Harry Weiss is Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Environment and Natural Resources Group, and administers the Group’s practice across the country.
Harry provides an array of clients with compliance advice arising out of new federal and state environmental regulations.
In addition to regulatory work, Harry concentrates on redevelopment of contaminated properties and other environmental issues in the development context, such as storm water management during construction, wetlands permitting, and endangered or threatened species. Harry has represented buyers, sellers, and redevelopers of brownfield and other contaminated property in more than 100 transactions. He has helped clients clear environmental hurdles in a broad variety of projects, including manufacturing facilities, retail complexes, warehouses, multifamily housing, pipelines, and a Major League Baseball stadium.
Shale Oil, Gas, and Mineral Experience
- Represented the United States Bankruptcy Trustee in administering the upkeep and operation of the nation's largest rare earth mineral mine, the former Molycorp Minerals, LLC property in Mountain Pass, CA
- Represented a New Mexico-based investor in effort to purchase out of Chapter 11 proceedings bankruptcy more than 250,000 net mineral acres of San Juan formation and other deep oil and gas rights in New Mexico and in Colorado.
- Represented a Colorado-based investor in effort to purchase out of Chapter 11 proceedings 25,000 net mineral acres of Marcellus, Utica, and other deep oil and gas rights in Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.
- Provided a national glass and plastic container manufacturer with a RCRA-compliance strategy to avoid RCRA violations in connection with the reuse of materials previously characterized as a hazardous waste in a closed-loop recycling system
- For multiple clients in Pennsylvania and in other jurisdictions such as California and New Jersey, provided legal support in a number of multi-million dollar RCRA-mandated corrective action cleanups during closure of manufacturing enterprises and their corrective action units
- Successfully defended manufacturing client against two separate United States-led criminal and civil enforcement actions alleging multiple violations of RCRA hazardous waste storage and disposal laws and regulations, and United States Department of Transportation hazardous waste shipping, labeling and packaging regulations. Negotiated terms of guilty plea and civil consent order that brought the client’s hazardous waste management practices back into compliance
- Provide counseling to a University seeking a determination that its plan for neutralization of hazardous waste prior to shipment would not require an individual RCRA hazardous waste treatment permit
- Serve as Environmental Counsel in support of a Pennsylvania university’s modification of its program under RCRA to collect, store and arrange for disposal of its hazardous waste
- As permitting counsel for Action Manufacturing Co., Inc., assisted the client in obtaining the first hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal (TSD) facility permit issued in Pennsylvania under Subpart X of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permitting provisions (pertaining to heat treatment of hazardous wastes). In 2019, obtained a permit modification under RCRA allowing the client’s TSD facility to accept for treatment in the facility hazardous waste generated at the client’s other facilities
American Bar Association
Recognition & Accomplishments
Chambers USA, environmental law (Pennsylvania), 2008-2020
The Best Lawyers in America, environmental law, 2013-2021
"Philadelphia's Green City, Clean Waters Program: Five-Year Progress Report," Ballard Spahr's Green Infrastructure Conference, Philadelphia, October 13, 2016
"Confronting Confounding Environmental Hysteria," Higher Education Real Estate Lawyers Conference, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 15, 2016
"Avoiding or Minimizing the Impacts of Federal and State Stormwater Enforcement under the Clean Water Act," Ballard Spahr's Green Infrastructure Conference, Philadelphia, October 29, 2015
Board Memberships & Community Service
Advisory Committee of the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education (www.schuylkillcenter.org), past Chair, Board of Trustees; Center is Philadelphia-based and considered the nation's leading urban environmental education center
Co-author, "UPenn Fracking Study Can't Give Plaintiffs Causation," Law360, July 30, 2015
Author, Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Law and Practice, published by George T. Bisel Company, Inc., 2012 and 2014 editions
Co-author, "The Future of Oil, Gas Drilling in the Delaware River Basin," BNA's Daily Report for Executives, January 23, 2012
"The Marcellus Shale and Mortgage Banking: Spotting the Issues," PFI Insider: The Quarterly Newsletter for FHLBank Pittsburgh, 2nd Quarter 2011
Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law (J.D. 1990, with honors)
Pennsylvania State University (B.A. 1984, with honors)