John J. McAleese, III


908-647-1022 | [email protected]

Practice Areas



John McAleese’s practice focuses exclusively on environmental matters.  Mr. McAleese has helped corporations in such industries as energy, chemicals, manufacturing, and real estate development address their transactional, environmental compliance and litigation needs for more than 30 years. Drawing on his prior experience as a chemical engineer, Mr. McAleese is able to quickly assess risks and liabilities and offer his clients reasoned guidance based on their business objectives. 

Mr. McAleese helps clients move forward on important business transactions while managing environmental factors. He advises them on environmental issues in corporate and real estate transactions, conducting environmental due diligence, negotiating environmental provisions within transaction documents and financing agreements, and providing guidance on property transfer permitting and authorization requirements.

Mr. McAleese advises clients on environmental regulatory compliance as well as insurance coverage related to environmental risks.  Mr. McAleese has extensive experience advising and representing clients regarding waste water and storm water permitting issues under the federal Clean Water Act and state analogs, hazardous waste management issues pursuant to the federal RCRA program, and conducting environmental remediation projects under various state Brownfields programs.  In addition, Mr. McAleese has assisted clients in complying with property transfer laws such as the New Jersey Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA).

When protecting clients’ interests require more direct action, Mr. McAleese represents them in negotiating with environmental regulatory agencies or in defending them in civil and administrative environmental litigation. Such litigation includes cost recovery actions involving federal Superfund (CERCLA) and similar state statutes, enforcement actions, permit appeals, and environmental contamination toxic tort cases. 

Mr. McAleese is a graduate of New York University School of Law and has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from Villanova University. Prior to going to law school, he was a practicing chemical engineer, specializing in process control. 

Representative Matters
  • Advising a global engineering and manufacturing company regarding issues associated with groundwater contamination discovered in the vicinity of one of its facilities in northeastern Pennsylvania, including representing the client concerning related lawsuits, including a class action and toxic tort lawsuit and a cost recovery and contribution action brought under CERCLA.
  • Counseling a real estate private equity company on environmental issues associated with nationwide acquisitions of properties for commercial redevelopment
  • Defending an energy company in litigation brought by a multinational company seeking contribution to remediation efforts the multinational company made at the Lake Onondaga Superfund site in Syracuse, New York
  • Assisting a self-storage company in its acquisition of properties throughout the country, including conducting environmental due diligence and negotiating environmental issues in the transaction documents
  • Representing a chemical company in a cost recovery and contribution litigation brought by another chemical company against multiple parties in New Jersey federal court seeking to recover the costs of remediating a Superfund site along a section of the lower Passaic River in New Jersey.
  • Represented a leading petroleum refiner and marketer in the acquisition of a petroleum refinery in the State of New Jersey
  • Represented an international specialty chemical manufacturer in an enforcement action brought against it by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Obtained on an appeal before the Environmental Appeals Board a reversal of a $2.5 million penalty decision and dismissal in full of the EPA’s enforcement action. This is one of the largest penalty reversals in the history of the Environmental Appeals Board
  • Represented an international specialty chemical manufacturer in an enforcement action brought by the State of New Hampshire alleging various violations of the State’s hazardous waste management laws and regulations. After a three-day trial, the court completely dismissed the State’s claims
  • Conducted an investigation of anonymous allegations regarding environmental compliance at an international specialty chemical manufacturer’s West Virginia plant
  • Represented an energy conglomerate concerning threatened claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to CERCLA for alleged releases from a mine in Nevada
  • Advised a financial holding company regarding the environmental regulatory issues associated with the Pennsylvania assets of a wind energy products manufacturer in connection with a financing
  • Advised a national residential housing company on environmental issues concerning the acquisition of portions of a former industrial plant in New York for development of residential housing
  • Defended an international specialty chemical manufacturer in a personal injury action arising from a customer’s use of the client’s product
  • So You Want To Shut Down Your Coal-Fired Power Plant?, The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, 10.1.2014
Speaking Engagements
  • Real Estate Industry in 2019: The Good, The Bad, and the Potential Opportunities, CLE Program, 5.27.2019
  • Potholes—Ethical Issues Associated with the Proliferation of State-Legalized Marijuana Possession and Use, ACC of Greater Philadelphia In-House Counsel Conference, 4.27.2017
  • Preconference Workshop: Coal Plant Repowering 101, American Public Power Association (APPA)— The Legal Seminar, 10.11.2015
  • Lessons Learned from Selling Assets, 4th Plant DDD: Managing the Power Plant Decommissioning, Decontamination & Demolition Process, 1.15.2015
  • Generation M&A and A&D in PJM, PJM Market Summit, 10.27.2014
  • Recent Developments in Environmental Law: Trends & Tips, The Legal Intelligencer’s In-House and General Counsel CLE Seminar., 5.17.2014
  • Pennsylvania Promotes Use of Mine Water For Fracking, Bloomberg Legal, 10.8.2015 NJ Snub Of GHG Pact Muddles EPA Carbon Rule Compliance, Law360, 5.6.2014


  • New York University School of Law, JD, 1989
  • Villanova University, BChE, 1984

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • New York

Memberships & Certifications

  • American Bar Association
  • Tau Beta Pi (National Engineering Honor Society)
  • The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • Hearing Committee Member, 2017-2023


  • Chambers USA, Environment, Pennsylvania, 2009–2023
  • Lawyer of the Year, Environmental Litigation, Pennsylvania, 2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Environmental Litigation, Pennsylvania, 2003–2023
  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, 2008–2023
  • Clients praise his technical background, “strategic view of matters,” and ability to “assert a client’s position in a reasoned and compelling fashion.” –Chambers USA
  • Clients say John McAleese “knows the practicalities of what we are facing and will give advice to get everything done efficiently.” —Chambers USA
  • “A great lawyer with a great deal of experience in contaminated site matters.”—Chambers USA

Ranking Disclaimers: No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. For Chambers methodology, see For The Best Lawyers in America methodology, see For SuperLawyers methodology, see

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