Sean M. McGovern
Area of Emphasis
Sean McGovern is a shareholder in the Environmental Services and the Energy & Natural Resources groups of Babst Calland. Mr. McGovern’s practice involves counseling clients on a variety of federal and state regulatory issues related to coal mining, as well as conventional, coal bed methane, Marcellus, Utica and other unconventional shale gas well development, production, midstream activities, storage and transportation in the Appalachian Basin. He counsels these clients on a wide range of environmental matters, including water withdrawal, erosion and sediment controls, various permitting requirements, the disposal of produced fluids and other wastes generated by these industries, in addition to other issues related to pooling, unitization, and royalties. He regularly handles industrial wastewater, waste management, and storage tank issues, as well as site reclamation and remediation. Mr. McGovern also has experience with environmental transactions, including due diligence activities, and the river basin commissions located in Pennsylvania.
Mr. McGovern graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Health in Environmental Science and Engineering with a focus in mathematical modeling and was selected for membership in Phi Beta Kappa. For the two years prior to attending law school, he was an environmental scientist at a consulting firm located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, assisting with environmental risk assessments and exposure modeling, as well as drafting federal environmental regulations.
In 2006, Mr. McGovern graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law at Chapel Hill, earning his J.D. While in law school, Mr. McGovern was a member of the Holderness Moot Court’s Environmental Negotiation Team that won the Robert R. Merhige, Jr. National Environmental Negotiation Competition in 2006. In addition, he was an Articles Editor for the law school’s Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation, as well as a Dean’s Fellow Counselor and the Chair of the Student Body Association Leadership Speaker Series.
Prior to joining Babst Calland, Mr. McGovern worked as an associate for a Harrisburg law firm where his practice included food industry, trademark, international and Internet law.
Memberships and Affiliations
Mr. McGovern is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and the United States District Courts for the Western and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations. Mr. McGovern is also a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section. He is also a member of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA), the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA), the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, and the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.
In 2012, Mr. McGovern was selected by The Legal Intelligencer as one of only 35 “Lawyers on the Fast Track” in Pennsylvania. This recognition is given to attorneys under the age of 40 who have demonstrated excellence in four categories: development of the law, advocacy and community contributions, service to the bar and peer/public recognition. Mr. McGovern was also selected to the 2012-2013 and 2015-2016 Pennsylvania Rising Stars lists (Thomson Reuters).
- Co-Chair, 5th Appalachia Young Energy Professionals’ General Counsel Forum, The Center for American and International Law’s Institute for Energy Law, Pittsburgh, PA, May 2018.
- Panelist, “Due Diligence Overview,” AAPL’s Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, June 2016.
- McGovern, Sean M., “Chapter 78/78a Rulemaking Moves on to EQB,” The PIOGA Press, January 2016.
- Garber, Kevin J. and McGovern, Sean M., “Classifications of Wild Trout Streams in Pennsylvania,” The PIOGA Press, September 2012.
- McGovern, Sean M. and Passero, Ashley, “Draft Clean Water Act Guidance by the Environmental Protection Agency Could Significantly Expand Clean Water Act Permit Requirements for the Construction Industry,” 2 x 4 x 10, Division 10 of the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction Industry, Summer 2011.
- Bruderly, Lisa M. and McGovern, Sean M., “Don’t Forget an Upcoming Reporting Deadline for Two Environmental Programs!,” The PIOGA Press, February 2011.
- Contributor, “Construction Law Update: Case Law & Legislation Affecting the Construction Industry (2010),” Federal Update, Environmental Law and Administrative and Executive Sections, Division 10 of the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction Industry, Spring 2011.
- Contributor, “Construction Law Update: Case Law & Legislation Affecting the Construction Industry (2009),” Federal Update, Environmental Law and Administrative and Executive Sections, Division 10 of the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction Industry, Spring 2010.
- Co-Presenter, “So You Have the Funding and Rights of Entry – What’s Next?,” 35th Kentucky Mineral Law Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, October 2010.
- Panelist, “Environmental Impact of the Marcellus Shale,” Washington County Bar Association, Washington & Jefferson College, September 2010.
- McGovern, Sean M., “Watch Your Back: Domain Names Are Feeling the Pinch,” Hospitality Upgrade, Fall 2008.