Sean Pluta is a regulatory lawyer who advises clients on a broad range of real estate, transactional, and litigation matters specific to the energy, environmental, and transportation sectors. The clients he represents include renewable energy developers, gas and electric companies, transportation customers, and private equity firms.
Sean represents clients in connection with energy and environmental issues before federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT); state regulatory agencies including the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC), the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) and the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC); as well as in federal and state courts.
Sean routinely advises corporations on federal and state regulatory compliance matters including: land use regulations specific to the energy sector; environmental responsibility laws like the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) and Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); and transportation issues connected to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
Sean recognizes that clients often look for cost-effective counsel for issues that may only be one factor in a larger transaction. In this respect, Sean often provides environmental diligence and discrete issue reviews in M&A deals, corporate transactions, land acquisitions, and new business ventures. Sean has a special focus on the transportation sphere where he has advised a number of car and truck companies on the feasibility of new business ventures and their regulatory implications.
Sean also sits in the Commercial Litigation Group and has litigated a number cases involving commercial and land disputes, patent and trademark licensing, and toxic tort defense in federal and state courts. Sean’s litigation practice includes defending Fortune 200 companies, land developers, and inventors facing hundreds of millions in potential exposure. Sean has first- and second-chaired a number of multi-million dollar cases involving licensing and contract disputes, hazardous material exposure, and personal injury.
Before joining Polsinelli, Sean graduated cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He received the Dean’s Leadership Award for his work in promoting gender equality on campus. He was a board member of the University’s Sexual Assault Investigation Board and was on the Honor Board for the law school. Sean also assisted low-income taxpayers and environmental protection groups as a part of Washington University’s clinic programs.
- Regulatory and development counsel for developer of multi-state/multi-jurisdiction high-voltage, direct current electric transmission line under development.
- Regulatory and development counsel for developers and electric companies applying for certificates of convenience and necessity for various transmission lines and substations projects in Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois.
- Regulatory counsel for public natural gas utility in general rate case before Missouri Public Service Commission.
- Regulatory counsel for natural gas marketer in Winter Storm Uri rate recovery proceedings in Kansas.
- Counsel for developers, lenders, and investors in the development and financing of more than 30 wind, solar, and battery storage energy projects throughout the U.S., totaling more than $10 billion in debt and tax equity financings.
- Land use, development, and permitting counsel for dozens of wind and solar generation projects in various states.
- Environmental counsel for a number of private equity companies including Thompson Street Capital Partners, in the acquisition, disposition, and portfolio work for a number of its portfolio companies.
- Advised Fortune 100 corporations on TSCA, OSHA, RCRA, FIFRA, Clean Water, and Clean Air laws.
- Helped international chemical manufacturer navigate the transportation of its products by air, rail, water, and truck.
- Assisted with risk mitigation and revisions and updates to contract terms in nationwide rental vehicle agreements.
- Advised vehicle manufactures and rental companies on state and federal commercial motor vehicle regulatory frameworks.
- Represented mining company in royalty and subjacent support case.
- Represented a large ethanol company in property damage lawsuit against the United States.
- Represented a medical device inventor in patent licensing arbitration.
- Represented defendant client in the In Re: Generic Pharmaceuticals Pricing Antitrust Litigation, Civil Action No. 16-MD-2724, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
- Defended a Fortune 100 Company in a multi-party cost recovery claim for a vapor intrusion remedy allegedly necessitated by disposal of hazardous substances at a landfill in Dayton, Ohio.
- Defended a Fortune 200 Company in a 300-plus plaintiff action alleging property damage and emotional distress from mercury released at a mercury cell chloralkali plant. The case settled favorably after plaintiffs’ experts were excluded.