Project management prowess, accented by diplomatic finesse and innovative legal solutions for telecommunications, energy and land use.
Will Dodge’s leading edge practice in the deployment of wireless communications technology in Vermont and New Hampshire for national, regional, and local carriers, as well as infrastructure providers and public safety entities, has spanned the course of 15 years. In Vermont, Will’s defining achievement was working with clients and key stakeholders to establish and refine the current version of the statute known as Section 248a in order to streamline the environmental permitting process for wireless facilities submitted to the Vermont Public Utility Commission. With a world-class project management team, Will uses Section 248a to secure approvals on behalf of national, regional, and local carriers, public utilities, and tower companies for new and modified communications support structures throughout the state, including in areas with significant local opposition and unique zoning- and title-related challenges. Will has also lead his team in revolutionizing the approach to expedited antenna co-locations and modifications using Section 248a, cutting in half the average time and cost for completing the permitting process for these types of projects, and reducing the prevalence of permitting-based litigation.
In New Hampshire, by testifying before legislative committees and engaging with key stakeholders, Will’s efforts led to passage of SB101, a bill amending RSA 12:K to dramatically reduce the average processing time and expense associated with antenna co-location and modification permits at the municipal level. In addition, through careful and thoughtful engagement with municipal officials and regional planning professionals, Will has obtained for DRM’s clients approvals for new communications projects throughout the Upper Valley, Lakes Region, North Country, and portions of southern New Hampshire.
Beyond wireless, Will works with energy and real estate clients on complex permitting matters such as right-of-way acquisition for linear utility projects (including eminent domain proceedings); energy generation and transmission infrastructure siting for solar facilities, natural gas pipelines, and electric transmission lines; National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance, Act 250 land use permitting; and Agency of Natural Resource and Department of Environmental Services approvals (including wastewater, stormwater, and wetlands)
Since January 1, 2015, Will has chaired DRM’s Regulated Entities Group, which includes the Environmental Law, Energy and Telecommunications, and Government and Public Affairs groups. In this role, he is responsible for the strategic direction of these groups in support of the firm’s overall objectives, as well as helping DRM attorneys and legal professionals in developing their individual practices. Will is committed to active use of legal project management (“LPM”) software and capabilities for controlling legal fees and disbursements, in order to better ensure realization of projects for clients on time and on budget. LPM allows for capturing of data in order to fine-tune costs on typical applications once the permitting strategy is developed, provide early warnings where unforeseen circumstances (e.g., substantial opposition) may jeopardize the capital budget, and identify areas where improvements can be met.