Glenn Unterberger
Glenn Unterberger

Glenn L. Unterberger

Tel 215.864.8210
Fax 215.864.8999

Glenn L. Unterberger represents clients before federal and state courts and administrative agencies on a full spectrum of environmental issues. He advises clients at both a regional and national level on environmental issues arising in permitting, compliance activities, and business and real estate transactions generally, including transactions involving the reuse of manufacturing and federal facilities and other brownfield suites.

Mr. Unterberger joined the firm's Environment and Natural Resources Group in 1990, after working for more than a dozen years as an enforcement attorney with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. In his tenure at the EPA, Mr. Unterberger served as national legal director for the agency's water enforcement and hazardous waste enforcement programs. Since that time, Mr. Unterberger has represented electric generators, refiners, large manufacturing facility operators, renewable energy projects, major financial institutions, large-scale commercial developers, and other clients seeking to resolve disputes, claims, or challenges arising as part of environmental regulatory, permitting, or enforcement activity, through judicial or administrative proceedings, either prior to or once reaching the actual litigation stage.

Mr. Unterberger also has extensive experience negotiating the allocation of environmental responsibilities among parties involved in mergers and acquisitions, project development, or significant financings, and in evaluating associated environmental liability risks and their impacts on asset valuation.

Representative Matters

  • Negotiated resolution of a range of potential major regulatory enforcement or permit-related claims to allow projects to proceed to successful conclusion or to avoid litigation challenges
  • Successfully defended an air-quality permit issued to a waste coal-fired power plant against a third-party challenge in an administrative hearing and successive appeals
  • Represented a public housing agency in successfully defending a third-party challenge (and appeals up to the U.S. Supreme Court) to a housing revitalization project based on allegations of failure to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act
  • Advised and represented clients in qualifying for extended timeframes to comply with new air pollution control requirements
  • Advised and represented clients on commenting on and litigating over proposed environment regulations and legislation
  • Advised and represented a variety of clients on pollution-control technology, air-quality impact, and procedural requirements applicable in applying for, negotiating, and defending air-quality permits and planning future capital investments
  • Advised and represented clients in the defense and resolution of enforcement investigations and claims under federal and state clean air laws, including claims relating to new source review permitting and hazardous air pollutant controls
  • Advised and represented large manufacturers, business operators, developers, and financial institutions on a full range of environmental permitting, compliance, remediation, and risk allocation matters leading up to and following completion of energy, industrial, and commercial projects
  • Advised and represented clients in negotiating, drafting, and enforcing environmental terms for transactional, financing, and insurance agreements in connection with the sale, leasing, or acquisition of industrial or commercial properties or operating assets, and in connection with  redeveloping brownfields and other contaminated urban, industrialized properties
  • Advised clients on greenhouse gas management, permitting, and reduction strategies, and potential business opportunities
  • Assisted clients in the development of corporate environmental programs, practices, and strategies to manage liability risks effectively

Professional Activities

Federal Bar Association, past Vice Chair, Environment Committee

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, Co-Chair, Air Quality Work Group; member, Environmental Affairs Committee; past Co-Chair, Climate Change Subcommittee

Recognition & Accomplishments

Named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, 2009-2013, 2015, 2016

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, environmental law, 2006-2017

The Best Lawyers in America, environmental law, environmental litigation, 2008-2018

Who's Who Legal: Environment, 2014-2015


Co-author, "Climate Change and the Chesapeake Bay," Bar Bulletin, September 21, 2015

Co-author, "Pennsylvania Common Pleas Court Turns Back Robinson Township Challenge to Waste-to-Energy Facility," Catalyst Magazine, Winter 2014/2015

Co-author, "Model Behavior Affirmed: 3rd Circuit Upholds Tighter SO2 Emission Limits Based on Projected Interstate Impacts," Ballard Spahr white paper, September 17, 2013

Co-author, "EPA Rules for Fossil Fuel-Fired Power Plants," Ballard Spahr white paper, January 2, 2013

Co-author, "Getting the NAAQS: Parallel D.C. Circuit Rulings Clear the Way for EPA To Continue Implementing Stricter Ambient Air Quality Standards," Ballard Spahr white paper, July 27, 2012

Co-author, "Understanding Further Revised US EPA Boiler Standards," Biomass Power & Thermal, February 2012

"Primer on Air Pollution Control Issues, Including Permitting and Climate Change," chapter in 2008/2009 Guidebook on Complying with Pennsylvania Environmental Laws and Regulations, published by Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry

"Litigation Challenging Coal Plants, One Permit at a Time," Natural Resources and Environment, 30, published by American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, Spring 2008

"Primer on Air Pollution Control Issues, Including Permitting," chapter in 2005/2006 Guidebook on Complying with Pennsylvania Environmental Laws and Regulations, published by Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry

Speaking Engagements

Quarterly presenter as co-chair of the Air Quality and Climate Change Work Groups to the membership of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry's Environmental Affairs Committee

Contributor to panels and publications sponsored by the American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, the Pennsylvania Bar Association Environmental Section, other environmental law organizations and trade journals, and in Ballard Spahr-hosted seminars for firm clients and friends

"Greenhouse Gas Emissions Update—The Impact on All Industries," 2015 Core Energy and Environmental Conference Series, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, October 29, 2015

Panel moderator, "Switching to Natural Gas (Non-Energy Generating Uses, Non-Power Plants, Including Clean Vehicles)," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Environmental Law Forum 2014, Harrisburg, April 10, 2014

"Coal-Fired Power Plants and the Challenge from Climate Change," Annual Environmental Law Forum, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, April 2008

"Overview of Climate Change and Developing Corporate Objectives," Annual Environmental Regulations and Technologies Conference, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, April 2008

"Litigation Over Climate Change Is Already Affecting Business Strategies," Arizona Science Center, February 2008

"Drivers on Climate Change, Drivers on Renewable Energy," Annual Environmental Conference, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, April 2007

"A New Minefield for Coal: Challenges to Obtaining Air Quality Permits for New Coal-Fired Poser Plants," Annual Environmental Law Forum, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, April 2007

"Sustainability: Corporate Accountability for the New Millenium," Business Lawyers' Institute, November 2006

Community Activities

Mr. Unterberger is active within his community and synagogue, serving on the Board of Directors of the Temple Adath Israel since 1998 and as the temple's president for two years. He is also a member of the Philadelphia-area Cabinet of the Jewish Theological Seminary and was honored with the Shin Award for outstanding service to his community and synagogue in 2007. Mr. Unterberger also organized and informally serves as self-appointed Commissioner of the Old Guys Basketball Association, which has been meeting weekly for Sunday morning pick-up basketball games since 1993.

Georgetown University Law Center (J.D. 1977)

University of Pennsylvania (B.A. 1974)

District of Columbia