L. Preston Bryant

Senior Vice President, Infrastructure and Economic Development

Richmond, VA

+1 804 775 1923

Preston Bryant is a senior vice president at McGuireWoods Consulting where he works in the firm's Infrastructure and Economic Development group. His expertise lies in water, wastewater and energy generation projects, and he advises clients on project site selection and regulatory affairs. In addition, Preston works with private equity investors and portfolio companies to help them understand the implications of state-level environmental policy decisions and market trends for their investment and business decisions.

For the past 15 years, Preston's experience in environmental and energy matters has developed from his work in both the public and private sectors. Preston was a partner for nearly a decade at Hurt & Proffitt, Inc., a Virginia-based civil engineering, surveying and planning firm that specializes in large-scale residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional developments as well as transportation facilities. He also represented the City of Lynchburg and Amherst County in the Virginia House of Delegates for 10 years, where he was the House patron of the state's nationally recognized public-private partnership statute (known as "PPEA), passed landmark legislation on wetlands conservation, developed the nation's largest market-based nutrient credit exchange program (phosphorus and nitrogen) to advance upgrades to more than one hundred wastewater treatment plants, and overhauled Virginia's stormwater management programs.

As Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources in the cabinet of Governor Timothy M. Kaine, Preston led the state's six environmental, recreational, wildlife and historic resources agencies, which included a staff of 2,200, and a $420 million annual budget. He also helped write Virginia's first state-wide energy plan.

In 2009, President Obama appointed Preston to chair the National Capital Planning Commission, the central planning agency for all federal lands and buildings in Washington, D.C., suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia. At NCPC, he presides over a staff of some 45 planners, architects, engineers and other professionals.

Provided mediation services in August-November 2017 to Virginia Governor’s Office and Department of Environmental Quality on rulemaking among energy, environmental, industrial, and local government stakeholders for proposed carbon-trading regulations and Virginia possibly joining the nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

Provided government relations, regulatory advising, and negotiation support over a two-year period to E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company in a $50 million Natural Resources Damages Act settlement with the Commonwealth of Virginia and the U.S. Department of Interior on legacy mercury contamination of more than 100 miles of rivers. This was the largest NRDA settlement in Virginia history and the eighth-largest in the nation.

Provided government relations consulting services to Duke Energy in Virginia on matters relating to its 2014 coal ash spill in the Dan River.

Provide ongoing government relations services to Virginia Commonwealth University before the Governor’s Office and General Assembly.

Provided consulting services to HDR Engineering (and to the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission) on a year-long feasibility study on wastewater collection system consolidation of some 15 local governments; consulting team identified potential savings of more than $900 million over 30 years.

Provide ongoing government relations and regulatory advisory services to James City Service Authority before the General Assembly and state regulatory agencies on groundwater and surface water permitting, including for a potential new $130 million water treatment facility.

Provided Virginia and federal government relations and regulatory advising to Hampton Roads (Va.) Sanitation District on a proposed $1.2 billion, 120 MGD Potomac Aquifer injection/recharge project that also may reduce wastewater discharge into surface waters by some 90 percent. Represented HRSD before the General Assembly, Governor’s Office, and state regulatory agencies.

Provided government relations and regulatory permitting consulting services to Apex Clean Energy for Virginia’s first utility-scale wind power generation project (85 MW, up to 25 turbines).

Provided government relations consulting services to a major East Coast cell tower developer; successfully sited on government-owned property more than a dozen towers in Virginia localities; included private-to-public revenue sharing agreements.

Provided representation to Virginia Municipal League before the General Assembly and Governor’s Office on environmental legislative and policy matters.

Provide ongoing government relations and environmental policy consulting services to a major environmental consulting firm on public-private partnerships to design and construct municipal stormwater infrastructure.

Provide ongoing government relations and legislative advisory services to the Virginia Water and Waste Authorities Association, comprised of more than 40 water, wastewater, and stormwater public service authorities.

Provide ongoing government relations consulting services to Hampton Roads (Va.) Planning District Commission (comprised of 16 local governments), focusing on stormwater and other environmental matters.

Provide government relations and advisory services to a major developer on federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits on a $175 million residential and commercial development in Fairfax County, Va.

Provide ongoing general government relations and strategic advisory services to the Virginia Resources Authority, a state financing entity to local governments for infrastructure projects.

Provided government relations and economic development incentives negotiations consulting services to Vireol Bio Energy, establishing the largest ethanol manufacturing facility on the East Coast; secured nearly $5 million in state and local economic development support.

Provided government relations and environmental policy consulting services to the Economic Development Authority of the City of Richmond (Va.) on a potential new minor league baseball stadium in downtown Richmond.

Provided strategic advice to a major national bank on federal and state environmental policy (in six states) regarding coal mining operations, focusing on the Clean Water Act.

Provided government relations and environmental policy consulting services to Columbia Gas of Maryland (NiSource) on the design and construction of an approximately 25-mile natural gas transmission line in Maryland.

Provided government relations consulting services and assisted in economic development incentives negotiations to Lumber Liquidators for a new distribution center in Henrico County, Va.

Provided government relations services to Louisa County (Va.) Water Authority in securing a $1.6 million state grant for a wastewater treatment facility expansion.


Advisory Committee, Division of Earth & Life Studies, National Academy of Sciences, 2012

Board of Trustees, Randolph-Macon College, 2010-present

Board of Directors, James River Association, 2010-2012

Chairman and Member, National Capital Planning Commission, 2009-present (appointed by President Obama, October 2009)

Board of Directors, American Foundation for Royal Holloway & Bedford New College, Inc. (University of London), 2008-present

Board of Directors, Capitol Square Civil Rights Memorial Foundation, Inc., 2005-present

Board of Trustees, Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2003-present

Board Member, Vice-Chair, Chair, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 1994-2000; 2001-2007  

Advisory Board Member, Virginia Institute of Government, University of Virginia, 1998-2006

Board Member, Opera on the James, 2005-2006

Member, Randolph-Macon College Board of Associates, 1994-2004

Board Member, Vice-President, President, National Kidney Foundation of Virginia, 1997-2001

Board Member, Central Virginia Community Services, 1994-1995

Powering Up for the Future, Virginia Municipal League Town and City Magazine, June 2018
Virginia Will Grow. Its Infrastructure Must, Too. And That Means Big Costs., Virginia Municipal League Town and City Magazine, March 30, 2018
Red, White and Green, William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review, 37.1 (2012): 1-24
Congress Must Modernize the Clean Water Act, Richmond Times-Dispatch, October 23, 2012
District Energy and Virginia Law, Journal of Local Government Law, Spring 2012
Stormwater Utilities Key to Bay Cleanup, Richmond Times-Dispatch, January 9, 2011
Restart for Nuclear Power Plants, Raleigh News & Observer, December 30, 2010
Government, Industry Aligning to Develop Offshore Wind Farms, Virginian Pilot, June 27, 2010
Universities are Leading the Sustainability Revolution, University of Richmond Alumni Magazine, Summer 2010
Climate Change, Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 17, 2009
How the Kaine Administration is Moving Towards a More Sustainable Virginia, Virginia Environmental Law Journal, 2009
On Climate, Obama Must Hurry, Richmond Times-Dispatch, December 17, 2008
State Commission Grapples With Climate Change, Richmond Times-Dispatch, February 22, 2008

Public Private Partnerships

Preston Bryant