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Rankings & Honors

  • Ranked at the highest “Tier 1” level in Rochester, NY, and Albany, NY, by U.S. News/Best Lawyers for Environmental Law
  • Ranked at “Tier 2” level Nationally and Boston, MA, by U.S. News/Best Lawyers for Environmental Law
  • Ranked at “Tier 3” level Nationally and in Boston, MA, by U.S. News/Best Lawyers for Environmental Litigation Law
  • Three of our attorneys have received recognition as “Lawyer of the Year” for Environmental Law by Best Lawyers
  • Recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in New York and Massachusetts for Environmental Law
  • Additionally, several members have been ranked by Best Lawyers or Super Lawyers.
Energy and Environmental Blog

Energy & Environment Blog
Insight from our team on energy and environmental law and how it affects you and your business.



We use our deep experience and integrated legal, scientific and engineering knowledge across all environmental media to move our client’s objectives forward by anticipating, minimizing and developing practical solutions for business and regulatory risks.

Our approach

Our nationally recognized environmental team helps clients spot and avoid present and potential environmental issues before they become big problems.

Whether you’re encountering serious environmental compliance issues, trying to protect yourself from acquiring environmental liabilities in a merger or acquisition or facing toxic tort or property damage litigation—we’re on the ground to guide you.

From regulatory counsel to transactions and litigation, we forge strategic and practical approaches that maximize opportunities and minimize risk. We join forces with our clients to understand their business drivers, predict future hurdles and move their business forward.

We offer our clients a highly qualified in-house team of environmental engineers and scientists. With every technically complex permitting, remediation and regulatory compliance issue, we go the extra mile for our clients.

We always have been and always will be pioneers in environmental law both in the U.S. and internationally.

We work with

  • Industrial firms
  • Manufacturers
  • Energy companies
  • Financial institutions
  • Municipalities
  • Hospitals and medical centers
  • Universities
  • Electric, gas and water utilities
  • Nonprofits
  • Individuals
  • Developers
  • Technology companies
  • Waste management companies

Recent experience

  • Represented Seneca Meadows, Inc., New York State’s largest landfill, in the successful environmental permitting of a major landfill expansion in Central New York that involved DEC, EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the municipality. Four state permits, four local permits, a federal permit and an Endangered Species Act consultation were required in order for the expansion to be constructed. The state and federal wetland permits were especially controversial because of the significant wetland acreage impacted by the 181-acre landfill expansion.
  • Represented PG&E National Energy Group as the first merchant electric generating facility to undergo all aspects of the complicated environmental review under Article X of the Public Service Law in New York. Our services included providing legal counsel regarding NEPA and NHPA as part of obtaining permits from the Army Corps of Engineers for this highly controversial project and the successful defense of a NEPA and NHPA challenge to the Army Corps of Engineers Permit.
  • Represent Covanta Energy Corporation with respect to environmental issues at its energy- from-waste facilities across the United States.
  • Represent a leading car rental company as national environmental counsel handling environmental transactional, regulatory, contractual, petroleum bulk storage issues and related claims.
  • Leading an investor-owned utility through one of the very first power plant demolition processes. We are representing the client in the planning, permitting, environmental review, investigation, commercial RFP and technical specification development process for the planned demolition of two former coal-fired power plants situated in urban and suburban areas.
  • Represented Nuclear Fuel Services in successfully resolving a RCRA enforcement action brought by EPA Region 4.
  • Represented Tioga County Industrial Development Agency in the development of the Lounsberry Industrial Park, including preparation of environmental impact statement, for use of this site as a regional distribution facility for Best Buy Stores. This project also included a grant from the federal government, and as a result, we were involved in preparing the appropriate documentation to demonstrate that the IDA had complied with NEPA in its administration of the grant funds.
  • Represented Seneca Meadows, Inc. in seeking a mining permit in defeating 18 of 19 issues proposed for adjudication by environmental groups. Successfully handled three-day adjudicatory hearing on PM 2.5 emissions, the one issue that was tried.
  • Represented a client as lead environmental counsel regarding Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and its applicability to federal funding from HUD for a low-income elderly project in a historic building in Wilmington, Delaware. Represented client through contentious Section 106 proceeding and creation of a Memorandum of Agreement.
  • Represented Cornell University in negotiating renewal and modification of a Clean Water Act discharge permit.
  • Serve as lead environmental counsel for environmental compliance, remediation and auditing of manufacturing facilities across the U.S. and as counsel on multiple federal and state Superfund matters.
  • Represent a Government of Puerto Rico entity in the context of the assertion of liability against it by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for cleanup projects at Superfund properties owned or formerly owned by the client that are contaminated with hazardous waste as a result of the operations of current and former tenants of the client’s.

