Nine-City CLE Program to Explore Topics of Environmental Interest Specific to That Part of New York State

ALBANY - From Seneca Falls to Schenectady and from Buffalo to Beacon, the New York State Bar Association's Environmental Law Section will mark its 30th anniversary with a nine-city Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program that will explore key environmental issues unique to those specific regions of the state.  Spearheaded by Section Chair Barry R. Kogut, Esq. (Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, Syracuse), the series will kick-off on July 20th in Buffalo and will include seminars in each of the nine designated New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Regions.  The CLE series also coincides with NYSDEC's 40th anniversary.

According to Mr. Kogut, this program series is designed to showcase, acknowledge and celebrate the work being done in each of the state's nine NYSDEC regions.  The programs will feature the local NYSDEC Regional Director who will provide an historical perspective, as well as a view of the future challenges in that particular locale. 

New York State Bar Association President Stephen P. Younger (Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP) said, "Over the past three decades, our understanding of New York's environmental challenges has continued to grow, even as the solutions have become more complex.  The Environmental Law Section has been at the forefront of those efforts, offering legal education, Congressional testimony, international programs and key publications.  The importance of its work in the arena of environmental justice and providing a roadmap to reducing greenhouse gases in New York cannot be underestimated.

"Under the leadership of Chairman Barry Kogut, the section has put together an impressive program with leading environmental experts that offers something for every practitioner.  I congratulate him and the section leadership on all their accomplishments, and wish them continued success in the decades to come," President Younger concluded.

Mr. Kogut added, "The nine-city forum will focus on local environmental challenges and the various viewpoints associated with meeting those challenges while offering outstanding networking opportunities for all who attend.  I would like to thank our partners at the State DEC for their exceptional work over the past 40 years in making our water clearer and our air cleaner.  The progress made in the quality of New York's environment has been remarkable, but we are not done yet.  We look forward to continuing our partnership to ensure that our children and grandchildren have a greener future." 

The CLE programs will accentuate the diversity of New York's regions and provide attendees with content unique to that particular area of New York State.  The full schedule with specific CLE topics is listed below.  All seminars begin at 8:45 a.m.

• July 20 - Adams Mark Hotel, Buffalo (NYSDEC Region 9)
o Natural Resource Damages Claims and the Great Lakes Compact

• July 21 - Union College, Schenectady (NYSDEC Region 4)
o Marcellus Shale Exploration

• July 26 - Childs Mansion, Stony Brook (NYSDEC Region 1)
o Coastal Erosion and Sea Level Rise

• July 29 - Holiday Inn, Waterloo/Seneca Falls (NYSDEC Region 8)
o Storm Water Management

• August 3 - Syracuse Center of Excellence - Renaissance of Onondaga Lake (NYSDEC Region 7)
o Onondaga Lake: An Environmental Case Study

• August 5 - Crowne Plaza Resort & Golf Club, Lake Placid (NYSDEC Region 5)
o Development Issues in the Adirondack Park

• August 6 - Hudson River Park Education Center, Pier 84, New York City (NYSDEC Region 2)
o Urban Site Development

• August 12 - Tug Hill Winery, Lowville (NYSDEC Region 6)
o Renewable Energy

• August 20 - Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, Beacon (NYSDEC Region 3)
o SEQRA Review Process: An Update on the Evolution to Address New Environmental Issues

Participants can receive 2.5 MCLE credit hours.  Attorneys may earn up to 2.0 Professional Practice credits and 0.5 Ethics credits.  The cost for attendance at the CLE Session and luncheon is $75. Field trip cost is separate and varies by Region. 

To register or for more information, visit

Over the course of its proud 30-year history, the State Bar Association's Environmental Law Section has developed a diverse array of initiatives that educate members of the bar and the public on environmental issues, promote and initiate legal reforms and most significantly, oppose changes in the law that are harmful to the public interest and the natural environment.  Today, the section has 32 committees/task forces that allow its members to participate meaningfully in the environmental arena across the state.

Its numerous publications, including handbooks, reports and compendia of articles and The New York Environmental Lawyer newsletter - which debuted in 1981 - provide frequent updates on legislative advancements, recent developments, news of the section, and a summary of key recent cases.

The section also is known for its advocacy, including testimony before the subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee in 1986 urging adoption of President Reagan's budget request for the Council on Environmental Quality.  In 1994, the NYSBA House of Delegates, at the section's request, endorsed a report and resolution for environ¬mental justice, calling on governments at all levels, as well as private entities to implement and enforce envi¬ronmental measures so that a disproportionate burden of environmental harm does not fall on minority and low-income communities. 

Also in 1994, the section published a report entitled, "The Threat of Global Climate Change: What Can New Yorkers Do? State and Local Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in New York," and it continues to be active on the critical issue of global warming.  Most recently, a number of section members served on a task force created by then-NYSBA President Bernice Leber.  The Task Force on Global Warming Report, which recommended a number of strategies to address the challenges presented by global warming, was adopted by the NYSBA House of Delegates at its meeting on April 4, 2009.


Founded in 1876, the 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation.  The State Bar's programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.