CREDENTIALS

environmental law

Chris Myhrum represents public and private entities and individuals in a wide variety of matters across the broad spectrum of environmental law.

Chris has actively participated in reforms to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP), including serving on the Ad Hoc Committee on Potentially Productive Aquifer Reform.  Governor William Weld appointed him to the Massachusetts Title 5 Review Commission, and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Commissioner Robert W. Golledge included him in the task force to reform MassDEP administrative appeal procedures.  He has been a member of the Pioneer Valley Plan for Progress, and currently is a Director of WestMass Regional Development, the quasi-public corporation managing redevelopment of Ludlow Mills, the largest Brownfields project in New England.

Chris represents clients addressing or appealing United States Environmental Protection Agency, MassDEP and other agency investigation and enforcement proceedings as well as clients in multi-party disputes over liability and allocation of response action costs.  He also assists clients pursuing insurance coverage for response costs and other loss and damage arising out of contamination resulting from releases of oil and hazardous materials. 

For over three decades Chris has worked on federal Superfund and state MCP cases, collaborating frequently, and often quite intensively, with Licensed Site Professionals (LSPs) and other engineering and environmental consultants.  Cases range from heartbreaking homeowner fuel oil releases to major multi-party landfill leachate and similar sites, meeting along the way “four corner-four gas stations” intersection fiascos, residual TCE plumes emanating from under industrial structures, and “whose copper killed the fish” mysteries.  He is familiar with LSPs’ fundamental obligation to hold the public interest paramount and has represented LSPs in investigations by and disciplinary matters before the Board of Registration of Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Professionals.

Chris offers ongoing guidance on permitting and enforcement related matters under federal and state statutes and regulations governing air contaminant emissions, wastewater and stormwater discharges, and management of toxic chemicals and hazardous wastes.  He also counsels clients concerning public and private water supplies and compliance with wetlands, riverfront and waterways regulations.

Clients include manufacturers, municipalities, farmers, public and private developers of real estate projects, public and private schools, colleges and health care institutions.  Lawyers representing clients in real estate conveyancing and mergers and acquisitions retain Chris to evaluate compliance status and transactional environmental risks and liability exposures.  To meet financing conditions of lenders, borrowers engage Chris to provide necessary opinions regarding current and projected compliance with applicable environmental requirements.

Before entering private practice with Springfield’s largest law firm in 1983, Chris served for three years as law clerk to United States District Judge Frank H. Freedman, District of Massachusetts.     

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Honors & Involvement

Honors
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Martindale Hubbell Rating, 2008-present
  • “Best Lawyers in America” Environmental Law, 1991-present
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2001-Present
Involvement
  • Manager of the pro bono program at my former firm, committing substantial time to representation of indigent clients and public service as board member and officer of organizations providing legal services to those otherwise unable to obtain legal representation
  • WestMass Area Development Corporation, Director and Land Inventory Committee Member, 2008-present
  • Massachusetts Justice Project, Board Member (Legal Assistance Corporation funded assistance in Central and Western Massachusetts) 2008-2014
  • Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, Board Member 2004-2009; Treasurer 2005-2009
  • MCLE – Environmental Law Curriculum Advisory Committee, l990-1998
  • Massachusetts Bar Foundation, Western Massachusetts Grant Advisory Committee, 2000-2008
  • Pioneer Valley Plan for Progress, Trustee (1991-2000); Chair of Environmental Permitting and Streamlining Strategy (1993-2005); Co-Chair, Connecticut River Restoration Strategy (2005-2008)

Representative Publications

  • Hazardous Materials Law Chapter in Massachusetts Environmental Law, (MCLE, 1991 and ongoing)
  • Activity and Use Limitations, MCLE Environmental Law Conference publications (2001, 2002 and 2003)
  • Environmental Law for Industrial Clients Chapter in Environmental Law for the General Practitioner (MCLE)
  • Site Assessments and Environmental Audits:  Tools for Ensuring Environmental Compliance, Business Planning, Managing and Allocating Risk, Site Assessments and Environmental Audits (MCLE)

Speaking Engagements

  • LAWYERS AND LSPs: Working Together on MCP Projects, Licensed Site Professional Association, (February 2015)
  • An Environmental Practitioner’s Progress and Perspective, Western New England University School of Law School (November, 2011)
  • Annual Presentation on Developments in Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Law and Practice, MCLE Environmental Law and Land Use Review Program (1993 through 2008)
  • Watch Carefully:  Here’s How Activity and Use Limitations are Supposed to Work under the New Massachusetts Contingency Plan’s Privatized Waste Site Cleanup Program , Licensed Site Professional Association (1993)

Education

  • Boston College Law School, J.D. magna cum laude, 1980. Order of the Coif; Executive Editor, Boston College Law School Environmental Affairs Law Review
  • New York University, B.A. cum laude, l975. Classical Philology, Russian; Bluma Trell Award for Excellence in Classics
  • The Choate School, Wallingford, CT