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Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

P. Scott Burton

P. Scott Burton



  • Asia Pacific
  • Automotive/Motor Vehicle
  • Energy
  • Africa

WSG Practice Industries


Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
California, U.S.A.


Scott leverages his extensive environmental, energy and natural resource experience to advise clients in the national and international public policy arenas.

Scott’s practice is broad in scope, covering a wide range of high-profile and high-risk issues across the nation and in overseas jurisdictions. He is often the first line of defense for domestic and multinational clients, leveraging his power plant operations background and natural resource economics consulting experience to help clients navigate complex regulations and policy issues affecting their business operations. He develops comprehensive strategies addressing legislative and regulatory policy advocacy, defending government enforcement and NGO litigation, and shepherding complex permitting and transactional matters. Scott has sophisticated experience advising clients with respect to domestic and international project development and M&A due diligence.

Well-known for his international insights, clients based in Asia, Canada, Europe and the United States look to Scott for his creative, business-oriented solutions. He also interacts frequently with industry trade organizations, nongovernmental research and policy organizations, and US and foreign agencies, ministries and delegations.

Scott has managed cross-border projects, transactions and disputes in multiple jurisdictions, and has a working knowledge of the Korean language.

Scott also contributes regularly to the firm’s Nickel Report blog, including an influential post on the EPA CERCLA 108(b) hard rock mining financial assurance rulemaking proposal and posts related to environmental, health & safety and social (EHSS) considerations in cross-border transactions and due diligence.

Relevant Experience

Representative Enforcement & Litigation Experience

  • Defense of multi-media civil and criminal allegations involving virtually every major federal environmental program including claims brought pursuant to the CAA, CERCLA, CWA, EPCRA, SDWA/UIC, RCRA and related state law involving numerous petroleum refineries, terminals, upstream oil and gas exploration & production operations, mining, mineral processing and chemical manufacturing facilities in California and  across the United States.
  • Defended US and international NGO allegations related to Asia-based client’s Indonesia forestry, palm oil, and energy operations.
  • Defended high-profile class action lawsuits brought by plaintiffs’ counsel associated with Erin Brockovich and Johnnie Cochran asserting personal injury and property damage claims related to a Japan-based client’s Florida mining and chemical manufacturing subsidiary, and similar claims related to Canada-based client’s Idaho mining and chemical manufacturing subsidiary.
  • Defended Canada- and Japan-based clients respecting state and federal investigation of several rail and highway chemical release incidents in various states, including Idaho, Kansas and Washington.
  • Defended and prosecuted CERCLA, RCRA and state-law PRP claims related to environmental impacts at multiple facilities across the country, including related litigation, negotiation of state and federal consent orders and judicial consent decrees, and management of site remedial investigation and corrective action.
  • Advising public entity client regarding re-negotiation of federal Consent Decree governing CWA issues related to municipal combined sewer system operation and water quality impacts to the Great Lakes.
  • Defended multifacility federal CAA enforcement matter related to Europe-based client’s seven sulfuric acid facilities across the United States.
  • Defended several federal CAA enforcement proceedings relating to Canada-based client’s ammonia and nitric acid facilities across the United States.
  • Defended federal criminal and civil enforcement of RCRA, CWA and SDWA claims relating to California upstream oil and gas production and petroleum refining operations.
  • Defense of citizen suit claims asserting violation of federal and state environmental regulations governing operation of two US-based petroleum client terminal facilities in California, and similar claims related to a Japan-based client’s Texas petroleum and chemical terminal operations.
  • Defended state and federal civil and criminal investigations and a personal injury/toxic tort lawsuit related to several chemical manufacturing facility release incidents in California.
  • Negotiated favorable settlement of litigation involving South Korea-based conglomerate client’s US manufacturing and distribution operations.
  • Advised US electric power generation client in relation to NGO claims impacting Nevada facility operations and related federal CAA investigation.

