Thomas J. Braun

Thomas J. Braun
Minneapolis, MN

About Thomas

Clients rely on Thomas for his broad experience in matters involving environmental and energy issues at the federal, state, and local levels. Thomas works strategically and finds creative solutions to matters involving:

  • siting, permitting, and development of facilities;
  • due diligence in transactions;
  • contaminated properties (brownfields);
  • regulatory compliance and response to enforcement actions; and
  • negotiation of leases and easements.

Prior to joining Stoel Rives, Thomas worked at the U.S. Department of Justice and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

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  • Thomas has a wealth of experience in navigating state and local land use regulations that impact the development of energy projects. Thomas recently represented SoCore Energy in gaining approval for its potential acquisition of equity interests in 22 community solar garden development projects in Minnesota, subject to certain conditions, which upon completion will produce up to 140 megawatts of renewable energy. The projects are being acquired as part of bankruptcy proceedings for renewable energy company SunEdison.
  • He also helps clients resolve property contamination issues. Thomas is currently assisting a multinational packaged foods company address historic environmental contamination at sites across the United States, including through enrollment in, and navigation of, state voluntary remediation programs.
  • Thomas routinely provides strategic counsel to clients in transactions in which environmental issues play a role, including by conducting due diligence and preparing representations and warranties and indemnification provisions that protects a client’s interests.
  • Thomas also assists clients in resolving enforcement actions brought by governmental regulators, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. As part of his effective and efficient work, Thomas will help clients resolve current enforcement actions and develop new, or modify existing, plans and policies to avoid future enforcement actions.
  • Thomas also represents clients in proceedings at public utilities commissions across the United States in matters involving certificates of need, permits, and extensions of the same for wind project developers, as well as services agreements for distributed generation projects.
  • Assisted the Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy Board in acquiring a privately-owned refuse-derived fuel facility in Newport, MN, including assistance in negotiating offtake and operational agreements and addressing permitting and other transactional issues.
  • Assisted international waste-to-energy project developer prepare and submit response to RFP for integrated waste management project in U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Counseled non-metallic industrial minerals producer on regulatory issues related to local regulation of silica sand mining.
  • Counseled a national bank corporation and its subsidiary on tax equity investor liability under CERCLA and the Model Toxics Control Act relating to a proposed landfill-to-energy facility.
  • Member of a team representing a renewable energy developer in a $250 million contract dispute with a national utility company.
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Honors & Activities

Professional Honors and Activities

  • Section Council, Minnesota State Bar Association’s Environmental, Natural Resources and Energy Law Section 
  • Contributor, ABA Superfund and Natural Resource Damages Litigation Committee Newsletter
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • Member, Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Charles N. Nauen Award for Outstanding Achievement in Environmental and Energy Law, University of Minnesota Law School

Civic Activities

  • Minneapolis Club
  • Linden Hills Neighborhood Council
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

Related News & Publications

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