H. David Gold

Special Counsel

Gold, H. David

H. David Gold's practice focuses on environmental, energy and land use law, including matters involving counseling, litigation, administrative proceedings, negotiations, mediation and transactions. He regularly advises clients on compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding water, wetlands, endangered species, cultural resources, and hazardous and solid waste, as well as environmental impact analysis. Mr. Gold also has extensive experience in energy law, including energy markets and project siting, licensing and finance.    

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Gold was an environmental consultant in Massachusetts, Arizona and California, assisting clients with a range of regulatory compliance matters involving the National Environmental Policy Act, wetlands, water resources and the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and socio-economic issues. While in law school, Mr. Gold served as a law clerk with the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the US Department of Justice. He spent his final year at Harvard Law School, and also has a master's degree in watershed management from the University of Arizona.

Honors & Awards

  • Named a "Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star" for environmental law in the 2013 issue of Boston Magazine

Publications & News


March 15, 2018

Infrastructure Series: Paying for and Permitting Water Infrastructure

While President Trump's Infrastructure Plan highlighted the need for investment in the nation's water infrastructure, there are opportunities and resources available now to assist in developing water infrastructure projects.

March 14, 2018

Regulatory Challenges Posed by Emerging Contaminants

In this article by WilmerHale's David Gold, Rachel Jacobson and Heidi Ruckriegle—along with Nikki Delude Roy of Golder Associates—published in the American Bar Association's Water Resources Committee Newsletter, the authors discuss the current and proposed standards for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances in groundwater and other media.

March 8, 2018

Infrastructure Series: Fast-Tracking Electric Transmission Infrastructure

In the coming weeks, the US Department of Energy is expected to undertake its fourth triennial national congestion study. DOE may then designate one or more National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors, in which projects can be fast-tracked.

March 1, 2018

Infrastructure Series: Federal Agency Efforts to Streamline Permitting

This is the second issue of WilmerHale's 10-in-10 Infrastructure Series. In this series, our attorneys share insights on current and emerging issues affecting infrastructure project developers in the United States. Attorneys from various practice groups at the firm offer their take on issues ranging from permitting reform to financing to litigation, and share their insights from working with clients in a variety of infrastructure sectors, from water infrastructure to energy development to infrastructure development on tribal lands. Read all issues in this series and our other recent publications.

January 24, 2018

SCOTUS: WOTUS Rule Suits Belong in District Courts

On January 22, 2018, the US Supreme Court unanimously held that challenges to the Obama-era Clean Water Rule, commonly referred to as the WOTUS Rule (for “waters of the United States”), must be filed in federal district courts rather than directly in federal appeals courts. The case is National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense et al., case number 16-299.

November 29, 2017

FERC Ramps Up Investigations Amid Leadership Change

On November 16, 2017, the Office of Enforcement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its annual Report on Enforcement. The report contains data on investigative and enforcement activities conducted by OE's four divisions—Investigations, Audits and Accounting, Energy Market Oversight, and Analytics and Surveillance.

September 18, 2017

Council on Environmental Quality Releases Initial List of Actions to Streamline NEPA Reviews

Last week, the Deputy Secretary of Interior, David Bernhardt, issued a memo directing the Department's bureaus to streamline environmental impact statements prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.

September 7, 2017

Interior Department Issues NEPA Streamlining Directive

Last week, the Deputy Secretary of Interior, David Bernhardt, issued a memo directing the Department's bureaus to streamline environmental impact statements prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.

August 22, 2017

Executive Order Reinforces Measures to Reform Infrastructure Project Review

On August 15, President Trump signed an Executive Order calling for streamlined federal review of major infrastructure projects. The Order builds on prior efforts to streamline infrastructure permitting by setting new goals for federal reviews of covered projects and establishing formal methods to hold agencies accountable for the efficiency of their reviews.

June 27, 2017

DOJ Directive Threatens Availability of Penalty Mitigation Approach

A June 5, 2017, Department of Justice policy directive threatens the ongoing availability of Supplemental Environmental Projects in civil environmental settlements.

Recent Highlights

  • Assisted with acquiring water rights for potash mining project near National Park Service land
  • Drafted amicus brief in federal case regarding public interest requirements for hydroelectric project licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
  • Advised national oil and gas company on implementation of stream and wetlands restoration and mitigation activities relating to Clean Water Act compliance at sites in several states
  • Provided advice to real estate development company regarding NEPA compliance, and developed habitat conservation plan under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for development of a site in Florida
  • Successfully defended national retailer in litigation involving zoning and subdivision approvals in Massachusetts
  • Counseled electric power authority on construction and operation of 92-mile natural gas pipeline in Puerto Rico, including compliance with laws regarding pipeline safety, endangered species, wetlands and cultural resources
  • Advised real estate investment company on wetlands permitting issues involving the US Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers in connection with commercial property development in Colorado
  • Counseled clean energy company on endangered species issues associated with development of a 250-megawatt wind generation plant
  • Advised leading natural gas supplier on consultations with US Fish and Wildlife Service under the ESA and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation under the National Historic Preservation Act in connection with pipeline projects
  • Advised regional waste management company on zoning and environmental permitting issues relating to landfill expansion in Massachusetts
  • Advised national financial services company on direct energy procurement from regional wholesale markets and prepared relevant filings for submission to FERC, regional transmission organizations, and state public utility commissions
  • Led internal investigation for major oil and gas company in connection with accident at natural gas processing plant in the Gulf Coast area
  • Oversaw transfer of permitting requirements and remediation obligations in connection with the sale of a national oil company's New England retail operations to an oil refining, marketing, and pipeline transport company
  • Negotiated purchase and sale agreement for wind turbines and related equipment and services, including renewable energy certificate (REC) purchase agreement, for Massachusetts Technology Collaborative
  • Represented consortium of major medical institutions with respect to their utility supply contracts, including negotiations for long-term extension of contracts worth more than $3 billion in the aggregate
  • Advised global biopharmaceutical company on handling, storage and disposal of biomedical waste and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements for wastewater discharges

Professional Activities

Mr. Gold is a vice chair of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Water Resources Committee, the co-chair of the Wetlands and Waterways Committee of the Boston Bar Association, and a member of the Energy Bar Association and American Water Resources Association. Mr. Gold served as President of the Boston chapter of Young Professionals in Energy from 2011 to 2012, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Boston Natural Areas Network from 2007 to 2014.


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JD, University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Member, California Law Review; Executive Editor, Ecology Law Quarterly

MS, Watershed Management, The University of Arizona

BA, Economics and Biology, high thesis honors, Tufts University

Bar Admissions


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