Frederick Paulsen’s practice focuses on: (a) regulatory compliance with emphasis on the management and control of wastewater and storm water discharges and the assessment and remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater, (b) environmental aspects of real estate and business transactions, and (c) zoning and environmental permitting of real estate development. As Senior Counsel to the law firm of Burns & Levinson LLP and member of the Firm’s Environmental and Real Estate Practice Groups, he advises individuals, businesses and government agencies on how to:
• anticipate requirements of the federal and state Clean Water Act; Chapter 21E; Wetlands Protection Act, as amended by the Rivers Protection Act; Title 5 governing on-site sewage systems; and hazardous waste and toxic substances laws;
• work with technical consultants who perform audits and environmental site assessments and undertake sampling and perform laboratory tests; and
• allocate responsibility for solving hazardous and sanitary waste issues in connection with real estate transactions including sales, leasing and financing.
In addition to Mr. Paulsen’s private practice in the area of environmental, zoning and real estate law, he has substantial experience working in the public sector. This includes service as chief counsel of the Massachusetts Department of Public Works ( now referred to as MassHighway), assistant administrator for the Boston Model City Agency, and project legal officer for the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
Mr. Paulsen assists developers in seeking environmental, zoning, and other land use permits, site assignments, certificates under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act, and in rendering environmental opinions to lenders. Among other projects, he has had responsibility for transfer of wastewater, air emission, pesticide, and hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal permits in connection with the purchase of chemical manufacturing facilities; assisted on the permitting of a major shopping center expansion involving rezoning, special permits, site plan approval, wetlands and Chapter 91 permits, and a traffic mitigation program; and has worked with technical consultants, pursuant to Chapter 21E and the Massachusetts Contingency Plan to secure Response Action Outcome opinions and Activity and Use Limitations to accomplish the transfer and financing of a variety of commercial properties.
In the environmental enforcement and regulatory areas, Mr. Paulsen has negotiated a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the filling of federally protected wetlands that involved the development of a wetland replication plan; worked with a technical consultant to develop a biomonitoring protocol to satisfy the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) water quality standards; advised a yacht club on the successful permitting from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and DEP of a major expansion of floats and moorings and related dredging; advised, a specialty construction company on obtaining a Superseding Order of Conditions from DEP and an Order of Conditions under a local by-law from the Conservation Commission for the management of stormwater from truck and equipment storage areas and the restoration of wetlands constituting Outstanding Resource Waters; and represented the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission in numerous regulatory matters.
In the wastewater area, Mr. Paulsen has represented the MDC in efforts to convert communities within the Wachusett Reservoir Watershed to public sewers and, in this context, negotiated cost-sharing and rate-setting agreements with the city of Worcester and the affected communities. On behalf of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, in order to lay the groundwork for establishing a stormwater utility, Mr. Paulsen reviewed laws pertaining to stormwater management, examined the authority of municipalities to set fees and assessments to pay for wastewater programs, and drafted a prototype ordinance and statute for establishing such a stormwater utility. On behalf of a commercial property owner, Mr. Paulsen worked to coalesce a number of property owners in a town center for the purpose of establishing a common private wastewater treatment facility to serve all property owners.
In the zoning area, Mr. Paulsen has experience in the development of preexisting residential lots under zoning “grandfather” provisions.
In the real estate area, Mr. Paulsen has experience in drafting and analyzing easements, conservation restrictions and other covenants relating to the use of land.
In representing abutters to a proposed development, Mr. Paulsen worked with a technical consultant, obtained a favorable determination of applicability from the Conservation Commission for perennial stream status under the Rivers Protection Act.
- Boston Bar Association, Senior Lawyers Committee, Co-Chair
- Boston Bar Association, Past Chairman, Environmental Section's Water Quality Management Committee
- McLean Open Space Alliance, Vice President
- Stormwater Advisory Committee, established by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, member
- Mystic River Watershed Association, Past President
- Boston Bar Foundation, Former trustee
- Boston Bar Journal, Former member of the Board of Editors
- Council of the BBA, Former member
- Permit Streamlining Legal Advisory Committee established by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Economic Affairs and the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, Former member
- Mr. Paulsen has written and spoken on issues surrounding hazardous waste and environmental compliance. He co-authored “Leasing Commercial Property Containing Hazardous Materials,’’ published in the Boston Bar Journal, March/April 1991; authored “How Title 5 Will Affect Commercial Systems;” chaired two Boston Bar Association (BBA) Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs, the first in May 1994, entitled “Water Quality Regulations: Aids to Navigation for Industry and Real Estate Professionals,’’ and the second in October 1995, entitled “Title 5 - Practical Approaches to Problems in Transactions and Property Management.”
- Mr. Paulsen served as a member of the faculty on two seminars during 2005-2006 on “Stormwater Regulation and Compliance in Massachusetts” sponsored by Lorman Education Services.
- LL.B., Harvard Law School
- A.B., cum laude, Applied Science, Harvard College
BBA Program: "What's Next: Discussing Options for Senior Lawyers", 4.10.2008
The packed crowd enjoyed presentations from a panel of experts who had successfully transitioned into new professional settings. More than a dozen resource organizations were available at the program for attendees to learn more about different ways to expand their horizons during new stages of their careers. For his vision and masterful organization of this new program, the BBA honors Fred as this week's MVP.
"Current Issues in Stormwater Regulation in Massachusetts", 2.15.2006
Fred Paulsen was a panelist at a seminar entitled "Current Issues in Stormwater Regulation in Massachusetts," on February 15th, 2006 sponsored by Lorman Educational Services. Fred spoke on "New Developments in Stormwater Regulations".