Overview

Olympia “Libby” Bowker advises private and public sector clients on a range of environmental and land use matters. Her work routinely involves applying complex regulatory schemes during hazardous waste remediation and cost recovery, wetlands permitting and enforcement, and state waterways licensing. Libby’s experience includes:

  • Hazardous Waste Remediation and Cost Recovery: Counseling and representing clients on hazardous waste remediation under CERCLA and the Massachusetts Hazardous Material Release Prevention Act (G.L. c. 21E), including compliance with the 4A recovery process. She also advises a commercial service airport in Massachusetts on handling PFAS contamination. Her work includes advice on communications with affected stakeholders and drafting agreements to enable adjacent property remediation, facilitating expedited access to municipal drinking water, and ensuring remediation efforts satisfy revenue use procurement criteria.
  • State Waterways Licensing: Counseling a national utility on environmental permitting and review processes, and ensuring compliance with Ch. 91 waterways licensing requirements.
  • Wetlands: Advising private and municipal clients on permitting and enforcement under the Wetlands Protection Act, and local bylaws and ordinances. Libby has represented applications before dozens of conservation commissions. She represented a municipality in a salt-water estuary restoration project, including through project design and modification, permitting, and negotiations with abutters.
  • Permitting: Representing clients before state and municipal permitting entities, including the Department of Environmental Protection, the Building Code Appeals Board, planning boards, zoning boards, conservation commissions, and historical commissions.

Libby’s written work has been featured in a variety of legal and environmental publications, including JD Supra, the Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation, Municipal Law Quarterly, the Real Estate Bar Association (REBA) Newsletter, and the Boston Bar Journal. She has presented seminars and webinars for the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative (CPTC), and the Annual Environmental Conference of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC).

Prior to law school, Libby conducted oceanic temperature research aboard a research vessel based out of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, led a backcountry trail crew repairing remote sections of the Pacific Crest Trail, and taught outdoor science classes at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

BEYOND THE OFFICE

Libby and her husband live in Somerville with their dog, Kodachrome, and far too many books. Libby enjoys fresh-cut flowers, sailing old wooden boats, and the occasional outdoor adventure.

Credentials

Education

Vermont Law School, J.D. and Masters of Environmental Law and Policy, 2015

University of Vermont, B.A., 2009

Admissions

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

New Hampshire Supreme Court

 

 

Affiliations

  • American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, Legal Volunteer
  • Boston Bar Association
    • Environmental and Energy Law Section’s Public Service Committee, Co-Chair, 2018-2020
    • Law School Graduate Mentor, 2020-2021
    • Bar Exam Coach, 2018, 2020
  • Vermont Law School Alumni Association, Boston
    Board of Governors, 2019-present
  • University of Vermont Alumni Association, Boston Regional Board
    Member, 2017-present
  • Real Estate Bar Association, Member, 2016-present
    • Strategic Communications Commission, 2021

Experience

  • Negotiated and drafted a license agreement to enable remediation of contaminated soil and soil gas.
  • Successfully obtained variances from zoning provisions to enable the construction of a single-family home in place of a pre-existing non-conforming use and structure.
  • Favorably resolved land use and property rights issues before a municipal board to secure Order of Conditions for the redevelopment of beachfront registered land.
  • Advised a client on the pending taking of a temporary access easement across their property, and negotiated higher compensation than that approved by Town Meeting.
  • Counseled homeowners on compliance with the Wetlands Protection Act and local bylaws and regulations.
  • Successfully finalized an agreement between neighborhood residents and national developer, regarding support for a development project in exchange for community benefits.
  • Provided permitting advice to homeowners and developers to ensure compliance with local and state regulations.
  • Secured a variance from the Building Code Appeals Board from flood resiliency provisions of the Building Code to enable occupancy of renovated structure.

