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
    • 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


    • June 2 US EPA Region 2 ProgramUS


      Thursday, June 2, 2016

      Columbia Law School, 435 W. 116th St., New York, NY

      This biennial conference examines key and emerging environmental issues in the Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 area, which includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Key federal, state and city regulators describe their plans and priorities.

      9:00 am  Panel 1: Climate and air pollution

      10:30 am Panel 2: Cross-Cutting Issues

      11:45 am Panel 3: Contaminated site cleanup and redevelopment

      1:00 pm  Lunch (provided)

      1:45 pm Keynote address: Judith Enck, Regional Administrator

      2:15 pm  The Commissioners Speak

      3:45 pm Panel 4: Water issues

      5:00 pm  Adjournment

      Co-sponsors: EPA Region 2; Environmental sections of American, New York State, New Jersey State, and New York City bar associations; Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

      For speaker names, CLE information, and other details, see here.

      To register, see here.

    • June 8, 2016: Environmental Law Section Oil Spill Symposium


      7th Annual Oil Spill Symposium

      Wednesday, June 8, 2016

      Symposium: 12:00 - 4:20 p.m.
      4:20 - 5:00 p.m.
      NYSBA Bar Center Great Hall
      One Elk Street
      Albany, NY  12207 

      MCLE credit is not available for this program.

      Registration Fee (Live and Webcast)
      $55 - Environmental Law Section Members
      $25 - Students
      $80 - All others

      Not Able to Attend in Person?   A Live Webcast Option is Available. 

      Register online 


      Registration and Lunch                                                                           12:00 - 12:40 p.m.      

      Welcome and Introduction                                                                      12:40 – 12:45 p.m.
      Gary Bowitch, Esq., Bowitch & Coffey LLC, Albany
      Co-Chair, Petroleum Spills Committee 

      Oil Spill Act Case Law Update                                                                 12:45 – 1:00 p.m.
      Alan J. Knauf, Esq., Knauf Shaw LLP, Rochester 

      Oil Spill Fund Update                                                                                1:00 – 1:15 p.m.
      Patrick Holloway, Esq., Office of State Comptroller, Albany 

      Statutes of Limitations for Oil Spill Act Claims                                           1:15 – 1:45 p.m.
      S. David Devaprasad, Esq., Devaprasad PLLC, Albany
      Doreen Simmons, Esq., Hancock & Estabrook, LLP, Syracuse

      Mediation of Petroleum Spill Claims                                                          1:45 – 2:15 p.m.
      Gary Bowitch, Esq., Bowitch & Coffey LLC, Albany
      Patrick Holloway, Office of State Comptroller, Albany 

      BREAK                                                                                                         2:15 – 2:30 p.m. 

      New Petroleum Bulk Storage Regulations                                                 2:30 – 3:00 p.m.
      Russ Brauksieck, Bureau of Technical Support, New York State
        Department of Environmental Conservation
      Alita J. Giuda, Esq., Couch White, LLP, Albany

      Brownfield Cleanup Program Update                                                        3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
      Linda R. Shaw, Esq., Knauf Shaw LLP, Rochester
      Andrew Guglielmi, Esq., New York State
          Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany

      Closing Remarks                                                                                          4:00 – 4:10 p.m. 

      Cocktail Reception                                                                                       4:10 – 5:00 p.m.

      For questions or problems, contact Kathy Plog at kplog@nysba.org 

    • 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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