Posts by » Michael Lesser

Governor Cuomo has proposed substantial revisions to New York’s Brownfields Cleanup Program (“BCP”) as part of the proposed state executive budget released earlier this week. The proposed budget, prepared for the 2014-2015 state fiscal year, would alter many aspects of the program, including site eligibility criteria and availability of tax credits.  Note that budget proposals … Read Post


In Matter of the Town of Waterford v. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, decided on March 22, 2012, the New York Court of Appeals held that New York State must disclose deliberative documents in its possession that had been created by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”).   Specifically, the Court held that … Read Post


On November 23, 2011, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) proposed regulations implementing the Water Resources Protection Act, a new law requiring a DEC permit for water withdrawals exceeding 100,000 gallons per day.  In addition to setting forth permitting procedures, the regulations contain additional exceptions and critical deadlines for incorporating existing water usage … Read Post


The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) recently awarded federal recognition to New York City’s Brownfield Cleanup Program.  This is the first time EPA has recognized a municipal cleanup program.  EPA hopes to use New York City’s program as an example to be followed by additional municipalities. EPA’s formal recognition makes the City eligible to … Read Post


The recent devastating impacts of Tropical Storm Irene and the solemn remembrance of 9/11 make a review of New York’s emergency environmental procedures both timely and relevant.  Such emergencies affect existing environmental permits and create new unanticipated environmental problems that may require exceptions and waivers to the environmental status quo. The overall coordination and implementation … Read Post