Bonnie Allyn Barnett serves as chair of Drinker Biddle's Environment and Energy Practice Group and is a managing partner in the firm. Bonnie combines an active litigation practice with counseling on regulatory compliance the environmental implications of a wide range of business and real estate transactions.
Environmental Litigation. Bonnie litigates environmental matters of all types ranging from large, multi-party clean up cases to toxic tort class actions, to contractual disputes over environmental liabilities. She also defends clients in enforcement actions, both administrative and judicial, under a variety of federal and state environmental statutes including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, TSCA and RCRA.
On the clean up front, Bonnie has represented parties at sites along the East Coast from Boston to Florida and in the Midwest, not to mention throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She has spent more than a dozen years working on the next frontier – large and complex sediment sites.
Bonnie has litigated a number of private party clean up matters, including a cost recovery and contract dispute over one of the largest Superfund sites in Pennsylvania. She often directs or assists in efforts to identify additional "responsible parties" at Superfund sites and is involved in questions of allocation, whether through litigation, arbitration or mediation. Bonnie has negotiated dozens of consent decrees and administrative consent orders at both the federal and state level as well as settlements in private cost recovery actions.
Environmental Advice. Bonnie advises diverse types of clients from major manufacturing concerns to universities and small businesses on a full range of environmental issues. In addition to regulatory compliance advice, Bonnie routinely directs environmental assessments and audits and has worked extensively with consulting and engineering firms. She has set up due diligence programs for lenders as well as for buyers and sellers of businesses and real property. On the industry side, Bonnie helps clients establish internal compliance auditing programs to resolve or prevent government enforcement. In the business arena, she helps clients structure transactions to allocate the risks and costs of addressing environmental exposures. Helping clients sell or redevelop environmentally sensitive property has become a growing part of Bonnie’s practice given the focus on "Brownfields" redevelopment in Pennsylvania in the wake of Act 2.
In General. After a two-year clerkship with the Hon. James T. Giles, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Bonnie joined Drinker Biddle. She helped to charter the Delaware Valley Environmental Inn of Court, the first American Inn devoted to environmental issues. Bonnie served as co-chair of the Environmental Law Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association, and frequently lectures on topics of interest in the environmental area. She has been named to Band 1 in Chambers USA (Environmental Law, PA) every year since the guide began publication in the United States. Bonnie has been listed in Who’s Who in American Law and was selected to appear in The Best Lawyers in America 2008. She has also been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since 2004.