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I am committed to understanding my clients’ business and their goals, and implementing a strategy to achieve those goals is my focus and core strength as a lawyer.  As the former CFO and general counsel of a family-owned business, my mindset is to embrace each client’s business as if it were my own.  Whether negotiating before a regulatory agency, obtaining permitting for complex projects or developing alternative energy project solutions, I strive to consistently achieve favorable outcomes that align with my client’s best interests. 

Ms. Koonz focuses her practice in the areas of environmental and energy law, with an emphasis on environmental permitting for redevelopment, environmental compliance and renewable energy projects. 

For over 25 years, Ms. Koonz has advised domestic and overseas businesses with respect to New Jersey state and federal environmental permitting, regulatory compliance and scientific data to best manage environmental remediation, ISRA compliance, New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NJPDES) permitting, air permitting, CAFRA permitting, waterfront development and wetlands permitting.  She has represented state, national and global manufacturers and large shipping operators in matters involving due diligence for acquisitions and local, state and federal environmental permitting of their U.S.-based operations, including manufacturing, recycling and solid waste facilities.  In addition, she has counseled global, federal, state and local governments on the development of regulatory protocol for environmental resources, both in New Jersey and beyond. 

Ms. Koonz has extensive experience in negotiating regulatory issues and resolving related enforcement actions with public agencies, including the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU).  Her work has encompassed the permitting and transfer of A901 licensed solid waste facilities and transporters, public wastewater and solid waste facilities, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) facilities, linear and pipeline development projects, and scrap metal and other recycling facilities, as well as securing grants and funding for redevelopment projects and the management of contamination from hazardous materials, range lead reclamation and historic pesticides.

As a geologist and attorney, Ms. Koonz advises private and public entities involved in the fossil fuel, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and renewable energy industries in connection with the acquisition, project management, development and permitting of energy facilities and related infrastructure.  Ms. Koonz regularly represents solar energy providers and hosts in connection with the development of grid-supply, net-metered and community solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, including some of the largest solar PV projects in New Jersey.  In connection with solar and other distributed energy projects, Ms. Koonz, on behalf of power providers and off-takers, drafts and negotiates engineering, procurement and construction agreements (EPCs), power purchase agreements (PPAs), rooftop leases, and related property rights and access agreements.  She provides counsel to clients regarding eligibility and compliance with BPU renewable energy requirements, including the solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) program and the newly implemented Transition Incentive (TI) program.  Further, she provides advice regarding interconnection agreements with local electric distribution companies and regional transmission organizations such as PJM. 

Ms. Koonz has secured environmental permits and approvals for a comprehensive range of projects and facilities including interstate pipelines, LNG facilities and independent power producers, overseeing all aspects including due diligence and the coordination of stakeholders, state agencies and federal entities including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  She has also counseled property owners, public utilities and government entities on cost-effective acquisitions of energy infrastructure rights-of-way (ROW) through easements, permits and surface access agreements.

Uniquely NJ

  • Member, New Jersey State Bar Association; Public Utility Law Section; Environmental Law Section; General Council; former Chair, Ethics Committee
  • Member, Sustainable Jersey Brownfield Redevelopment Task Force
  • Former member, Rutgers Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability Brownfield Redevelopment Task Force
  • As an advocate for public safety, Ms. Koonz is Chair of the Middlesex County ASAP Board for the rehabilitation and re-entry of drug dependent inmates, and serves on the Reentry Committee for the Middlesex County Workforce Development Board
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More Activities & Experience

  • Member, American Bar Association; Section of Environment, Energy and Resources
  • Member, Pennsylvania Bar Association; former member, Sustainability Task Force
  • Member, Florida Bar Association
  • Member, U.S. Geological Society
  • Member, Energy Bar Association
  • Member, National Brownfield Association
  • Member, Association of Environmental Authorities

Presentations & Speaking Engagements

Publications & Alerts

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Departments

Education

Seton Hall University School of Law, J.D., 1989

University of Pennsylvania, Graduate Studies in Hydrogeology, 1985

Franklin & Marshall College, B.A., 1983

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1989
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 1989
  • Pennsylvania, 2007
  • Florida, 2012