James M. Behnke, a member/shareholder of the firm, concentrates on the legal issues and problems associated with energy and telecommunications facility siting. Upon graduating from law school, Jim joined Rich May. Jim has acquired extensive knowledge and expertise in areas of federal court jurisdiction, pipeline and LNG safety, federal and state land use and environmental regulation, municipal law, real property and tidelands and water law, right of way and land acquisition and federal and state eminent domain laws relating to energy and telecommunications facility siting. During the past two decades, Jim has provided extensive legal counsel on corporate, tax and land use, environmental, right of way acquisition and eminent domain issues to interstate pipeline companies who have constructed natural gas pipelines transporting natural gas originating in the Mid-West, South Western Canada and off of Sable Island, Nova Scotia to the Greater Boston Area and to pipeline companies that expect to serve federally regulated liquefied natural gas facilities whether such facilities are on-shore or off-shore. Jim lives with his wife Jean in Hanover, New Hampshire. He performed active duty as an officer in the United States Navy from 1972 through 1978.

Representative Matters

Advising on federal preemption, land acquisition and eminent domain matters on numerous smaller interstate natural gas pipeline projects in Massachusetts and on state and federal offshore lands.

Advising two affiliated interstate pipelines on state permitting, federal preemption, land acquisition and eminent domain issues associated with obtaining interstate pipeline rights to transport natural gas across eastern Massachusetts, Massachusetts Bay and federal waters. This included the successful filing and management of approximately 130 eminent domain actions in federal court.

Advising an interstate pipeline on the acquisition and sale of an interstate LNG facility located in Providence, R.I. and on federal preemption of municipal zoning laws for over two decades.

Advising two interstate pipelines desiring to transport gas from Canada through Maine and New Hampshire to Massachusetts on state permitting, federal preemption, land acquisition and eminent domain issues and successfully implementing land acquisition strategy for Massachusetts lands.

Advising an interstate pipeline and its affiliated operational pipelines in Massachusetts and other New England and Mid-Atlantic States on state permitting, federal preemption, land acquisition and eminent domain issues since its inception and construction in 1953.

Speaking Engagements & Publications

Jim has authored or co-authored with Harold Dondis articles pertaining to energy or telecommunications in several professional journals. Those articles include:

Jim appeared as a panelist representing Energy Infra-structure development interests in the Northeast Regional Ocean Council’s Northeast Workshop on Regional Ocean Planning in Bristol, Rhode Island, March 12-13, 2012 and at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Annual Training Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 3, 2012.