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Jeffrey R. Porter

Member / Chair, Environmental Law Practice

[email protected]



With over three decades of litigation and transactional experience, Jeff is widely recognized as one of the top environmental lawyers in the country. Clients seek him out to solve complex environmental law challenges facing the private and public sectors.

Some of the largest global companies rely on Jeff’s insights and strategic guidance. Clients praise him for his “substantive experience, local connections, and knowledge” and “innovative approach to negotiations.” They appreciate his commitment to solving any matter by “deeply understanding the big and small pictures, the internal and external politics, and the whole context.” He is ranked Band 1 by Chambers USA which says, “Jeff has a rare combination of skills and judgment that allows him to provide legal guidance that is politically astute and sensitive to all other external dynamics.”

Jeff is Chair of the firm’s Environmental Law Practice. He is also the Chairman of Boston Harbor Now and serves as a Trustee of the Massachusetts Environmental Trust. Jeff is a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers. He was a member of the MassDevelopment Board of Directors from 2013 and 2016 and he was also the Chair of The Nature Conservancy’s Trustee Council, having previously served as the Chair and Vice-Chair of The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts.

Jeff advised the Massachusetts Legislature’s Committee on Natural Resources and Agriculture during the drafting of the 1998 Brownfield legislation that has spurred the beneficial redevelopment of underutilized former industrial sites across the Commonwealth.


  • Cornell University (JD)
  • Bates College (BA)


  • Represents GE in administrative proceedings to select a remedy for the Housatonic Rest of River.
  • Represented GE in the acquisition and permitting of its Headquarters on the Boston Waterfront.
  • Advised Global Gaming Resort client regarding assessment and remediation of chemical manufacturing contamination and permitting of Brownfield redevelopment project.
  • Represented a global biopharmaceutical manufacturer in connection with the acquisition of a portion of a former military base located in Devens, Massachusetts, for the construction of a large-scale, multiproduct bulk biologics manufacturing facility.
  • Defended GE against allegations that GE arranged for the disposal of hazardous substances at the Fletcher's Paint Works and Storage Facility Superfund Site.

Recognition & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America: Environmental Law, Litigation (2006 – 2020)
  • Chambers USA: Massachusetts (Band 1) – Environment (2004 – 2019)  
  • Included on the Massachusetts Super Lawyers: Environmental list (2004 – 2019)
  • Acquisition International Legal Award, US Environmental Law Firm of the Year (2011 – 2016)
  • Acquisition International Global Excellence Awards, Most Outstanding Environmental Lawyer – Boston (2018)
  • Who’s Who in American Law
  • Who’s Who in the World
  • Who’s Who in America
  • Guide to the World’s Leading Environmental Lawyers
  • The International Who’s Who of Environmental Lawyers
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent


  • Fellow, American College of Environmental Lawyers
  • Board Chair, Boston Harbor Now
  • Trustee, Massachusetts Environmental Trust
  • Member, Bureau of Waste Site Clean Up Advisory Committee, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, MassDevelopment
  • Former Chair, Trustee Council, The Nature Conservancy (and former Chair, Massachusetts Chapter)
  • Former Board Member, Boston Harbor Island Alliance (past Vice-Chair and Treasurer)
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Member, Boston Bar Association

Recent Insights

News & Press



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SCOTUS Says Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right for Dusky Gopher Frog

November 29, 2018 | Article | By Jeff Porter

You don’t see a unanimous decision of the United States Supreme Court very often, especially in an environmental case, but that’s what happened this week when the Court held that for an area to be “critical habitat” of an endangered species, it first had to be habitat.
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I’ve been an environmental lawyer for thirty years. That’s how long the jurisdictional reach of the Federal Clean Water Act has been unsettled. Sometime in the next few months the newly more Conservative United States Supreme Court will decide whether to grant either of two petitions to review diametrically opposed Federal Appeals Court answers to the question of whether the Clean Water Act applies to discharges to groundwater, one very important facet of the three decade old question already considered by the Supreme Court three times.
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News & Press

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An article published by Law360 reported that Mintz successfully defended the Wychmere Beach Club, a small Massachusetts resort property, in a lawsuit brought by the Conservation Law Foundation alleging that the Beach Club’s wastewater treatment facility needs a federal permit under the Clean Water Act in addition to the state permit it already has under the Massachusetts Clean Waters Act because the treated effluent from the wastewater treatment facility percolates through soil to groundwater that is connected to Wychmere Harbor. In the ruling, U.S. District Judge William Young agreed that the Beach Club’s discharges were not covered by the federal law.

