September 29, 2009


Association's Environmental Law & Municipal Law Sections Team Up to Present Climate Change Action Planning Workshop

ALBANY-The New York State Bar Association will host a full-day workshop on Thursday, October 8, 2009 at Pace Law School in White Plains, titled "Climate Change Action Planning-A Workshop for Municipal Officials," designed to help government officials across the state develop climate change action plans that can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their local communities.  Sponsored by the Association's Environmental Law Section Committee on Global Climate Change and the Municipal Law Section Committees on Land Use and Environment, and Green Development, the workshop will provide an in-depth look at laws, regulations and codes that govern green initiatives and will review recent success stories from municipalities across the State.  

"Government officials and lawyers have a long history of working hand-in-hand to develop comprehensive laws and regulations that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and our natural resources," said Bar Association President Michael E. Getnick (Getnick Livingston Atkinson & Priore, LLP of Utica and of counsel to Getnick & Getnick of New York City). "We're proud to offer this workshop to help municipal officials better protect the environment and improve the quality of life for their constituents."

The workshop schedule is as follows:

8:45 a.m.  Opening Remarks
J. Kevin Healy, Esq.
, New York State Bar Association Environmental Law Section, Co-Chair, Global Climate Change Committee, Bryan Cave LLP

9:00 a.m.  Keynote Address: Why take action?
John R. Nolon, Esq., James A. Hopkins Professor of Law, Pace Law School
Counsel, Land Use Center

9:20 a.m.  New York State's Climate Smart Communities Pledge and Program
Lois A. New, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Climate Change, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

9:50 a.m.  Local Successes in Action Planning - Three Case Studies
• Town of New Castle
• City of New Rochelle-ICLEI-Local Government for Sustainability
Pilot Project Community
• Westchester County's Action Plan and Global Warming Task Force

Moderator: Virginia C. Robbins, Esq., New York State Bar Association Environmental Law Section, Co-Chair, Global Climate Change Committee, Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC
Panelists: Noam Bramson, Mayor, City of New Rochelle; Robert Funicello, Environmental Project Director, Westchester County Department of Transportation; Barbara Gerrard, Supervisor, Town of New Castle; Robin Schlaff, Esq., Special Counsel for Regional Affairs, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

11:00 a.m.  Green Building Requirements
• Overview of the State Energy Code and Beyond: Lessons Learned from the Approach of Greenburgh, New Rochelle and Babylon
• The Pitfalls: Avoiding Potential Legal Liability in Adopting and Enforcing Green
Building Laws

Moderator: Julie E. Steiner, Esq., Professor, St. John's University School of Law.
Panelists: Jessica A. Bacher, Esq., Adjunct Professor and Senior Managing Attorney, Land Use Law Center, Pace Law School; Cosimina Panetti, Senior Outreach Manager, Building Codes Assistance Project Alliance to Save Energy; Lester D. Steinman, Esq., Director, Edwin G. Michaelian, Municipal Law Resource Center, Pace University

1:00 p.m.  Transit Oriented Development and Transportation Efficient Development

Moderator: J. Kevin Healy, Esq.
Panelists: Thomas Madden, Commissioner, Department of Community Development and Conservation, Town of Greenburgh; Munsun Park, Project Manager of Planning, Jonathan Rose Companies

1:40 p.m.  Renewable Energy: Facilitating Solar and Combined Heat and Power Generation

Moderator: Janice A. Dean, Esq., Environmental Protection Bureau, Office of the New York State Attorney General
Panelists: James Gallagher, Senior Vice President Energy and Telecommunications, New York City Economic Development Corporation; Patricia E. Salkin, Esq., Raymond & Ella Smith Distinguished Professor of Law, Associate Dean, Director, Government Law Center, Albany Law School; Gordon M. Boyd, President, EnergyNext, Inc.

2:20 p.m. Funding Opportunities and Technical Assistance

Moderator: Joan Leary Matthews, Esq., New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Associate Commissioner, Hearings & Mediation Services
Panelists: Mark Eggers, Program Director, Energy Efficiency Services, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority; Maribel Cruz-Brown, C.E.M., Energy Services & Technology, Business Development and Engineering Facilitator, New York Power Authority
Program co-sponsors include: Association of Towns of the State of New York; Edwin G. Michaelian Municipal Law Resource Center, Pace University; Energy and Climate Change Center, Pace Law School; Government Law Center, Albany Law School; Land Use Law Center, Pace Law School; New York State Association of Counties; New York State Conference of Mayors; Rockland Municipal Planning Federation; Westchester Municipal Officials Association; Westchester Municipal Planning Federation.

For more information or to register, visit
The 76,000-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. Founded in 1876, State Bar programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.