Media Clips

  • LNG Facilities Outside NYC? Not So Fast
    Law360 | February 12, 2015
    Albany Energy & Environmental partner Ruth Leistensnider and Albany Energy & Environmental counsel Pete Trimarchi co-authored this column discussing New York State Department of Environmental Conservation guidelines creating a regulatory program allowing the construction and operation of new liquefied natural gas facilities in the state.
  • Protecting Affordable Housing Parties Against the Big, Bad Environmental Liability Monster
    Affordable Housing Finance | January 29, 2015
    San Francisco Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt authored this column discussing environmental due diligence in deals including low-income housing and new markets tax credits.
  • EPA Coal Ash Rules May Hasten Power Plant Closures
    Law360 | January 8, 2015
    Rochester Partner and leader of the firm’s Energy and Environmental practices Scott Turner and senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford authored this article discussing the Environmental Protection Agency’s comprehensive set of requirements for the “safe” disposal of coal combustion residuals.
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  • Profile - BASF Because…
    BASF Bulletin | December 1, 2014
    The Bar Association of San Francisco featured Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt in this profile opportunity.
  • Out of Gas
    Long Island Business News | October 22, 2014
    Long Island Energy & Environmental counsel Jesse Hiney is quoted in this feature story discussing possible future uses of local properties that once housed gas stations.
  • Understanding Environmental Laws Reduces Risks
    Rochester Business Journal | September 19, 2014
    Rochester partner and leader of the firm’s Energy & Environmental practice Scott Turner is quoted in this article on how to reduce the risks of criminal and civil prosecutions from violations of environmental laws.
  • Combating Calif. Drought with New Rules on Recycled Water
    Law360 | July 22, 2014
    San Francisco Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt authored this column discussing efforts to save scarce freshwater sources under California’s Drought State of Emergency proclamation.
  • Excellence in Law
    Daily Record | June 26, 2014
    This special section features the Rochester-area attorneys earning “Excellence in Law” distinctions. Rochester Energy & Environmental partner Jean McCreary is profiled among the “Top Women in Law.” Rochester Labor & Employment associate Joe Carello and Real Estate associate Darren Miller are among the “Up & Coming Attorneys.”
  • Future of fracking is up in the air
    Daily Record | April 25, 2014
    Rochester partner and leader of the Energy & Environmental practice Scott Turner is featured in this story on the future of hydraulic fracturing (“hydrofracking”).
  • Fracking Issues Raised by Auburn Wastewater Report
    Syracuse Post Standard | April 23, 2014
    This story highlights findings and broader implications of a report conducted by an engineering firm regarding the city of Auburn, New York’s ability to accept wastewater from gas drilling. Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford, who co-chairs the hydrofracking committee of the New York Water Environment Association, provides commentary.
  • Are State RPS Effective Wind Development Drivers?
    North American WindPower Magazine | April 1, 2014
    Albany Energy & Environmental counsel Pete Trimarchi and Boston Energy & Environmental associate Jen Simon Lento co-coauthored this article discussing if state renewable portfolio standards are enough to drive renewable energy development.
  • Mass. Solar Program Sets a Shining Example for Other States
    Law360 | January 28, 2014
    Boston Energy & Environmental partner Rob Dewees discusses Massachusetts’ Solar Renewable Energy Certificate program and how it’s leading the way for other states.
  • Business News
    WBZ-AM (News Radio) | January 23, 2014
    Albany Energy & Environmental counsel Pete Trimarchi discusses a recent chemical spill in West Virginia, tips to avoid a similar incident and the cost of non-compliance.
  • Fracking Poses Threat to NY Land Values, Mortgages
    Law360 | January 9, 2014
    Albany Energy & Environmental counsel Pete Trimarchi discusses high-volume hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in New York State.
  • Massachusetts Revising SREC Program to Promote Healthy Solar Growth
    Solar Industry | January 9, 2014
    Boston Energy & Environmental partner Rob Dewees discusses Massachusetts' revised set of policy recommendations aimed to stabilize and grow the solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) program.
  • Shades of Green: New Department of Defense Renewable Energy Commitment Presents Significant Opportunities (and Risks) for Developers
    Contract Management | November 1, 2013
    This article authored by New York City Energy & Environmental partner Ellen Friedman and Washington, DC, Securities associate Tiana Butcher notes increasing efforts by the U.S. Army to attract private developers to construct and own large-scale renewable power projects at army installations and the inherent challenges and risks associated with federal procurement contracting.
  • Deconstruction Keeps Value and Dollars in DC's Neighborhoods
    Elevation DC | October 29, 2013
    Washington, DC, Energy & Environmental partner Elizabeth Whittle is featured in this article on “deconstructing” rather than demolishing a home. Read the full article here.
  • Structured Approach Can Help Solar Developers Fulfill Promise of Brownfields
    Bloomberg BNA Energy and Climate Report | October 3, 2013
    Albany Energy and Environmental counsel Pete Trimarchi discusses some of the significant obstacles to the development of a utility-scale solar project on a brownfield site.
  • Two Paths Taken For Procuring Offshore Revenue
    North American Windpower | September 1, 2013

    Boston Energy & Environmental associate Jennifer Simon Lento provides commentary in this feature story discussing new state-based models that could provide an alternative to traditional power purchase agreements for offshore wind developers.

