Mary Katherine Stukes leads Parker Poe’s Environmental Group. She advises clients on environmental issues involved in all types of business transactions and represents clients in environmental litigation and regulatory compliance issues.
A major part of Mary Katherine's practice is leading developers, nonprofits, and governmental entities through the process of obtaining Brownfields agreements for redevelopment of contaminated properties. She provides guidance on eligibility, assessment, tax benefits, negotiating agreements, and effective structuring of associated real estate and financing transactions. Her recent projects include agreements for the redevelopment of a craft brewery, a free-standing emergency department, a large-scale youth soccer complex, and multifamily residential, hotel, office, and industrial park projects.
In addition, Mary Katherine helps manufacturers, real estate developers, utilities, renewable energy companies, automotive dealerships, local governments, and other clients find creative solutions in property and corporate transactions involving environmental risk. She has significant experience negotiating contracts to allocate environmental responsibility and risk between multiple parties and also provides support in due diligence reviews and assistance with permit transfers.
"She's practical, knows the substance very well, and could get down to the issues quickly,” one of Mary Katherine’s clients told Chambers USA, which develops rankings using in-depth interviews and objective research. Another client praised her ability to navigate what can be a complex regulatory landscape: "Mary Katherine helped break down the walls and get the process moving.”
She also counsels lenders, manufacturers, and other corporate clients on a broad range of environmental risk and compliance issues. Her work in this area includes oversight of remedial activities, incident closure, permitting, and other aspects of regulatory compliance across a variety of state and federal regulatory programs.
Mary Katherine is an experienced litigator in federal, state, and administrative courts. She has represented clients in disputes over contamination, asbestos, landfills, water and air quality, and other environmental issues.
She maintains an active pro bono practice as well. She represents abused and neglected children through North Carolina's Guardian ad Litem program, and she helps pro bono clients expunge criminal records.