John G. Valeri Jr. has over 30 years of experience providing advice regarding state and federal environmental laws and regulations, including obtaining permits and approvals involving multiple environmental media for complex projects. He provides strategic policy advice on major state and federal legislative and regulatory initiatives. He also represents public utilities and renewable energy project owners and operators in achieving their development and business objectives, as well as before the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. Additionally, John regularly appears before the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of Administrative Law and in appeals before the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division.
Areas of focus include electric generation sector, public utilities, commercial and industrial development, renewable energy, and regulatory affairs and public policy.
Electric Generation Sector
John has shepherded environmental permits and approvals for the development and operation of a variety of electric generation stations, including nuclear, natural gas and oil. In particular, he provides advice and counsel regarding air permits, NJPDES, site remediation, spill prevention plants, stormwater permitting and chemical site security. He is also involved in significant national and state permits, and their resulting litigation, involving major policy decisions, including the regulation of cooling water intake structures under Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act.
John advises public utilities in New Jersey regarding a variety of regulatory programs, including wetlands and flood hazard areas before the NJDEP. He also appears before the NJBPU to obtain approvals to construct natural gas transmission lines.
Commercial and Industrial Development
John assists in environmental due diligence and review of the sale and purchase of industrial and commercial property, including reviewing Phase I and Phase II Environmental Assessments, advice regarding the Industrial Site Recovery Act and drafting terms and conditions of purchase and sale agreements, easements, leases and other real estate and commercial documents.
John appears before the NJBPU regarding the implementation of solar energy incentives and programs, including the implementation of the New Jersey Solar Act of 2012.
John has extensive experience at high levels of both federal and state government, which combined with his knowledge of the environmental and public utility area, provides unique legal and strategic benefits to his clients. He served as Associate Deputy General Counsel in the Office of General Counsel at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and also served as Counselor to the Administrator under former Administrator Christine Todd Whitman. John also served as Senior Assistant Counsel for Governor Christine Todd Whitman, where he was responsible for advising the governor on significant environmental and public utility legislation and regulations, including negotiating the passage of the Brownfield and Contaminated Sites Act and the Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act. He also served as Chief of Staff to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, where he had responsibility for overseeing the implementation of energy deregulation, as well as aspects of the transition of the telephone and cable television industries into competition.
After having been appointed as a member of the New Jersey Clean Air Council by Governor Chris Christie in 2015, John served as its Chair from 2018 to 2021 after serving as Vice-Chair in 2017. As a member of the Clean Air Council, John has also served as hearing committee chair regarding "The Clean Power Plan - Impact on New Jersey." In 2014, he was selected to serve as vice chair of the Energy Bar Association's Environmental Regulation Committee.
John received his J.D. from New York University School of Law. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Bucknell University, magna cum laude, where he was a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society.
- New York University School of Law (J.D., 1990)
- Bucknell University (B.S. in Chemical Engineering, magna cum laude, 1987)
- New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Representing RC Cape May Holdings, LLC, in the redevelopment of a coal fired power plant to natural gas. John is involved in all aspects of the Title V Operating Permit and NJPDES permit negotiations, as well as negotiating amendments to an Administrative Consent Order. In addition, the project involves a partnership with the local utility in permitting a gas transmission pipeline, including applications before the NJBPU and the Pinelands Commission, and subsequent litigation in the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division.
- Representing several public utility and independent owners and developers of electric transmission lines in obtaining permits and approvals from the NJDEP.
- Representing several NJ solar developers in filings before the NJBPU, including obtaining extensions under the New Jersey Solar Act of 2012.
- Represented a state-of-the art coal fired power plant in obtaining Title V Permit modifications and negotiated enforcement oversight documents.
- Represented New Jersey Natural Gas in obtaining approval from the NJBPU to construct the Southern Reliability Link, a natural gas pipeline that would provide reliability benefits to natural gas users in the utility’s Monmouth, Ocean and Burlington county service territories.
- The Best Lawyers in America®, Environmental Law (2019-2022)
- American Institute of Chemical Engineers
- Energy Bar Association
- New Jersey Clean Air Council, Member and Past Chair
- New Jersey Utilities Association