  • DOI Completes First Offshore Energy Area Auction, Prepares for Second in the Fall
    ABA Marine Resources Committee Newsletter | August 1, 2013

    Boston Energy and Environmental associate Jennifer Simon Lento authored this column discussing the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s first ever subsea land auction for the purpose of developing an offshore wind farm on the outer continental shelf.

  • Eastern States, DC Sue EPA Over Exemptions on Cross-border Power Plant Emissions
    SNL Power Daily | May 7, 2013

    Rochester partner and leader of the firm’s Energy & Environmental practice Scott Turner discusses a pending lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over the agency’s move to exempt states at least temporarily from addressing in their implementation plans power plant emissions degrading air quality outside their borders.

  • Stakeholders Weigh In On Maryland Offshore Wind
    North American Windpower | April 23, 2013

    Boston energy & environmental associate Jen Simon Lento discusses the wind industry’s reactions to the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013.

  • Genesee Valley Chapter Industrial Issues Committee - Mission of Service and Relevance
    Clean Waters (a New York Water Environment Association publication) | April 15, 2013

    Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford co-authored this column discussing how the New York Water Environment Association’s Industrial Issues Committee (IIC) has helped members understand and map the path to local and federal regulatory compliance.

  • What the Future Holds for Fracking In NY
    Energy Law360 | April 9, 2013

    This contributed article authored by Albany Energy & Environmental counsel Peter Trimarchi, Albany Energy & Environmental partner Ruth Leistensnider, Rochester Products: Class Action, Trade & Industry Representation partner Chris Thomas, and Rochester Real Estate associate Greg Nearpass discusses two major developments expected this spring that will largely determine the extent to which high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) will occur in New York state.

  • Law: Firms add hires with energy expertise
    Environment & Energy News | March 7, 2013

    This coverage notes the arrival of Albany energy and environmental counsel Peter Trimarchi.

  • Act Now To Harness IRS Energy Tax Credits
    Energy Law360 | March 1, 2013

    New York City energy & environmental partner Ellen Friedman, Boston tax credit finance & syndication partner Forrest Milder and San Francisco energy & environmental associate Alison Torbitt co-authored this column noting that interest applicants should act quickly to benefit from the $150 million of advanced energy manufacturing tax credits available from the Internal Revenue Service.

  • Human Capital: People on the move
    Boston Business Journal | January 30, 2013

    This coverage notes that Chief Sustainability Officer Carolyn Kaplan has joined the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association (CROA) board of advisors.

  • Hot Market, Cool Reactions
    Boston Business Journal | November 30, 2012

    Boston Energy & Environmental partner Ruth Silman discusses the state of solar development in this feature article on Massachusetts’ green-energy sector.

  • New ‘Green Guides' Set Rules for Environmental Marketing
    Rochester Business Journal | November 23, 2012

    This column, co-authored by partner Jeff LaBarge, Chief Sustainability Officer Carolyn Kaplan, and associate Alison Torbitt, discusses new “Green Guides” from the Federal Trade Commission.

  • Fracking Wastewater: Are there adequate rules to manage it
    Rochester Business Journal | October 5, 2012

    Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford authored this column discussing the wastewater issues associated with hydraulic fracturing (“hydrofracking”). The full article is available here:

  • Legal Firms Prepare for Hydraulic Fracturing
    WXXI-TV | September 24, 2012

    Rochester Energy & Environmental partner Jean McCreary and Rochester Real Estate associate Greg Nearpass, both members of the firm’s Shale Gas Initiative, are interviewed in this TV segment discussing how law firms across New York State are preparing for decisions regarding hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale formation.

  • Taking it to the Streets: The value of a proactive approach to home rule
    The Pipeline | September 22, 2012

    Rochester Energy & Environmental associate Amy Reichhart authored this article discussing legislation and/or resolutions dealing directly with high-volume hydraulic fracturing (“HVHF” or “hydrofracking”).

  • Awards and Achievements
    Rochester Business Journal | July 27, 2012

    This news brief highlights Rochester senior environmental engineer Libby Ford’s new role as fellow of Water Environment Federation.

