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Charles Howland

Lecturer in law

Charles Howland

 Charles B. Howland


Over a 30 year career at EPA, in private practice, inhouse at a renewable energy developer, in academia, in local government, and at a nonprofit, Charlie Howland has worked to find innovative ways to address complex environmental and energy problems, using classic enforcement tools as well as collaborative multi-stakeholder techniques to reach environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable solutions.  As a Senior Assistant Regional Counsel with USEPA Region III he works on cleanups at private and federal facilities, including contaminated sediment sites and formerly used defense sites.  He has served on several Agency workgroups which have written national EPA enforcement policies (municipal solid waste, renewable energy siting/tenant liability, formerly used defense sites), and has received numerous awards for his work, including the Philadelphia Federal Executive Board's gold medal for exceptional service in 2015.



In 2008 and 2009 Mr. Howland served as general counsel for a utility scale renewable energy project developer, where he helped the firm acquire properties in Canada that were accepted as utility scale solar PV projects in the Ontario Power Authority's Feed-In Tariff.  He was also responsible for all interconnection and permitting issues for the firm’s U.S. and Canadian wind and solar projects, as well as assessing renewable energy portfolio standards and electricity (local, state and ISO/RTO) regulations to identify project opportunities.  Since returning to EPA he has been part of the Agency’s RE Powering America’s Land Initiative, which encourages development of renewable energy facilities on contaminated lands.  He has published several articles and spoken at numerous national conferences on legal issues associated with these projects.  


Outside of EPA, Mr. Howland helped develop and co-teaches a course in energy law at Villanova Law School.  He has also taught environmental law and sustainability in graduate programs at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and its Institute for Environmental Studies, and Drexel University.  He has lectured on environmental and energy law and ethics issues at national and international forums, including numerous colleges and universities, EPA’s National Superfund Training Academy, the U.S. Department of Justice, professional and industry associations, and in Eastern Europe through the Harvard Institute for International Development.  


From 2002 through 2011 he served on the board of directors of the Energy Cooperative of Pennsylvania, a nonprofit, member-owned oil and electricity supply cooperative serving residential, commercial and municipal members in Pennsylvania.  Between 2003 and 2013 he served as a founding member of the board of directors of BlackGold Biofuels, LLC.  Since 2004 he has been a member of the Lower Merion Township Planning Commission, and currently serves as co-chair.  In April, 2015 he was appointed to lead the Township’s Storm Water Advisory Management Evaluation Task Force, and authored its final report.



He is a member of the Philadelphia (co-chair, Environmental Law and Energy Committee – 2011-12) and American Bar Associations (Renewable, Alternative, and Distributed Energy Resources Committee), and is past president of the Delaware Valley Environmental Inn of Court.  He is a graduate of Cornell University (B.A. History 1980) and Villanova University School of Law (J.D. 1985).  In 2003 he completed the Executive Program on Economics and the Environment at the JFK School of Government, Harvard University.  In 2013 he was selected to participate in the Energy Executive Leadership Institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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