Counsel to the proprietors of a private water system in Dover, MA in a rural neighborhood, to deal with unexpected contaminant levels Represented the homeowner association through recruiting qualified experts, testing and validation of results, and successful resolution of state enforcement. In the Matter of Old Farm Road Water Trust

Special Counsel to the Town of Easton — for its Conservation Commission, to defend Superior Court and DEP appeals by applicants of wetland permit decisions, draft enforcement orders and gather evidence against wetland violators, advise the Commission on revisions and interpretation of its Home Rule wetlands protection bylaw, and litigate illegal tree cutting on Town conservation land.

In the Matter of Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School District Counsel to the Whittier Regional Vocational Technical School, a Regional High School in Haverhill, which serves a district including eight towns and three cities in northern Massachusetts, achieve negotiated compliance with state wastewater regulations, against threatened DEP enforcement action. In the Matter of Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School District