Environmental & Land Use Law

Environmental legal needs span industries from banking and real estate to manufacturing and industrial development. McNamee Lochner's attorneys are adeptly skilled to lead businesses, developers, bankers, manufacturers and individual landowners through the complex and continuously emerging area of environmental and land use law.

Led by John Privitera, who is distinguished for his expertise and experience in environmental and land use matters at the local, state and federal levels, our team includes attorneys with experience and a breadth of regulatory knowledge, able to assist clients in assessing risk, achieving compliance, solving problems, defending enforcement actions, developing projects and resolving challenging environmental and land use issues.

McNamee Lochner's Environmental & Land Use Department effectively and efficiently advises clients in all areas of environmental law, including:

  • business transactions and due diligence
  • environmental permitting and compliance
  • environmental litigation
  • Superfund and petroleum spill liability, recovery and defense
  • State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) review
  • hazardous waste compliance and regulatory defense
  • zoning, permitting and project development
  • administrative proceedings and challenges
  • environmental insurance coverage
  • New York's Right to Farm law
  • risk allocation
  • defense of enforcement cases
  • interface between bankruptcy law and environmental law
  • takings litigation
  • environmental auditing
  • brownfields development
  • compliance counseling

Some of the major business and industry segments we represent include:

  • manufacturing
  • agriculture
  • real estate development
  • banking
  • gas and oil
  • paper and plastic
  • materials handling

Our wide range of experience with many industry segments and our depth of background in public and private matters--combined with our extensive experience both working with and against federal, state and local government agencies--makes for a resourceful practice group.

When it is important to gain federal, state, and local approval for large, complex developments, our clients call on McNamee Lochner's pervasive experience and creative approach to assembling and managing teams of consultants. Our experience with federal approvals under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as well as state and local approvals under SEQRA, carries significant value in pursuing project approvals through the public review process.

McNamee Lochner has resolved many complex disputes, including multiparty liability claims relating to distressed properties in bankruptcy. Notably, McNamee Lochner played an instrumental role in working with EPA, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Treasury, and 14 states to create the nation's largest ever environmental response trust ($773 million) as part of the General Motors Corporation bankruptcy case in 2010. The White House praised this "unprecedented" collaboration.

McNamee Lochner's Environmental & Land Use team works closely with our Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice Group to assemble experienced representation appropriate to the size of the dispute. We devote ourselves to firm, loyal and effective advocacy on behalf of businesses that are pursued in regulatory environmental enforcement matters. The banking industry often calls upon us to evaluate environmental risk, to resolve real estate liability issues, and to study and implement compliance programs. In this regard, we provide insight in working with McNamee Lochner's Corporate and Taxation Practice Group on business transactions, due diligence, risk allocation, and project development matters.

We also are recognized and experienced leaders in the Real Property Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, where McNamee Lochner's attorneys have been responsible for elevating environmental awareness among real estate attorneys statewide.

With experience in the Capital Region and throughout New York, McNamee Lochner's attorneys are often called upon to compile and present continuing legal education materials for other attorneys and to lecture in local universities.