Heiple_Bonnie

Bonnie L. Heiple

Bonnie Heiple is an environmental and energy lawyer whose practice encompasses regulatory, litigation and transactional matters. Ms. Heiple offers clients comprehensive advice that spans the lifecycle of projects and matters—from providing strategic counsel on compliance with federal and state requirements to defending key approvals and navigating other challenges.

She interfaces with local, state and federal agencies and counsels developers and project proponents in all phases of project development, including in the traditional and renewable energy sectors. That work includes securing permits, approvals and funding; representing clients in key proceedings; and negotiating and advising on commercial aspects of transactions (e.g., PILOT agreements and incentives). 

Ms. Heiple helps clients assess and address environmental exposures and liabilities in business transactions. She coordinates due diligence investigations, drafts and negotiates contractual commitments and risk transfer agreements, and coordinates with technical consultants to perform environmental site assessments and fleet-wide regulatory audits.

Ms. Heiple’s experience working at state and federal agencies informs her regulatory compliance approach. She assists clients in managing environmental, health and safety issues in changing business and regulatory climates, including by developing tailored compliance systems and advising on ESG and other disclosures.

Experience

Before joining WilmerHale, Ms. Heiple practiced at a Connecticut and New York law firm, where she counseled clients in all areas of environmental and regulatory law, including representing utility companies (traditional and renewable energy, water and telecommunications) in connection with compliance issues, siting proceedings and investigations by administrative agencies.

Ms. Heiple worked for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 1, and served as a Special Assistant to the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP). 

Professional Activities

Ms. Heiple serves as Vice Chair of the American Bar Association’s Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Committee. She chaired the Energy Infrastructure, Siting, and Reliability Committee from 2018–2020, and also was selected for the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Leadership Program. At the Boston Bar Association, Ms. Heiple has served on the Advisory Committee for the 2019 and 2020 BBA Energy Conferences, on the Board of Editors of the Boston Bar Journal, and as a co-chair of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Committee of the Environmental Law Section. She recently concluded a three-year term on the Board of Young Professionals in Energy, also serving as president for the final year.

Ms. Heiple has served on the Board of the American Lung Association (Massachusetts) for 11 years, and now serves as its nominating chair.

Ms. Heiple is active at her alma mater, the Boston University School of Law, where she mentors first-year law students and serves as a moot court judge, among other engagements.

Within the firm, Ms. Heiple serves on the steering committee of the Women's Leadership Initiative.

Speaking Engagements

Ms. Heiple presented a program on Navigating the Changing Climate of Corporate Reporting, focusing on disclosures and litigation related to climate and risk and corporate sustainability, at the American Bar Association’s Fall 2020 Conference.

She moderated a panel of legal and energy experts highlighting the “State of the Sectors” for natural gas, solar and offshore wind at the at the Boston Bar Association 2020 Energy Conference.

Ms. Heiple presented frequently on workplace health and safety issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, including as part of WilmerHale’s May 2020 COVID-19: Reopening Responsibly—Corporate Risk Mitigation Strategies webinar.

In October 2019, Ms. Heiple presented a webinar titled “Developing Renewable Energy on Contaminated Land: Regulatory Challenges and Protecting Against Liability Exposure.”  

Ms. Heiple discussed environmental risk management and mitigation as part of an August 2019 webinar titled “Decommissioning Energy Assets: Regulatory Issues, Liability, Managing Disputes, Disposal of Structures and Waste.” 

She presented on a panel regarding “Adapting Facility Sites for Next-Gen Generation” at the Boston Bar Association 2019 Energy Conference.

In June 2018, she chaired a panel regarding state and federal roles in energy and infrastructure policy and regulation at the Women in Energy and Infrastructure—Powering the Future Conference in Washington DC.

Ms. Heiple served as a panelist at the 2018 “Future in the Sciences” event at Northeastern University.

Ms. Heiple chaired a panel at the Women in Energy and Infrastructure—Powering the Future Conference, which took place in November 2017 in Washington DC, regarding the future of US energy development.

In June 2016, Ms. Heiple co-chaired a Climate Change Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program at the Boston Bar Association.

Ms. Heiple presented a round-up of important regulatory developments at the Northeast Gas Association Executive Conference in September 2015.

She was a panelist at an EPA Region 1 roundtable entitled “Renewable Energy on Contaminated Properties in Massachusetts” in November 2014.

In September 2013, Ms. Heiple presented a seminar entitled “Siting Solar on Landfills,” sponsored by the Boston Bar Association's Energy & Telecommunications Law and Hazardous & Solid Waste committees.

Recognition

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2018–2022 editions of the Best Lawyers in America for her administrative/regulatory law and environmental law practices 
  • Recipient of 2020 Burton Award for legal writing
  • Selected by Law360 as one of five environmental law "Rising Stars" in 2019
  • Named a "Massachusetts Super Lawyer" for environmental law in the 2019 and 2020 editions of Boston Magazine, and previously listed as a “Rising Star” in 2013–2018. 
  • Selected as a Super Lawyers' 2016 and 2017 "Top Women Attorneys in Massachusetts—Rising Star" in Boston Magazine
  • Recognized by the New York Bar Association as a 2014 Empire State Counsel honoree for pro bono service

Insights & News

Credentials

  • Education

    • JD, Boston University School of Law

      Editor, Boston University Public Interest Law Journal
    • BA, English and Environmental Law, Bucknell University

      magna cum laude
  • Admissions

    • Massachusetts

    • Colorado

    • Connecticut

    • New York

Credentials