Mr. Carlos J. Fernández-Lugo represents clients before local and federal agencies with jurisdiction over environmental, energy and land use matters, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Quality Board, the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, the Solid Waste Management Authority, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the State Energy Public Policy Office, the Energy Commission, the Puerto Rico Planning Board, the Permits Management Office, and the various autonomous municipalities throughout Puerto Rico.
He provides counseling to clients on greenfield and brownfield development, land use issues, compliance with and interpretation of environmental laws and regulations, the environmental implications of business transactions, siting and permitting of energy facilities, and negotiation of energy contracts, among others.
He also advises clients in connection with the development of residential, commercial, industrial, energy and tourism facilities; planning, zoning and permitting matters; and permit challenges before administrative agencies and the courts.
His representation also includes defense in administrative or judicial enforcement proceedings. He has been involved in several complex environmental cases and mass litigation, including multi-party CERCLA cases and the Río Piedras Explosion Litigation. He has also represented clients in cases dealing with spills, toxic torts, soil and groundwater contamination, permit challenges and regulatory violations, among others.
On the energy front, he has acted as environmental counsel for lenders and equity investors in the financing of energy facilities. In addition, he has represented renewable energy developers in the negotiation of power purchase and operating agreements, renewable energy certificate contracts, land agreements and financing related matters, among others, as well as in the land use and environmental impact review process related to the construction of such facilities. His energy experience includes work on coal, natural gas, wind, solar, waste to energy, biomass, anaerobic digestion and landfill gas to energy projects.
Mr. Fernández-Lugo participated in the drafting process of Acts 82 and 83 of July 19, 2010, which created the Puerto Rico renewable energy portfolio standard, and the renewable energy incentives regime, respectively. He also worked on the net metering chapter of the Energy Transformation and RELIEF Act, Act 57 of May 27, 2014.
He is frequently invited to participate as speaker or moderator in energy related topics by key associations and industry groups. He is also frequently interviewed and quoted by industry journals and publications.
Prior to joining McConnell Valdés, Mr. Fernández-Lugo served as judicial law clerk to Hon. Carmen Consuelo Cerezo, then-Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.
- Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
- U.S. District Court District of Puerto Rico
- U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit
- B.S., University of Puerto Rico
- J.D., Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico School of Law
- Puerto Rico Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association
- American Bar Association’s Energy and Natural Resources Section, Litigation Section
- Puerto Rico College of Engineers and Surveyors
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