The Mintz team representing the Wychmere Beach Club includes Mintz Member and Chair of the firm's Environmental Law Practice Jeffrey R. Porter, and Co-Chairs of the firm's Appellate Practice Andrew N. Nathanson (Special Counsel) and Emily Kanstroom Musgrave (Member).
Mintz Member and Chair of the Environmental Law practice Jeff Porter was quoted in a duo of articles published by Law360 that examined the biggest environmental law rulings in 2019 so far and environmental policy to watch through the end of the year.

In a July 12 article, Mr. Porter discussed one of the biggest environment-related regulations to watch in the second half of 2019.

In particular, he commented on the EPA’s new narrower definition of "waters of the U.S." under the Clean Water Act, which is expected to be finalized by December. “Just as the Obama rule was challenged in court by various states and industry groups, the Trump rule will face its own legal battles,” Mr. Porter said.

In a July 8 article, Mr. Porter discussed one of the most significant rulings in environmental law during the first half of 2019.

In particular, he commented on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to limit courts' ability to defer to federal agencies' interpretations of their own regulations. “With their newfound leeway, judges could begin to wade more deeply into controversial and science-heavy issues like climate change and water quality disputes,” Mr. Porter said.
This Law360 “Expert Analysis” column, authored by Mintz Member and Chair of the Environmental Practice Jeff Porter, notes that amid the ongoing chaos of competing Clean Water Act judicial decisions and agency actions, it is clear that Congress should have taken necessary action.
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Mintz partner and Massachusetts lawyer Julie Korostoff is one of 49 attorneys recognized as “Leaders in Their Fields” by the 2018 Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business guide. Chambers named Korostoff a “Recognized Practitioner” in Technology.
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Best Lawyers named 85 Mintz attorneys to its 2018 list of The Best Lawyers in America. In addition, Mintz attorneys Matthew J. Gardella and Samuel M. Tony Starr were named “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective practice areas.
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Jeff Porter, Chair of Mintz’s Environmental Law Section, is quoted in a Boston Business Journal article discussing Massachusetts Governor Baker’s new greenhouse gas regulations and the role played by energy industry.
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Jeffrey R. Porter, Chair of the Environmental Law Practice at Mintz, has been elected to Boston Harbor Now’s Board of Trustees. As a Trustee, Mr. Porter will bring his three decades of experience at the intersection of law, business, and the environment.
Mintz attorneys represented GE in the acquisition and permitting of GE Innovation Point, GE’s new corporate headquarters. The acquisition marks a major milestone for GE, which in January 2016 announced its decision to move to Boston.
Jeff Porter, Member and Chair of Mintz’s Environmental Law Section, is quoted in a Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report feature article on the hazardous waste recycling case involving the American Petroleum Institute and the EPA.
Jeffrey R. Porter, Chair of the Environmental Law Practice at Mintz, is one of sixteen lawyers elected a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers.
Fifty-three Mintz attorneys have been named Massachusetts Super Lawyers for 2016 and thirty-one have been named Massachusetts Rising Stars. The findings will be published in the November 2016 issue of Boston Magazine and in a stand-alone magazine, New England Super Lawyers. 
Best Lawyers named 73 Mintz attorneys to its 2017 list of The Best Lawyers in America. Mintz attorneys selected for inclusion in this year’s list span 44 practice areas. 
Firm’s National Healthcare Practice, NY Corporate/M&A and Litigation: General Commercial Among Newest Rankings
The 2015 Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business guide names 52 Mintz, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.  attorneys as “Leaders in Their Fields.”



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