Environmental Law Section

  • Welcome to the Environmental Law Section
    Welcome to the Environmental Law Section The purpose of this Section is to bring together members of the New York State Bar Association who are interested in environmental law for furtherance of the public interest in an effective and fair legal framework for protection of the human and natural environment.
  • Annual Report Rotating Slider
    Environmental Law Section Annual Report The 2014-15 NYSBA Annual Report is now available online. View a brief overview of the Environmental Law Section’s accomplishments, activities and events this past year. (click image to view)
  • Upcoming Events
    • 2016 Environmental Law Section Legislative Forum and Luncheon


      Wednesday, May 18, 2016- State Bar Center, Albany

       “To Drink or Not to Drink: Clean Water Litigation Trends in NY”

      10:00 am – 2:00 pm State Bar Center, Albany

      In our continuing focus on water quality and water infrastructure needs of New York State, we will look at challenges facing the State after the presence of industrial contaminants in the Hoosick Falls village water supply became known to local residents. The forum will focus on a number of aspects of the contamination issue including: a proposal to extend the statute of limitations for bringing action against the alleged contaminators; future litigation issues in water contamination events; how actions and remedies may evolve during a time of increased scrutiny over water quality; and the role of regulating emerging water contaminants. Further details will be posted on our website and LinkedIn. 

      Keynote Speaker: Thomas Berkman, Esq., Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

      For further information, contact jparker@riverkeeper.org

      There is no charge for attendance but registration is required. REGISTER ONLINE or contact Kathy Plog (kplog@nysba.org)

    • SAVE THE DATE May 23: Troubled Waters - Drinking Water Conference


      Troubled Waters - Drinking Water Conference 

      Date/Time:         Monday, May 23, 2016, 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.    

      Location:             Pace University (downtown Manhattan campus, near Brooklyn Bridge)

                                      1 Pace Plaza, Civic W613, New York, NY 10038

      Directions:          http://www.pace.edu/about-us/directions-to-all-campuses/nyc-campus

      Map:                     http://www.pace.edu/nyc-map

      CLE:                        3 MCLE Credits (Professional Practice)

      Cost:                      Free to all

      Registration:      http://law.pace.edu/troubled-waters-drinking-water-conference

      Program Description:

      In the wake of the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan and concerns about drinking water systems closer to home from Hoosick Falls to Petersburgh to Ithaca, New York to North Bennington, Vermont and beyond, this half day conference will focus on Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and lead in our drinking water.  We will explore our history with perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), Federal and State response to the PFOA contamination in Hoosick Falls, groundwater concerns in other jurisdictions, public health advisories, lead sampling in our homes and schools, measures underway to address both PFCs and lead in our drinking water (regulatory, legislative, litigation), and how we can limit our exposure to both contaminants going forward.


      NYSBA, Environmental Law Section

      Pace University School of Law

      ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER)


      Invited Speakers: Robert A. Bilott, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP.  Representatives from the New York State DEC, New York State DOH and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have been invited to participate.  

      Confirmed speakers include: Tom Neltner, Chemicals Policy Director, Environmental Defense Fund; Prof. Karl Coplan, Pace Law School; Paul F. Simon, Deputy Regional Counsel, U.S. EPA, Region 2; Scott Fein, Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna; Prof. Margot Pollans, Pace Law School; Lawrence Schnapf, Schnapf, LLC; Prof. David Cassuto, Professor, Pace Law School.


      Useful Websites:

      NYSDOH Links:

      Hoosick Falls: http://www.health.ny.gov/hoosick


        NYSDOH Website: http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/


      NYS Certified Labs (for environmental testing) – search by contaminant & location:


        EPA Links:

      EPA Region 2 - Hoosick Falls Water Contamination:


      EPA - Basic Information about Lead in Drinking Water: www.epa.gov/your-drinking-water/basic-information-about-lead-drinking-water



      NYSDEC Links:

      NYSDEC - Emergency Adoption: 6 NYCRR Section 597.3 - List of Hazardous Substances


      NYSDEC letter to Saint-Gobail & Honeywell (Hoosick Falls)


        Village of Hoosick falls website: http://www.villageofhoosickfalls.com/Water/default.html

        Environmental Defense Fund - Lead:

      Lead pipes: A threat to kids across America https://www.edf.org/lead-pipes-threat-kids-across-america

      Lead Remains a National Problem that Threatens the Health of All Americans

      Common‐Sense Federal Actions Can Have Enormous Impact


        Centers for Disease Control & Prevention – Lead:

      Lead tips: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips/water.htm#Resources

      Safe Water Use in Flint, MI: http://www.phe.gov/emergency/events/Flint/Pages/water.aspx

      Pace University School of Law – Environmental Law Program: http://law.pace.edu/environmental-law-program


        SEER:  http://www.americanbar.org/groups/environment_energy_resources.html

        Who Should Attend:

      Environmental Attorneys and Law Students; Real Property Attorneys; Toxic Tort Attorneys and Litigation Counsel; Engineers, Consultants and anyone who drinks water.

        For further information or questions, contact: Marla E. Wieder at wieder.marla@epa.gov


    • Save the Date - June 8, 2016: Environmental Law Section Oil Spill Symposium


      2016 Oil Spill Symposium

      June 8, 2016
      NYSBA Bar Center Great Hall
      One Elk Street
      Albany, NY  12207

      Additional details and registration information will be available soon.

    • 2016 Fall Meeting in Cooperstown October 14-16: Save the Date!


      FALL MEETING - OCTOBER 14-16, 2016

      The Otesaga is reminiscent of a more genteel era when a gracious welcome was the standard. It exudes
      the charm and gracious hospitality of a bygone era. It blends perfectly with Cooperstown. Combining
      natural  beauty with an unhurried pace, Cooperstown is the ideal place to re-discover our nation’s past. 
      Cooperstown houses an unspoiled repository of merica’s heritage, rich in history, art, architecture and
      natural beauty. Some of the village’s key attractions include the National Baseball Hall of Fame and 
      Museum, Fenimore Art Museum, The Farmers’ Museum, the Glimmerglass festival and the 
      Leatherstocking Golf Course. A convenient getaway distance from New York, Boston, Philadelphia
      and other Northeastern and mid-Atlantic cities, Cooperstown is easily accessible by car, rail and air. 
      Join your colleagues next  Fall at this family-friendly resort to earn some CLE credits, network 
      and enjoy beautiful Cooperstown, NY. 

      Mark Your Calendar to Save the Date for Next Fall.

  • Envirosphere- Blog

    About Envirosphere

    Welcome to Envirosphere, the blog created and managed by the Environmental Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The Section’s membership is extremely varied, as it includes attorneys from the public and private sectors, environmental organizations, and academia.

    Envirosphere is intended to provide timely notice of legal events affecting environmental lawyers from all of these varied sectors. These legal events include recent cases, new regulations, new government policies, and general news of interest on the environmental front.

    To view Envirosphere, click here.

  • NY Environmental Lawyer


    The New York Environmental Lawyer features peer-written substantive articles relating to the practice of environmental law on various topics, including climate change, brownsfields, pollution, air quality, wetlands and superfunds. Regular columns include  recent administrative and judicial cases, ethics issues, EPA and DEC updates and Section news. The New York Environmental Lawyer is published by the Environmental Law Section and distributed to Section Members free of charge.

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