FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Joel R. Burcat

Joel R. Burcat

Saul Ewing LLP

Harrisburg, PA, USA

Mr. Burcat is a partner in the Harrisburg office of Saul Ewing LLP.  He is a member of the firm’s Energy, Environment and Utilities Department and Chair of the Oil and Gas Practice. In his latter role, Joel coordinates a team of 16 attorneys who represent clients in the oil and gas industry, and have significant knowledge of, and experience, in the emerging development of the Marcellus Shale. Joel’s principal areas of practice are environmental law, oil and gas law, natural resources law and environmental litigation. He has handled complex environmental issues, including regulatory matters, enforcement cases, permit disputes, transactions, environmental crises, regulatory takings, and state and federal Superfund cases. In addition, he has handled original jurisdiction cases before the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. His clients include owners and developers of natural resources (particularly oil and gas, coal, and non-coal minerals), pipeline companies, large and small industrial operations, owners and operators of petroleum facilities, municipal authorities, trade associations and companies in the waste industry.  On behalf of the regulated community, Joel has conducted internal investigations regarding the cause of violations of state and Federal environmental laws. He also represents buyers and sellers of brownfield properties. Joel has represented clients before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard and state environmental agencies in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Texas and California.  Joel also is a mediator and an arbitrator, certified by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. In that capacity, he has resolved numerous cases. These cases come from a wide variety of disciplines, including environmental disputes, insurance coverage, contracts, civil rights (discrimination), will contests, patent and intellectual property, and labor and employment. 

He is a prolific author and speaker on numerous environmental and energy law topics, legal ethics and civility. Currently, he is the co-editor of The Law of Oil and Gas in Pennsylvania (1st ed. 2014), published by the Pennsylvania Law Institute Press. He has also served as the long-time co-editor of Pennsylvania Environmental Law and Practice, (1st ed. 1994, through 7th ed. 2012), published by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute Press.  Prior to joining Saul Ewing, Joel was a partner in the Harrisburg office of a national law firm. Before entering private practice, he served for three years as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant Counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (now the Department of Environmental Protection). Joel also was Special Counsel to the Pennsylvania Senate Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy.  Joel has been named a “Super Lawyer,” “Best Lawyer in America,” a Chambers “Leading Lawyer,” and received similar accolades.  In 2007, he was honored with the Distinguished Service Award from the PBA Section on Environment, Mineral and Natural Resources.  Joel received his J.D. from Vermont Law School and a bachelor of science degree in Geography, with distinction, from Pennsylvania State University.



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