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: Libby counsels and represents 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 commercial service airports 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: Libby counsels a national utility on environmental permitting and review processes including compliance with Ch. 91 waterways licensing requirements.
  • Wetlands: Libby advises private and municipal clients on permitting and enforcement under the Wetlands Protection Act, and local bylaws and ordinances. She represented a municipality in a salt-water estuary restoration project, including through project design and modification, permitting, and negotiations with abutters.
  • Permitting: Libby represents 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 is 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

  • 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: Libby counsels and represents 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 commercial service airports 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: Libby counsels a national utility on environmental permitting and review processes including compliance with Ch. 91 waterways licensing requirements.
  • Wetlands: Libby advises private and municipal clients on permitting and enforcement under the Wetlands Protection Act, and local bylaws and ordinances. She represented a municipality in a salt-water estuary restoration project, including through project design and modification, permitting, and negotiations with abutters.
  • Permitting: Libby represents 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 is 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

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