Environmental Law

Environmental regulations, permitting and review requirements permeate much of HTW’s practice. Whether for litigation, transactions or land use applications, a critical aspect of due diligence is careful evaluation of how environmental laws apply to existing physical conditions and ongoing activities on a property and the uses the client may wish to undertake.

Land use approval or the “entitlements” processes in New York State require review under SEQRA.  The procedural as well as the substantive aspects of SEQRA can often be arcane.  Failure to adhere to those principles can result in the disapproval of a project or judicial invalidation of an approval.  HTW’s attorneys have worked with SEQRA, literally for decades, have written and lectured on it extensively and have undertaken numerous successful litigations in which SEQRA was a central issue.

Development applications also require HTW to ascertain which environmental approvals may be required for proposed activities, such as wetlands, steep slopes, watercourse disturbance, stormwater management and sediment and erosion control permits. HTW’s attorneys are fully conversant, among other things, with federal and state wetlands and stormwater permitting requirements, the Clean Water Act, the protections afforded various natural resources and environmentally sensitive features under the New York State Environmental Conservation Law, the restrictions imposed by the New York City regulations for the protection of its watershed and the environmental regulations of individual municipalities.  They guide the client through the process of complying with the criteria of these enactments, obtain the requisite environmental permits and, where necessary, defend clients accused of violating the regulatory prohibitions. 

Representative SEQRA cases handled by HTW attorneys include:

Falcon Group Limited Liability Company v. Town/Village of Harrison Planning Board, 131 A.D.3d 1237,
17 N.Y.S.3d 469 (2d Dep’t 2015).

Tupper v. City of Syracuse, 71 A.D.3d 1460, 897 N.Y.S.2d 573 (4th Dep’t 2010).

Abate v. City of Yonkers, 10 A.D.3d 605, 731 N.Y.S.2d 667 (2d Dep’t 2004).

Village of Tarrytown v. Planning Board of Village of Sleepy Hollow, 292 A.D.2d 617, 741 N.Y.S.2d 44 (2d Dep’t 2003).

Baxter v. Town of Yorktown, Index No. 2008/14078 (Sup.Ct. Westchester Co. 2009).

The Stop & Shop Supermaket Company LLC v. Town of Beekman, Index No. 6442/2007 (Sup.Ct. Dutchess Co. 2008).

Hoenig v. Town of Yorktown, Index No. 2006/02913 (Sup.Ct. Westchester Co. 2007).

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