Representative Government Regulation & Policy Experience

  • Extensive representation of diverse clients before numerous California air districts and other state agencies including DTSC, DOGGR and multiple Regional Water Quality Control Boards.
  • Advised foreign-based client regarding US legislative and executive branch strategy for seeking revision to federal statute and successfully opposing an EPA rulemaking impacting US subsidiary operations.
  • Managed CEQA, NEPA and Equator Principles ESIA matters for clients in California and other jurisdictions, including challenge to a City of Los Angeles landfill project, resulting in EIR withdrawal and amendment of the project to address client “piecemealing” concerns; advising on NEPA considerations for a large cross-border gas pipeline project; commenting on CEQA compliance of California environmental agency rulemaking proceedings; and assessment of an Africa mine facility’s ESIA conformance.
  • Developed and managed environmental, health & safety (EHS) and environmental management systems (EMS) audit programs and internal audit function for US and North American operations of Canada, EU, Japan and US-based automotive, chemicals, mining, petroleum and transportation clients.
  • Advised Japan- and EU-based automotive manufacturing clients regarding CAA, CWA, RCRA and related state regulations and permitting programs affecting US manufacturing and assembly operations.
  • Advised numerous petroleum refineries, chemical and industrial facilities regarding CAA, CWA, RCRA, SDWA/UIC and state environmental permits, approvals and regulatory matters.
  • Advised Germany-based solar energy development client respecting regulatory issues impacting its entry into the US market.
  • Advised several California municipalities respecting EPA CWA NPDES regulatory matters including municipal separate storm sewer (MS4) permits.
  • Worked with Washington DC and regional trade organizations to develop comments and legislative strategies to challenge or amend numerous federal and state environmental regulations and statutes impacting client operations.
  • Worked with Washington DC and local trade organizations and state Attorneys General regarding NGO litigation challenging EPA regulations pertaining to state water quality standards and federal solid waste and hazardous waste regulations impacting client operations.
  • Advised Japan-based client regarding state and federal environmental regulations governing US and cross-border chemical manufacturing and transportation matters.
  • Work with numerous Washington DC think tanks and policy institutes to advance US and foreign-based client business interests related to US energy, environment and climate policy matters.
  • Advised Republic of Korea (ROK) government ministry and R&D institute regarding US and international climate policy and environmental regulatory issues affecting South Korean government energy policy and international clean energy technology commercialization.
  • Facilitated MOUs between various US and ROK government and private sector parties regarding advanced energy technology R&D and commercialization.
  • Advised multinational energy client respecting international frameworks governing multi-modal hazardous materials transportation, related implementing legislation and environmental liability regimes in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.

Representative Project & Transaction Experience

  • Advising multinational energy client regarding cross-border US-Mexico natural gas purchase, transportation and related regulatory matters.
  • Managed evaluation of Mexico petroleum refinery waste water treatment plant project for Japan-based conglomerate client.
  • Managed evaluation of Mexico mining and chemical facility M&A project for Canada-based multi-national client.
  • Managing EHSS due diligence respecting Africa mine and processing facility for China (PRC)-based client, including host country and international standards
  • Managed due diligence team regarding a US uranium recovery and processing facility joint venture project for a Japan-based client, focusing on nuclear and environmental regulatory, project finance, government and public relations, and product off-take and export.
  • Managed interface with Republic of Korea (ROK)-based EPC and investment parties regarding Canada-based client’s US coal gasification and chemical manufacturing project.
  • Managed due diligence, negotiation of PSA and environmental indemnity & allocation agreements related to acquisition and divestiture of numerous petroleum refining, mining and chemical manufacturing, and related terminal and distribution assets across the United States for US and foreign-based multi-national clients, and defense of various government and third-party claims related to issues identified during the due diligence.
  • Advised US electric utility client in relation to siting and environmental regulatory approvals for two California utility-scale PV solar projects.
  • Advised US energy project development client in relation to regulatory issues impacting development of wind power project in Washington and PPA governing sale of electricity to California-based off-take party.
  • Advised US financial services client regarding environmental remediation and related state and federal regulatory issues impacting California properties in which the client held a security interest.
  • Managed due diligence for US client acquisition of competitor’s financial services operations in South Korea, and managed ROK local counsel regarding post-acquisition resolution of ROK law and international treaty issues identified during the due diligence.
  • Advised US startup client and ROK affiliate and managed Korean counsel regarding evaluation of ROK and US law issues pertaining to development of recycling technology prototype project in South Korea and commercialization in the United States.
  • Managed evaluation of regulatory issues, intellectual property rights, licensing and joint venture arrangements for a US-based energy technology startup company seeking investment from Asia-based strategic partners.
  • Managed US client interface with ROK government and private parties regarding development of integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) and related carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) project in South Korea.
  • Advised US energy client regarding partnership with ROK parties to develop clean energy projects in Europe, People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Middle East.

