Mike retired in 2010 from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) after over twenty years of service, most recently in NYSDEC’s Albany headquarters. There he was the Supervising Attorney for the state’s Superfund and Brownfields Cleanup Programs, responsible for the state’s legal representation for hazardous waste, brownfield, voluntary cleanup program (VCP) and environmental restoration sites in all parts of New York. Mike also previously served as the supervisor of NYSDEC’s Brownfield and Superfund Enforcement Unit for Central and Southern New York, with similar legal responsibilities and as the NYSDEC’s VCP program counsel. Today he is based in Albany and serves clients in the areas of brownfield redevelopment, state superfund and hazardous waste remediation and enforcement.

In those capacities, he drafted or reviewed hundreds of the agreements, cost recovery settlements enforcement orders on consent and other legal instruments necessary to remediate contaminated sites around the state. He also represented and served as an advisor to the professionals in the NYSDEC Division of Environmental Remediation (engineers, geologists, field inspectors, etc.).

From 1989 to 1992, and from 2003 and 2005, Mike was also the counsel for the NYSDEC’s Division of Law Enforcement (DLE), where he advised and performed legal duties representing the department’s police agencies and their various units. These included the uniformed Environmental Conservation Officers (ECO), the plainclothes investigators of the Bureau of Environmental Conservation Investigations (BECI) and the Forest Rangers. In that capacity, Mike frequently worked and coordinated with other parts of the NYSDEC, other state agencies, federal agencies and state and local prosecutors in the development and prosecution of environmental crimes and administrative enforcement.

While at NYSDEC, he was also a frequent advisor to the NYSDEC executive staff and General Counsel on topics as diverse as enforcement, field investigations, site access, FOIL, discovery, ethics and administrative procedures.

Mike is a frequent contributor to the SPR blog and also writes and edits the monthly NY Environmental Enforcement Update for Envirosphere, the official blog of the Environmental Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Recognitions
  • New York State Bar Association Award for Distinguished Service to Environmental Law
Results
  • Cumberland Bay State Superfund Site: Negotiated administrative settlement for the recovery of nine million dollars by New York State from responsible parties and allowed for the successful PCB dredging and remediation of Lake Champlain
  • Represented DEC in the first state enforcement action and negotiated the first Consent Order against a violator preventing the spread of infectious Chronic Wasting Disease in the state’s wild deer population
  • Drafted and promulgated the passage a new state law establishing the New York State Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact in the Environmental Conservation Law, which allows for reciprocity in the interstate enforcement of state fish and wildlife laws
Affiliations
  • Officer/Member, Executive Board, Environmental Section of the New York State Bar Association, 1997 to Present
  • Co-Chair, Legislative Committee, Environmental Section of the New York State Bar Association
  • Moderator of the annual New York State Bar Association Environmental Legislative Forum, 2004 to 2012
  • Presenter-Lecturer, numerous New York State Bar Association CLE Programs, 1995-Present
Publications
  • The Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act: Another Regulatory Requirement for POTW Operators, Municipal Lawyer, Winter/Spring 2013, Vol. 27, No. 1, New York State Bar Association
  • Administrative Enforcement for Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites, Administrative Practice Before the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (May 1998) (course text for New York State Bar Association continuing legal educational and distributed as a course material for environmental law studies at Albany Law School)
  • Summary of New York State Voluntary Clean Up Agreements, The New York Environmental Lawyer, New York State Bar Association (1996-2000) (co-author) (periodic summaries and commentary on developments regarding the cleanup of contaminated development sites)