Charles B. Howland

Partner, Environmental Chair

Howland Charles (recrop)

Environmental and energy lawyer Charles Howland helps clients develop and implement creative, cost-effective strategies for working with regulatory agencies and private parties to best advance their particular goals under U.S. federal and state, and foreign, environmental, health and safety, and energy-related statutes, regulations and policies.

Environmental Law and Regulatory Compliance

Mr. Howland advises on all aspects of regulatory compliance under environmental and health and safety laws, including consultation with agencies (USEPA, OSHA, and state counterparts) during the regulatory development and implementation process. He also works with Curtis’s Litigation team on matters that enter formal enforcement proceedings. His work has focused on the acquisition and sale of environmentally impaired facilities, the re-development of brownfield sites for various reuses including renewable energy projects; litigation involving facility cleanups under federal and state laws; risk management plan preparation; and compliance with emergency release/spill reporting requirements. Mr. Howland also helps businesses to identify ways to advance their operations in accord with national and international sustainability initiatives.

Formerly In-House at EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)

Prior to joining Curtis, Mr. Howland served as a Senior Assistant Regional Counsel at the EPA's Mid-Atlantic Regional office, where he worked on some of the region’s most complex site clean-ups and enforcement actions, as well as on several workgroups which wrote national EPA enforcement guidance on municipal solid waste, tenant liability and former defense sites. Before joining the firm in 2018, he served as Senior Advisor to the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance as lead or participating attorney on several workgroups implementing Superfund Task Force reforms on enforcement, environmental liability transfer mechanisms and groundwater policy. Over the course of his approximately 30-year career at the EPA, he received numerous awards and commendations from the Department of Justice, the Federal Executive Board, and the EPA for his work.

Energy Law

Mr. Howland has experience in federal and state regulation of electricity markets and facility siting. He works with clients who are implementing new business models as part of the ongoing restructuring of the electricity grid at the federal and state level. He serves as outside general counsel for an energy company that advises clients operating in wholesale and retail energy markets in the U.S. Canada, Mexico, Japan and India. In 2008 and 2009, on a leave of absence from the EPA, he served as general counsel for a utility scale renewable energy project development firm developing projects in the U.S. and Canada. From 2000 through 2011 he served on the board of directors of the Energy Cooperative Association of Pennsylvania, and currently he is a member of the board of directors of the Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia and a member of the Expert Advisory panel to the Center for Strategic Policy Initiatives, which is working to develop microgrids in new markets.

Thought Leadership

In 2017 Mr. Howland was appointed to the U.S. State Department Fulbright Fellow Specialist roster (environmental and energy law) for a three-year term, and in September 2019 spent two weeks at the UiT: Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø, advising it on its creation of a new Nordic Master Programme in Environmental Law in collaboration with Sweden’s University of Uppsala and the University of East Finland. In 2018 he completed three terms as a member and co-chairman of the Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania Planning Commission, having helped lead the creation of a new comprehensive plan, as part of which he authored a report and recommendations for stormwater management. Until 2017 he taught energy law at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, and he currently teaches Navigating the Regulatory State: Law, Science and Policy in the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Master of Laws program. He also frequently publishes and lectures on environmental and energy law and policy in law, industry and academic forums. In 2022, Mr. Howland was profiled in the fall edition of the Environmental Law Institute Leadership Council's newsletter, ELI Insider.