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • District of Columbia


BA, University of California, Irvine, magna cum laude, 1989
Areas of Practice

Africa | Asia Pacific | Automotive/Motor Vehicle | Energy | Energy and Environmental Litigation | Energy Litigation | Environmental | Environmental Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility | Extractive Industries: Mining & Mineral Processing, Oil & Gas | Government Relations | International and Cross-Border Transactions | International Renewable Energy and Clean Power | Latin America | Mining, Petroleum and Related Chemicals | Oil, Gas and LNG | Renewable Energy | Renewable Energy and Clean Power

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

  • Defense of multiple federal and state civil and criminal enforcement investigations relating to upstream oil & gas operations, petroleum refining, mining and mineral processing, and chemical manufacturing and distribution operations for numerous domestic clients and multinational clients based in Asia, Canada, and the European Union.
  • Managed due diligence and post-merger or acquisition evaluation of potential liabilities associated with numerous projects and transactions for clients in the petroleum refining and distribution, electric generation and transmission, mining, chemicals, manufacturing and financial services industries, including acquisitions and projects in locations ranging from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah to Indonesia, Mexico and the Republic of Korea (ROK).
  • Defense of numerous class-action, multiparty, toxic tort and citizen suit environmental lawsuits and prosecution of private party cost-recovery litigation for numerous domestic clients; and for multinational clients based in the ROK, Canada, Japan, and various national and regional industry organizations.
  • Managed evaluation of intellectual property rights, licensing and joint venture arrangements for a US-based energy technology startup company seeking investment from Asia-based strategic partners.
  • Interfaced with South Korean local counsel on a wide variety of matters, including potential acquisition of ROK energy generation assets; proposed real estate development and hospitality and gaming projects and joint ventures; acquisition of ROK assets by a US-based financial services client; management of policy advocacy, regulatory approvals and transactional support regarding carbon capture and storage (CCS), integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) and related clean energy and recycling technologies; and evaluation of ROK regulatory and international treaty issues affecting South Korean business operations.
  • Regulatory counseling, project permitting, and transactional due diligence related to various clean and renewable energy projects and assets, including assisting a US-based project developer client with complex multistate energy and environmental regulatory issues for one of the largest wind farm developments in the United States and negotiating related terms of a “pre-pay” power purchase agreement (PPA) with the largest municipal power purchase authority in the western United States; coal and petroleum coke gasification projects; and assisting an EU-based utility-scale solar power plant development client with expansion into the US market.
  • Managed due diligence team regarding a US uranium recovery and processing facility joint venture project for a Japan-based client, focusing on nuclear and environmental regulatory, project finance, governmental and public relations, and product off-take and export aspects of the project.

Professional Associations

  • International Association of Korean Lawyers (IAKL)
  • Korean American Bar Association of Washington, DC (KABA-DC)
  • Vice Chair Environmental Law Committee, Energy & Natural Resources Law Committee, Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) (2015-2017) 
  • Korea Business Leaders Alliance (KBLA) (2015-2017)
  • International Advisory Committee, American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) (2014-2016)
  • Korea Institute of Energy Research, íêµ­ìëì§ê¸°ì ì°êµ¬ì (KIER) International Advisory Board, two terms (2013 & 2014)
  • Editorial Board, Hunton & Williams Renewable Energy Quarterly (2008-2011)
  • Editorial Board, Environmental Liability, Enforcement & Penalties Reporter (2006-2007)
  • UCLA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy
  • UCLA Federal Communications Law Journal

Professional Activities and Experience

  • 2017 Chambers USA Environment Law Firm of the Year


  • California Adopts Legislation Creating First-in-Nation State Regulatory Program for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions, Environmental Liability, Enforcement & Penalties Reporter
  • The Aggressive New Frontier of EPA Clean Air Act Enforcement: PSD & NSR Pre-Construction Review and Permitting, Environmental Liability, Enforcement & Penalties Reporter
  • Trends in Social and Environmental Responsibility, Natural Resources & Environment, Vol. 33, No. 4
  • California Poised to Unleash TRECs, Hunton & Williams Renewable Energy Quarterly
  • Environmental Protection in Africa’s Extractive Industries: Cost or Opportunity for Gain?, presented at International Bar Association (IBA) African Regional Conference on the Environment, Cape Town, South Africa
  • A Vendor's Perspective: Impacts of the Economic Downturn and Strategies for Adapting to the New Market Realities, Hunton & Williams Renewable Energy Quarterly
  • Crime & Punishment - Whither the Attorney-Client Privilege? Environmental Liability, Enforcement & Penalties Reporter
  • South Korea’s ‘Low Carbon, Green Growth’ Initiative Spurs Renewable Energy, Hunton & Williams Renewable Energy Quarterly
  • New Source Review Reloaded: Are We Witnessing the Return of EPA's Aggressive Preconstruction Permitting Enforcement Initiative? Environmental Liability, Enforcement & Penalties Reporter

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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