Margaret Peloso > Vinson & Elkins LLP > Washington DC, United States > Lawyer Profile

Vinson & Elkins LLP
WASHINGTON, DC 20037-1701
United States


Margaret’s areas of practice are environmental law and climate change. With respect to climate change, she handles a variety of matters, including advising on climate change risk management, with a particular emphasis on the changing regulatory environment, and climate change adaptation issues. Margaret works on a variety of complex environmental litigation matters, with a particular focus on issues related to expert witnesses and the use of scientific evidence in litigation. She also deals extensively with the notice and comment process on a wide range of federal environmental regulations.

Prior to joining Vinson & Elkins, Margaret completed her Ph.D. in environment at Duke University, where she wrote her doctoral dissertation on legal and policy issues associated with sea-level rise adaptation. Margaret has authored several articles on climate change and environmental law, and presented papers on a variety of climate change topics at academic and industry conferences, as well as before various federal agency groups exploring climate change adaptation.

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Industry focus > Environment: litigation

In a potentially precedent-setting case, Vinson & Elkins LLP’s ‘vibrant’ practice is representing the San Miguel Electric Cooperative in RCRA, Clean Water Act, and Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act enforcement actions filed by the family owning a ranch adjacent to the client’s 440 MW lignite-fired electric power plant in South Texas; the lignite was strip-mined and the ranch reclaimed by filling the mine pits with coal ash from the power plant and covering the ash with topsoil; Houston-based practice leader Larry Nettles and Margaret Peloso in Washington DC are working on the matter. In other highlight work, the firm has been assisting clients before the federal and state enforcement agencies and in NGO and private citizen claims in matters relating to contaminated sites, damage to individuals and property, pipeline projects, climate change and the Clean Air Act. Other notable names include Jim Thompson, Lewis Sutherland and senior associate Matthew Dobbins, all in Houston. Ron Tenpas joined the Washington DC office from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in October 2018.

United States > Industry focus > Environment: regulatory

The ‘outstanding’ practice at Vinson & Elkins LLP is ‘a great choice for difficult projects’, says one source. With particular expertise in the energy sector, the team defends key permits for development projects, including contested air, water and wetlands permits for power plants and other industrial establishments, and water supply and wastewater discharge permits. In addition, the team also handles approvals for multi-state projects involving NEPA and federal lands, such as pipelines and power transmission lines, and natural resource matters, including endangered species. The firm was retained by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association to advise on the possible safeguards to prevent owners of a physical commodity being held liable for a spill by a third-party, following the Federal Reserve’s proposition to adopt rules preventing banks and other financial institutions from owning potentially hazardous physical commodities due to concerns that the owners could become liable for any accidental environmental catastrophe; Houston-based practice head Larry Nettles led that case. Also recommended are Washington DC-based climate change expert Margaret Peloso, who is ‘among the best in the business’, and Austin-based Eric Groten, who is a full-service Clean Air Act practitioner. Ron Tenpas joined the Washington DC office from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in October 2018. Taylor Pullins is now in-house counsel focused on environmental, health, safety, and regulatory matters at Noble Energy.