Joel Burcat

Partner, Saul Ewing LLP

Joel Burcat is a member of the Project and Resource Development Practice and the former chair of the Environment and Natural Resources Practice, resident in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania office.

Joel’s principal areas of practice are environmental law, oil and gas law, natural resources law and environmental litigation. He has handled complex environmental issues, including regulatory matters, enforcement cases, permit disputes, transactions, environmental crises, regulatory takings, and state and federal Superfund cases. In addition, he has handled original jurisdiction cases before the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. His clients include large and small industrial operations, owners and operators of petroleum facilities, municipal authorities, defendants in toxic tort cases, owners of natural resources (particularly coal, non-coal minerals, and oil and gas), pipeline companies, trade associations and companies in the waste industry. He also represents buyers and sellers of Brownfield properties.

Joel has represented clients before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard and state environmental agencies in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Texas and California. He has presented written testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Joel also is a mediator and an arbitrator, certified by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. In that capacity, he has resolved numerous cases. These cases come from a wide variety of disciplines, including insurance coverage, contracts, civil rights (discrimination), will contests, patent and intellectual property, labor and employment and environmental disputes.

He writes and speaks on numerous environmental law topics, including oil and gas law, regulatory takings, Superfund, stormwater, environmental crises, storage tanks and legal ethics and civility. He also is the long-time co-editor of the Pennsylvania Environmental Law and Practice, (1st ed. 1994, 2nd ed. 1998, 3rd ed. 2001, 4th ed. 2007, 5th ed., 2008, 6th ed., 2010), published by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.

Prior to joining Saul Ewing, Joel was a partner in the Harrisburg office of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP. Before entering private practice, he served for three years as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant Counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (now the Department of Environmental Protection). Joel also was Special Counsel to the Pennsylvania Senate Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy.

  • J.D., Vermont Law School, 1980
  • B.S., Pennsylvania State University, 1976, cum laude

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Publications and Multimedia
Drilling and Fracking: Who Regulates? - Podcast
Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
July 12, 2012