Insights

  • Appeals Court Divests Conservation Commissions’ Wetlands Jurisdiction After Missed Deadline, ENVIRONMENTAL & LAND USE, March 1, 2022
  • Biden-Harris Administration Proposes NEPA Regulatory Revisions, ENVIRONMENTAL & LAND USE, January 25, 2022
  • Federal PFAS Cleanup Regulation on the Horizon, ENVIRONMENTAL & LAND USE, December 2, 2021
  • Olympia Bowker, Appeals Court Interpretation of Conservation Restriction Underscores Value of Clear Language, Conservation Quarterly, Fall 2020, at 9.
  • Olympia Bowker, Supreme Court Rules A Clean Water Act Permit Can Be Required for Groundwater Discharges, REBA Blog (May 7, 2020), http://rebama.blogspot.com/2020/05/supreme-court-rules-clean-water-act.html.
  • Olympia Bowker, Supreme Court Rules A Clean Water Act Permit Can Be Required For Groundwater Discharges By Maui Country Into Navigable Waters, Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association(May 4, 2020), https://www.massmunilaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/County-Of-Maui-Bowker-Article.pdf.
  • Olympia Bowker, Lake and Pond Management – How Much Authority Does a Conservation Commission Have? The Stockbridge Bowl Case from Two Perspectives:Part 2, Science Meets Law in Superior Court Ruling Allowing Herbicides for Lake and Pond Management, Conservation Quarterly, Spring 2020, at 5.
  • Olympia Bowker, Stockbridge Bowl Case: Where the Law Meets Science in Court, McGregor & Legere Attorney Blog (Feb. 28, 2020), https://www.mcgregorlegere.com/attorney-blog/item/57-stockbridge-ma-bowl-case-where-the-law-meets-science-in-court-herbicide-treatment-eurasian-watermilfoil.
  • Olympia Bowker, Adorable as Affordable?: The Zoning Challenge of Tiny Houses, 63 Boston Bar J. 4 (Fall 2019).
  • Olympia Bowker, Miramar Beach Dredged Spoils Case: SJC Elaborates Role of Regulatory Performance Standards, McGregor & Legere Attorney Blog (Oct. 4, 2018), https://www.mcgregorlegere.com/olymipia-bowker-bio-articles/item/46-miramar-beach-dredged-spoils-case-supreme-judicial-court-elaborates-role-regulatory-performance-standards.
  • Olympia Bowker, Tiny Houses Face Zoning and Other Obstacles in Massachusetts, McGregor & Legere Attorney Blog (Mar. 2, 2018), https://mcgregorlegere.com/olymipia-bowker-bio-articles/item/41-tiny-houses-face-zoning-obstacles-massachusetts.
  • Olympia Bowker, Zoning and Other Legal Obstacles to Tiny Houses, REBA Blog (February 22, 2018), http://rebama.blogspot.com/search/label/Olympia%20A.%20Bowker.
  • Bowker, O. (Sept. 14-16, 2017) Environmental Law Updates: Local Developments in Light of Federal Changes, Presentation, Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association Annual Meeting and Conference, Hyannis, MA (preparation of materials only).
  • Olympia Bowker, Appeals Court Finds Conservation Commission Inaction Cured by Previous Order of Conditions, REBA Blog (Aug. 21, 2017), http://rebama.blogspot.com/2017/08/appeals-court-finds-conservation.html
  • Olympia Bowker, Appeals Court Applies Vernal Pool Protections in Original OOC for Entire Subdivision Despite Commission’s Delay Acting On Subsequent NOI, Conservation Quarterly, Summer 2017, at 20.
  • Olympia Bowker, Municipal Modernization Act a Smorgasbord of Changes on Environment and Land Use, REBA News, November 2016.
  • Olympia Bowker, New Law Means Less Control for Municipalities, The Municipal Law Quarterly, Fall 2016, at 11.
  • Olympia Bowker, Water, Water, Everywhere: New Hampshire’s Expansive Public Assets, NH Bar News, S 21, 2016, at 35.
  • Olympia Bowker, He walks the line: 1L balances school…and the U.S. Supreme Court?, Student Lawyer Magazine, March 1, 2016.
  • Olympia Bowker, A Vague Invasion: The Inadequacy of Invasive Species Definitions in Reaching Federal and State Goals, Illustrated by Application of A. Arenaria to Coastal Dune Preservation, 29 J. L. & Litig. 579 (2015).
  • Olympia Bowker, The Dam(age) Stops Here: The Public Trust and Dam Removal, J. Envtl. L. EcoPerspectives Blog (June 1, 2015), http://vjel.vermontlaw.edu/the-damage-stops-here-the-public-trust-and-dam-removal/.
  • Tuholske, Jack and Kilbert, Kenneth, Moving Forward: Legal Solutions to Lake Erie’s Harmful Algal Blooms (April 15, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2667107 (contributing researcher)
  • Olympia Bowker, Tiny Beads, Big Problem: Vermont Seeks to Ban Microbeads, J. Envtl. L. EcoPerspectives Blog (Feb. 23, 2015), http://vjel.vermontlaw.edu/tiny-beads-big-problem-vermont-seeks-ban-microbeads/.
  • Olympia Bowker & Michael Campinell, Blurred Lines: The Importance of Delineation Between Legislative and Non-legislative Rules Under the APA, J. Envtl. L. EcoPerspectives Blog (Feb. 9, 2015), vjel.vermontlaw.edu/blurred-lines-importance-delineation-legislative-non-legislative-rules-apa/.

