Area of Emphasis
Jim Curry is a member of the Firm’s Washington, D.C. office and a shareholder in the Energy and Natural Resources Group. Mr. Curry represents clients in pipeline safety matters at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), state commissions, and the federal courts. His nationwide practice covers compliance and strategic counseling, policy, audit preparation, incident response, enforcement, and litigation. Mr. Curry has experience in all sectors of the pipeline industry, including gas transmission, gathering and distribution, oil, NGL and products pipelines, LNG facilities, and products and chemicals terminals. He also counsels clients on infrastructure cost recovery issues, and PHMSA and Federal Railroad Administration hazardous materials and rail safety matters.
As a former PHMSA attorney, Mr. Curry represented the agency in pipeline safety enforcement cases, collaborating with engineers to develop enforcement cases. He was also involved in the development of rulemakings, regulatory interpretations, special permit reviews, and congressional testimony. Mr. Curry served as a presiding official at agency hearings, and prepared final orders and decisions on petitions for reconsideration. In his enforcement role, Mr. Curry worked closely with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on complex pipeline litigation involving claims under the Pipeline Safety Act, Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Act. These efforts led to a significant civil Consent Decree addressing crude oil pipelines on Alaska’s North Slope. Today, Mr. Curry uses this experience to help clients identify options and develop solutions to pipeline safety challenges.
Mr. Curry earned his B.S. from Boston University is 2001. He received his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2005. During law school he was law clerk for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental Enforcement Section and a judicial intern for The Honorable Peter F. Boggia in the Superior Court of Bergen County, New Jersey.
Prior to joining Babst Calland, he worked for a prominent Washington, D.C.-based energy, environmental and natural resources law firm.
Memberships and Affiliations
Mr. Curry is admitted to practice before the District of Columbia and Maryland State bars, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He received the PHSMA Administrator’s Team Eagle Award in 2007 and 2010, and the U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary’s Silver Medal in 2009.
- Speaker, “Pipeline Safety Regulations,” American Gas Association’s 8th Annual Energy Market Regulation Conference, Albuquerque, NM, October 2015.
- Panelist, “Natural Gas Liquids: Challenges and Opportunities for Development in the Appalachian Basin,” Marcellus Shale Coalition’s Shale Insight 2015, Philadelphia, PA, September 2015.
- Speaker, “Transportation Safety Issues for the Midstream Sector: Pipelines, LNG Facilities, and Crude by Rail,” Energy & Mineral Law Foundation’s Understanding Appalachian Basin Midstream Assets, Canonsburg PA, April 2015.
- Speaker, “Service Externalities – Safety and Environmental Issues,” the Association of Transportation Law Professionals’ Transportation Forum XI, Washington, DC, November 2014.
- Speaker, “Association of Oil Pipelines 2013 Annual Business Conference,” Newport Beach CA, September 2013.
- Contributing Author, “AGA FERC Manual: A Guide for Local Distribution Companies,” American Gas Association, 2013 Edition.
- Author, “Will FERC Abandonment Policy Fit Today’s Market and Regulatory Environment?” Natural Gas & Electricity, Vol. 29, Issue 3, pp. 10, October 2012.
- Author, “Pipeline Records Verification: Compliance Questions for Operators,” Pipeline and Gas Journal, Vol. 239, Issue 9, September 2012.
- Author, “How will changing pipeline safety requirements affect America’s growing gas supply?,” Trends, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Newsletter, Vol. 44, Issue 1, September 2012.
- Author, “The Potential Impact of New Pipeline Safety Laws on PHSMA’s Regulatory Initiatives,” Pipeline and Gas Journal, Vol. 239, Issue 4, April 2012.
- Author, “The National Transportation Safety Board’s Report on San Bruno: Implications for Pipeline Safety, Pipeline & Gas Journal, Vol. 238, Issue 11, November 2011.
- Author, “Pipeline Safety: Attorneys Ready for the Challenge,” Pipeline & Gas Journal, Vol. 238, Issue 8, August 2011.
Managing Shareholder, Washington, DC Office
- Energy & Natural Resources
- District of Columbia
B.S. in Human Physiology, Boston University, ‘01
J.D., Seton Hall University, ‘05