PLDO Attorney Bruce H. Tobey Publishes Scholarly Work on the Opportunities Public-Private Partnerships Present for Water Utilities Projects in National Journal

Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC (PLDO) Of Counsel Bruce H. Tobey, a leading authority on water law and public-private partnerships, has published a scholarly article with co-author Sean McGinnis, VP at COEFFICIENT Group, entitled P3s and the Water-Energy Nexus: Opportunities for Water Sector Energy Projects that is available in the December issue of the American Water Works Association Journal.

The authors explain how and why the energy use of water and water resource recovery utilities (W&WRRU) operations is becoming more significant to the operating budgets of local governments and provide researched analysis of how public-private partnership (P3) options and methods for these projects can control costs and minimize environmental impacts. In making their case, they offer a series of best practices used to address the most common challenges a utility P3 energy project will likely encounter and highlight key findings from a widely acclaimed 2017 Water Research Foundation (WRF) study, Public-Private Partnership Opportunities for Water and Water Resource Recovery Utility Energy Projects, in which Attorney Tobey was the principal investigator.

“W&WRRU projects can consume upwards of 40% of a community’s total electricity use. P3s offer a promising way to reduce these costs by proven processes that include assessing and allocating risks, tapping into private expertise and promoting innovation that may include generating new revenue for municipalities.” said Attorney Tobey. “As W&WRRUs increasingly adopt cultures of sustainability while seeking to manage costs or develop new revenue streams, the number of P3 energy projects will likely grow. This article provides a roadmap and guiding principles for government officials when considering a potential new project or seeking to enhance one already in progress.”

Attorney Tobey is a nationally recognized water law legal advisor, representing governments including municipalities, counties, public authorities and federal agencies, as well as private companies on environmental policy, programs, and financial and regulatory matters with a specialty in water and wastewater infrastructure, P3s, and other business development opportunities for sustainable communities. With more than 30 years of both public and private sector experience, Attorney Tobey is a frequent guest speaker at national trade association events, published author, and has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s P3 Panel.

Attorney Tobey is the former Mayor of Gloucester, MA and served as a senior attorney at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. He previously held numerous other prominent leadership positions including President of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, Chair of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Local Government Advisory Committee and the Massachusetts Local Government Advisory Commission, and he served on the state’s Federal Stimulus Task Force.

In addition to the 2017 WRF report on W&WRRU and P3s, Attorney Tobey was also a lead investigator on the Foundation’s landmark study on “Water Utility Legal Protection and Claims Management from Infrastructure Failure.”

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About Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC

Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara (“PLDO”) attorneys are highly skilled with a proven track record of achievement representing clients with respect to complex matters in a wide range of disciplines and industries. The founders of PLDO were formerly partners in an international law firm and are trained in multiple disciplines. The primary areas of practice for the firm include business law, special masterships, government relations and legislative strategies, civil litigation, real estate development, commercial lending, municipal law, nonprofit law, cyber law, health care law, white collar defense, estate planning, probate administration and trust litigation. The core values of respect, integrity, quality service and responsiveness are stressed each day at PLDO and the firm is committed to supporting the community in a meaningful way. The firm has offices in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Florida. For more information, visit

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