  • Panelist, Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions’ Annual Environmental Conference, Managed Retreat and its Role in Climate Change Adaption and Resiliency: A Primer, March 2022
  • Speaker, REBA Environmental Law Section Webcast, Wetlands Permitting During the COVID-19 Pandemic,  June 2020
  • Speaker, REBA Environmental Law Section Webcast, Land Use Permitting During the COVID-19 Pandemic,  June 2020
  • Speaker, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Navigating Wetland Permitting During COVID-19: The 60-Minute Lawyer – How the emergency laws, orders, and rules affect your clients and their projectsMay 2020
  • Moderator, Boston Bar Association, Navigating Permitting and Appeals Under New COVID-19 Rules, April 2020
  • Speaker,  Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions Annual Environmental Conference, Environmental Law 2020: Legal Developments Commissions Need to Know, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, February 2020
  • Speaker, Massachusetts Citizen Planner Training Collaborative – Introduction to the Zoning Act, Presentation, 2018 CPTC Annual Conference, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, March 2018

Olympia “Libby” Bowker advises private and public sector clients on a range of environmental and land use matters. Her work routinely involves applying complex regulatory schemes during hazardous waste remediation and cost recovery, wetlands permitting and enforcement, and state waterways licensing. Libby’s experience includes:

  • Hazardous Waste Remediation and Cost Recovery: Counseling and representing clients on hazardous waste remediation under CERCLA and the Massachusetts Hazardous Material Release Prevention Act (G.L. c. 21E), including compliance with the 4A recovery process. She also advises a commercial service airport in Massachusetts on handling PFAS contamination. Her work includes advice on communications with affected stakeholders and drafting agreements to enable adjacent property remediation, facilitating expedited access to municipal drinking water, and ensuring remediation efforts satisfy revenue use procurement criteria.
  • State Waterways Licensing: Counseling a national utility on environmental permitting and review processes, and ensuring compliance with Ch. 91 waterways licensing requirements.
  • Wetlands: Advising private and municipal clients on permitting and enforcement under the Wetlands Protection Act, and local bylaws and ordinances. Libby has represented applications before dozens of conservation commissions. She represented a municipality in a salt-water estuary restoration project, including through project design and modification, permitting, and negotiations with abutters.
  • Permitting: Representing clients before state and municipal permitting entities, including the Department of Environmental Protection, the Building Code Appeals Board, planning boards, zoning boards, conservation commissions, and historical commissions.

Libby’s written work has been featured in a variety of legal and environmental publications, including JD Supra, the Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation, Municipal Law Quarterly, the Real Estate Bar Association (REBA) Newsletter, and the Boston Bar Journal. She has presented seminars and webinars for the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative (CPTC), and the Annual Environmental Conference of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC).

Prior to law school, Libby conducted oceanic temperature research aboard a research vessel based out of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, led a backcountry trail crew repairing remote sections of the Pacific Crest Trail, and taught outdoor science classes at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

BEYOND THE OFFICE

Libby and her husband live in Somerville with their dog, Kodachrome, and far too many books. Libby enjoys fresh-cut flowers, sailing old wooden boats, and the occasional outdoor adventure.

