Area of Emphasis
Blaine Lucas is a shareholder in the Public Sector Group of Babst Calland. He is also a member of the firm’s Energy and Natural Resources Group, and is responsible for coordination of the firm’s representation of energy industry clients on land use and other local regulatory matters. He has represented oil and gas operators in obtaining local government approvals for Marcellus Shale and coal bed methane wells, compressor stations and processing facilities, pipelines and quarrying operations supporting the industry. He has assisted industry clients in analyzing the substantive impact and procedural requirements of land use, noise, road and other local ordinances, pursued validity challenges where ordinances prohibit or unreasonably restrict industry activities, and worked with municipalities to voluntarily amend their ordinances to authorize drilling and other activities in areas where they otherwise would not be permitted. He also has advised gas operators on the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code and PennDOT regulations related to the movement of drilling rigs, water trucks and other vehicles on weight restricted roads, negotiated the terms of excess maintenance (heavy hauling) agreements and associated bonding requirements with PennDOT and local municipalities, and assisted clients in resolving disputes regarding responsibility for and repair of road damage.
Mr. Lucas has served as solicitor for several boroughs, townships, municipal authorities and zoning hearing boards, and also has represented as special counsel municipalities on zoning, zoning enforcement, transportation, economic development and local taxation issues.
Some of his other notable projects have included successfully representing a commercial developer in a Pennsylvania Supreme Court case dealing with the extension of non-conforming structures, obtaining a jury verdict in favor of a property owner in a Federal civil rights First Amendment retaliation case, obtaining a favorable decision from the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court permitting the construction of a residential high-rise, litigating light-rail construction claims, developing model procurement documents, drafting solid waste and recycling contracts, litigating rail crossing issues before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, and developing bid documents for demolition and environmental remediation of former steel plants.
Mr. Lucas received his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh’s Johnstown campus in 1978, and graduated cum laude from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1981, where he served on the Virginia Journal of Natural Resources Law.
Memberships and Affiliations
Babst Calland is an associate member of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, and Mr. Lucas actively participates in the MSC’s Legislative Committee. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association. Mr. Lucas presently is an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he teaches Land Use Law. He also has served as an instructor for the Local Government Academy’s Newly Elected Officials Course.
Mr. Lucas has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the Land Use and Zoning Section and Municipal Law Section since 2007, Litigation – Land Use and Zoning Section since 2011 and Energy Law Section since 2015. He was also named the Best Lawyers® 2012, 2015 and 2017 Litigation – Land Use and Zoning “Lawyer of the Year,” 2013 and 2015 Municipal Law “Lawyer of the Year,” 2014 and 2018 Land Use and Zoning Law “Lawyer of the Year,” and 2016 Energy Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Pittsburgh, Pa. Mr. Lucas has been recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s top lawyers since 2006 and one Pittsburgh’s top 50 lawyers since 2011, according to an annual survey published in Philadelphia magazine.
He also was a long-time member and former chairman of the board of directors of Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation, which owns and operates public radio station WYEP-FM. He presently serves as a member of the Mt. Lebanon Partnership, a non-profit economic development corporation. He was also appointed to and serves as chairman of the Mt. Lebanon Economic Development Council, an advisory body to the Mt. Lebanon Commission.