Environmental & Energy Law Section

  • Welcome to the Environmental Law Section
    Welcome to the Environmental & Energy 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.
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    Environmental & Energy Law Section Annual Meeting Program January 26
  • Upcoming Events
    • January 26, 2018: Annual Meeting and Luncheon

      Friday, January 26, 2018 8:45 AM
      8:45 AM - 12:45 PM
      Total MCLE Credits: 4.00 (Professional Practice 3.00, Ethics 1.00)

      Register Here or Download The Registration Form Here.

      View Program

      THURSDAY, JANUARY 25, 2018
      Executive Committee Luncheon Meeting – 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., Murray Hill West
      In the Aftermath of the Storms: EPA's Response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria – NEW TIME! 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., Murray Hill East 
      Committee Meetings – 4:00 – 5:00 p.m., Murray Hill West
      Annual Business Meeting and Awards – 5:00 – 6:00 p.m., Murray Hill East
      Cocktail Reception – 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., Murray Hill East and West

      FRIDAY, JANUARY 26, 2018
      CLE Program                                                                     
      8:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.                                                        
      Murray Hill East & West, 2nd Floor 

      NEW! Off-site Luncheon NEW! 
      1:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
      Mastro's Restaurant
      1295 Avenue of the Americas
      (one block from the Hilton)

      Kevin M. Bernstein, Esq.
      Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC

      Kathleen M. Bennett, Esq.                        
      Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC          

      Amy K. Kendall, Esq. 
      Knauf Shaw, LLP

      8:45 –  8:55 a.m.                      
      Opening Remarks
      Kevin M. Bernstein, Esq., Section Chair

      8:55 – 9:45 a.m. 
      Beyond Standing Rock: The Intersection of Tribal and Environmental Law (1.0 credit in Professional Practice)This panel will provide an overview of tribal law; environmental advocacy by Native peoples, and both common and novel legal issues for practitioners.

      Moderator: Amy K. Kendall, Esq., Knauf Shaw, LLP, Rochester
      Panelists: Joseph Heath, Esq., Attorney at Law, Syracuse
      Curt D. Marshall, Esq., Weitz & Luxenberg, PC, New York City

      9:45 - 10:05 a.m. Challenges and Opportunities at USEPA Region 2 (This is a non-CLE presentation)
      Speaker: Pete Lopez, Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2, Administrator

      10:05 – 10:55 a.m. Energy Innovation: Storage and Distribution Strategies (1.0 credit in Professional Practice)This panel will explore trending topics in energy storage and distribution, including batteries and microgrids.

      Moderator: Keith G. Silliman, Esq., Stantec, Albany
      Panelists: Jason Doling, NYSERDA, Albany
      Virginia C. Robbins, Esq., Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, Syracuse
      Linda R. Shaw, Esq., Future Energy Development, LLC, Rochester

      10:55 - 11:05 a.m.  Refreshment Break

      11:05 – 11:55 a.m. Weathering the Storm: Adaptation and Resiliency (1.0 credit in Professional Practice)This panel will examine legal issues facing New York’s coastal regions, including Plan 2014 and the State’s approaches to climate.

      Moderator: Kathleen M. Bennett, Esq., Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, Syracuse
      Speakers: Jessica A. Bacher, Esq., Land Use Law Center, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, White Plains
      Jonathan Binder, Esq., NYS Environmental Conservation, Albany
      Dr. Frank Sciremammano, Jr., PhD, PE, Professor of Engineering (retired), Rochester Institute of Technology

      11:55 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Ethical Use of Social Media in the Practice of Law (1.0 credit in Ethics)This presentation includes an overview of the phenomenon of social media, a description of the main platforms and how lawyers use them, a discussion
      of choosing the right platforms based on your goals, and a roundup of the most important ethical issues to keep in mind when using social media.
      Speaker: Nicole L. Black, Esq., MyCase, Rochester

      12:45 – 1:00 p.m. Join the Legal Blogosphere
      (This is a non-CLE presentation)
      Overview of the section’s social media resources and how to use them.
      Presentators: Meaghan A. Colligan, Esq., Knauf Shaw LLP, Rochester
      Julia J. Martin, Esq., Bousquet Holstein PLLC, Syracuse


      Under New York’s MCLE rule, this program has been approved for a total of 4.0 credit hours (3.0 credits in Areas of Professional Practice and 1.0 credits in Ethics). This program will NOT qualify for credit for newly-admitted attorneys because it is not a basic practical skills program.

      Discounts and Scholarships: New York State Bar Association members and non-members may apply for a discount or scholarship to attend this program, based on financial hardship. This discount applies to the educational portion of the program only. Under this policy, any member of our Association or non-member who has a genuine basis for their hardship, if approved, can receive a discount or scholarship, depending on the circumstances. Request for discounts or scholarships must be received prior to January 13th, 2017. For more details, please contact Lori Nicoll in writing at New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207 or lnicoll@nysba.org.

      Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities:  NYSBA welcomes participation by individuals with disabilities. NYSBA is committed to complying with all applicable laws that prohibit discrimination against individuals on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of its goods, services, programs, activities, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations. To request auxiliary aids or services or if you have any questions regarding accessibility, please contact Lori Nicoll at 518-487-5563.

      For overnight room accommodations, please call the New York Hilton Midtown at 1-800-445-8667 and identify yourself as a member of the New York State Bar Association. The rate will be based on room selection (single/double occupancy) and arrival/departure dates with additional taxes and hotel fees. The discounted rate for January 21st and January 22nd is $179 per night. The discounted rate for January 23rd through January 28th is $229 per night. A rate of $209 will be offered to those with overlapping dates. Reservations must be made before December 15, 2017 by calling the New York Hilton Midtown directly at 800-445-8667 or online at www.nysba.org/am18accomm.

      For questions about this specific program, please contact Lori Nicoll at 518-487-5563. For registration questions only, please call the Member Resource Center at 800-582-2452. Fax registration form to 518-463-5993.


    • Agency Update 2018

      Agency Update Program
      3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
      Murray Hill East, 2nd Floor
      New York Hilton Midtown
      1335 Avenue of the Americas (between 53rd and 54th)

      IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE STORMS: EPA’s Response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria

      Description:  This program will provide information about the conditions in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (and how those conditions have evolved in the weeks and months after the storms), and explain EPA’s legal role in the response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  In the context of providing information about EPA response efforts, we will explain the legal structure that governs federal government response work generally (primarily the Stafford Act); and we will also explain our role in the subsequent “recovery” phase.  We will describe some of the legal and logistical challenges that we and other response agencies have faced in providing assistance.  We will also share information about some of the force majeure claims that have been asserted, and regulatory waivers and “no action assurances” that we have provided under environmental statutes, to entities unable to fully comply with environmental legal requirements.  Examples include waivers of restrictions on the kinds of fuel and the kinds of generators that can be used on the islands; emergency exemptions from certain dredging and ocean disposal requirements; an emergency exemption under FIFRA to allow the distribution of water disinfection tablets; and others. 


      Walter Mugdan, Esq., Director,
      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Emergency and Remedial Response Division

      Marla Wieder, Esq. Assistant Regional Counsel 
      Office of Regional Counsel New York Caribbean Superfund Branch/ Regional Criminal Enforcement Counsel
      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2

      This program is free, but pre-registration is required.  Register online or email Kathy Plog at kplog@nysba.org

    • April 2018 - Basics of Environmental Law

      Basics of Environmental Law 

      Thursday, April 12th -Buffalo
      Thursday, April 12th - NYC
      Thursday, April 19th - Albany and Webcast
      Thursday, April 19th - Long Island 

      9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. all locations

      7.0 MCLE Credits: 5.0 Professional Practice; 2.0 Skills


    • Fall: October 19-21, 2018 Emerson Resort & Spa, Mt. Tremper, NY


      The Emerson Resort and Spa is a hidden treasure located a mere two hours from Manhattan. Designed with the splendor of the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley in mind, open spaces and oversized windows expose stunning views and bring the beauty of the outside in. Enjoy spacious accommodations in the contemporary Inn or Adirondack-style Lodge, restorative treatments at our luxury spa, “Catskill Creative Cooking” in our Woodnotes Grille restaurant, shopping in the Country Stores and the not-to-be-missed World’s Largest Kaleidoscope. Hiking, biking, tubing, fishing and outdoor concerts are just a few of the numerous nearby activities. Or, explore the eclectic and historical towns of Phoenicia, Woodstock and Saugerties. 

      Join your colleagues next year at this family-friendly resort to earn some CLE credits, network and enjoy the beautiful Catskills in the Fall. 

  • Blog


    The Environmental and Energy Law Section of the New York State Bar Association has a new section blog on our online community. It is intended to provide timely notice of legal events affecting environmental lawyers in the public and private sectors, environmental organizations, and academia. These legal events include recent cases, new regulations, new government policies, and general news of interest on the environmental front. Section members are welcome to contribute. View our blogging policy here.

    To view the archives of our former blog posts called “Envirosphere” from February 2009-August 2016, 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.

    To receive your issue of The New York Environmental Lawyer in an electronic format only, send an email to NYSBA's Member Resource Center at mrc@nysba.org.

    Read Now>

  • Online Community

    We are pleased to announce the launch of an Internet-based private online professional Community for the Environmental and Energy Law Section. We invite you to participate. Members of our Section run the gamut from law students and newly admitted attorneys who are just finding their way all the way to national and international experts in many categories of environmental law. We want all of you to share your experiences and your knowledge while also being free to ask questions of others in the Section and participating in the intellectual discourse we hope to generate. 

    Enter here. (Member log-in required).