Education

Vermont Law School, J.D. and Masters of Environmental Law and Policy, 2015

University of Vermont, B.A., 2009

Admissions

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

New Hampshire Supreme Court

 

 

  • American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, Legal Volunteer
  • Boston Bar Association
    • Environmental and Energy Law Section’s Public Service Committee, Co-Chair, 2018-2020
    • Law School Graduate Mentor, 2020-2021
    • Bar Exam Coach, 2018, 2020
  • Vermont Law School Alumni Association, Boston
    Board of Governors, 2019-present
  • University of Vermont Alumni Association, Boston Regional Board
    Member, 2017-present
  • Real Estate Bar Association, Member, 2016-present
    • Strategic Communications Commission, 2021

  • Negotiated and drafted a license agreement to enable remediation of contaminated soil and soil gas.
  • Successfully obtained variances from zoning provisions to enable the construction of a single-family home in place of a pre-existing non-conforming use and structure.
  • Favorably resolved land use and property rights issues before a municipal board to secure Order of Conditions for the redevelopment of beachfront registered land.
  • Advised a client on the pending taking of a temporary access easement across their property, and negotiated higher compensation than that approved by Town Meeting.
  • Counseled homeowners on compliance with the Wetlands Protection Act and local bylaws and regulations.
  • Successfully finalized an agreement between neighborhood residents and national developer, regarding support for a development project in exchange for community benefits.
  • Provided permitting advice to homeowners and developers to ensure compliance with local and state regulations.
  • Secured a variance from the Building Code Appeals Board from flood resiliency provisions of the Building Code to enable occupancy of renovated structure.

Publications

  • Appeals Court Divests Conservation Commissions’ Wetlands Jurisdiction After Missed Deadline, ENVIRONMENTAL & LAND USE, March 1, 2022
  • Biden-Harris Administration Proposes NEPA Regulatory Revisions, ENVIRONMENTAL & LAND USE, January 25, 2022
  • Federal PFAS Cleanup Regulation on the Horizon, ENVIRONMENTAL & LAND USE, December 2, 2021
  • Olympia Bowker, Appeals Court Interpretation of Conservation Restriction Underscores Value of Clear Language, Conservation Quarterly, Fall 2020, at 9.
  • Olympia Bowker, Supreme Court Rules A Clean Water Act Permit Can Be Required for Groundwater Discharges, REBA Blog (May 7, 2020), http://rebama.blogspot.com/2020/05/supreme-court-rules-clean-water-act.html.
  • Olympia Bowker, Supreme Court Rules A Clean Water Act Permit Can Be Required For Groundwater Discharges By Maui Country Into Navigable Waters, Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association(May 4, 2020), https://www.massmunilaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/County-Of-Maui-Bowker-Article.pdf.
  • Olympia Bowker, Lake and Pond Management – How Much Authority Does a Conservation Commission Have? The Stockbridge Bowl Case from Two Perspectives:Part 2, Science Meets Law in Superior Court Ruling Allowing Herbicides for Lake and Pond Management, Conservation Quarterly, Spring 2020, at 5.
  • Olympia Bowker, Stockbridge Bowl Case: Where the Law Meets Science in Court, McGregor & Legere Attorney Blog (Feb. 28, 2020), https://www.mcgregorlegere.com/attorney-blog/item/57-stockbridge-ma-bowl-case-where-the-law-meets-science-in-court-herbicide-treatment-eurasian-watermilfoil.
  • Olympia Bowker, Adorable as Affordable?: The Zoning Challenge of Tiny Houses, 63 Boston Bar J. 4 (Fall 2019).
  • Olympia Bowker, Miramar Beach Dredged Spoils Case: SJC Elaborates Role of Regulatory Performance Standards, McGregor & Legere Attorney Blog (Oct. 4, 2018), https://www.mcgregorlegere.com/olymipia-bowker-bio-articles/item/46-miramar-beach-dredged-spoils-case-supreme-judicial-court-elaborates-role-regulatory-performance-standards.
  • Olympia Bowker, Tiny Houses Face Zoning and Other Obstacles in Massachusetts, McGregor & Legere Attorney Blog (Mar. 2, 2018), https://mcgregorlegere.com/olymipia-bowker-bio-articles/item/41-tiny-houses-face-zoning-obstacles-massachusetts.
  • Olympia Bowker, Zoning and Other Legal Obstacles to Tiny Houses, REBA Blog (February 22, 2018), http://rebama.blogspot.com/search/label/Olympia%20A.%20Bowker.
  • Bowker, O. (Sept. 14-16, 2017) Environmental Law Updates: Local Developments in Light of Federal Changes, Presentation, Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association Annual Meeting and Conference, Hyannis, MA (preparation of materials only).
  • Olympia Bowker, Appeals Court Finds Conservation Commission Inaction Cured by Previous Order of Conditions, REBA Blog (Aug. 21, 2017), http://rebama.blogspot.com/2017/08/appeals-court-finds-conservation.html
  • Olympia Bowker, Appeals Court Applies Vernal Pool Protections in Original OOC for Entire Subdivision Despite Commission’s Delay Acting On Subsequent NOI, Conservation Quarterly, Summer 2017, at 20.
  • Olympia Bowker, Municipal Modernization Act a Smorgasbord of Changes on Environment and Land Use, REBA News, November 2016.
  • Olympia Bowker, New Law Means Less Control for Municipalities, The Municipal Law Quarterly, Fall 2016, at 11.
  • Olympia Bowker, Water, Water, Everywhere: New Hampshire’s Expansive Public Assets, NH Bar News, S 21, 2016, at 35.
  • Olympia Bowker, He walks the line: 1L balances school…and the U.S. Supreme Court?, Student Lawyer Magazine, March 1, 2016.
  • Olympia Bowker, A Vague Invasion: The Inadequacy of Invasive Species Definitions in Reaching Federal and State Goals, Illustrated by Application of A. Arenaria to Coastal Dune Preservation, 29 J. L. & Litig. 579 (2015).
  • Olympia Bowker, The Dam(age) Stops Here: The Public Trust and Dam Removal, J. Envtl. L. EcoPerspectives Blog (June 1, 2015), http://vjel.vermontlaw.edu/the-damage-stops-here-the-public-trust-and-dam-removal/.
  • Tuholske, Jack and Kilbert, Kenneth, Moving Forward: Legal Solutions to Lake Erie’s Harmful Algal Blooms (April 15, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2667107 (contributing researcher)
  • Olympia Bowker, Tiny Beads, Big Problem: Vermont Seeks to Ban Microbeads, J. Envtl. L. EcoPerspectives Blog (Feb. 23, 2015), http://vjel.vermontlaw.edu/tiny-beads-big-problem-vermont-seeks-ban-microbeads/.
  • Olympia Bowker & Michael Campinell, Blurred Lines: The Importance of Delineation Between Legislative and Non-legislative Rules Under the APA, J. Envtl. L. EcoPerspectives Blog (Feb. 9, 2015), vjel.vermontlaw.edu/blurred-lines-importance-delineation-legislative-non-legislative-rules-apa/.

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions’ Annual Environmental Conference, Managed Retreat and its Role in Climate Change Adaption and Resiliency: A Primer, March 2022
  • Speaker, REBA Environmental Law Section Webcast, Wetlands Permitting During the COVID-19 Pandemic,  June 2020
  • Speaker, REBA Environmental Law Section Webcast, Land Use Permitting During the COVID-19 Pandemic,  June 2020
  • Speaker, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Navigating Wetland Permitting During COVID-19: The 60-Minute Lawyer – How the emergency laws, orders, and rules affect your clients and their projectsMay 2020
  • Moderator, Boston Bar Association, Navigating Permitting and Appeals Under New COVID-19 Rules, April 2020
  • Speaker,  Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions Annual Environmental Conference, Environmental Law 2020: Legal Developments Commissions Need to Know, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, February 2020
  • Speaker, Massachusetts Citizen Planner Training Collaborative – Introduction to the Zoning Act, Presentation, 2018 CPTC Annual Conference, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, March 2018