  • BOEM Considers First Offshore Hydrokinetic Power Lease
    Law 360 | April 24, 2012

    The feature story notes that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management received its first-ever lease application for a hydrokinetic power testing area. Boston Energy & Environmental associate Jen Simon Lento provides third-party commentary.

  • Movers & Shakers
    Long Island Business News | April 3, 2012

    In this column noting executive moves and promotions, the arrival of Long Island Energy and Environmental counsel Jesse Hiney is highlighted.

  • Perspectives: Municipal wet weather and nutrients
    Water Environment & Technology | April 1, 2012

    Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford is among the industry sources commenting on the most pressing water quality issues for 2012.

  • Planning a Fossil Teardown
    Public Utilities Fortnightly | April 1, 2012

    This contributed article, authored by Rochester Real Estate partner Bruce Baker, Rochester Energy & Environmental partner Jean McCreary, and Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford, discusses new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that are driving companies to decommission older power plants and the issues faced during this process.


Webinar Recording: California Hospitals: Compliance with California standards and guidelines for EVD
Originally recorded February 12, 2015 | February 23, 2015

New York joins the rest of the nation in allowing LNG facilities
Environmental Alert | February 9, 2015

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Webinar Recording: Health Care Employers: How to effectively prepare for and respond to EVD and other outbreaks
Originally recorded February 5, 2015 | February 9, 2015

Webinar Recording: What all employers need to know: From seasonal flu to Ebola and beyond
Originally recorded January 29, 2015 | February 5, 2015

Coal ash not a hazardous waste — but ash landfills and impoundments will be heavily regulated
Environmental Law Alert | December 23, 2014

A flood of funding for water projects in California
Environmental Law Alert | November 14, 2014

Louisiana refuses Ebola incineration waste
Environmental Law Alert | October 17, 2014

The continuing CWIS rule war—the battleground has been chosen
Environmental Law Alert | October 7, 2014

Don't get caught holding the bag: California enacts ban on single-use plastic bags
Retail Alert | October 6, 2014

A wellspring of groundwater legislation rises up in California
Environmental Law Alert | September 23, 2014

Lots of tears over spilled wine
Environmental Law Alert | August 27, 2014

Joining the main stream: California groundwater regulation seems likely
Environmental Law Alert | July 30, 2014

Supreme Court's ruling on the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions: a victory for both sides?
Environmental Law Alert | June 30, 2014

D.C. Circuit upholds attorney-client privilege in internal compliance investigation
Government Investigations & White Collar Defense Alert | June 30, 2014

Combating drought: California's new general permit for recycled water use
Environmental Law Alert | June 23, 2014

EPA issues greenhouse gas rules for existing power plants
Energy Alert | June 9, 2014

New York and several other states move closer to banning microbeads in personal care products
Products Alert | May 15, 2014

Ouch: penalties for reporting errors add up quickly under California's greenhouse gas emissions regulatory regime
Environmental Law Alert | April 15, 2014

What constitutes Waters of the United States? The next round in the debate has started
Environmental Law Alert | April 11, 2014

Dramatic change for light industry: adoption of California's new Industrial General Permit for stormwater
Environmental Law Alert | April 7, 2014

California's Green Chemistry Initiative continues rolling along: DTSC announces draft priority products which will require a rapid response from manufacturers
Products Alert | April 4, 2014

The START-UP NY Program—New York State approves eight eligible "tax-free" zones
New York Law Alert | March 24, 2014

West Virginia chemical spill: tips to avoid a similar incident at your facility
Energy & Environmental Alert | January 23, 2014

2014 Legal Snapshot
January 16, 2014

Changes to the Massachusetts SREC Program—SREC II
Energy and Environmental Alert | January 10, 2014

EPA "finalizes" rule on Phase I environmental site assessments — here's what you need to know
Energy and Environmental Alert | January 6, 2014

Court rejects privilege claim for consultant report
Environmental Law Alert | November 25, 2013

START-UP NY: overview of implementing regulations and next steps for colleges, universities and businesses
New York Law Alert | November 1, 2013

New York proposes regulations governing the siting of LNG facilities
Energy Alert | September 19, 2013

Newest waste ban in Massachusetts: commercial organic material
Environmental Alert | July 19, 2013

The START-UP NY Program — Developing College Campuses as Engines of Economic Expansion
New York Law Alert | June 28, 2013

Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveils major economic development initiative offering tax benefits to businesses operating on or near select college and university campuses
New York Law Alert | May 30, 2013

Drill, maybe, drill: New York appellate court upholds right of municipalities to prohibit oil and gas development
Energy Alert | May 8, 2013

High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing and Home Rule: The Struggle for Control
May 3, 2013

California's greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program in action with a new alliance, but facing renewed scrutiny
Environmental Alert | May 1, 2013

Webinar Recording: EPA: What will the next four years bring?
Originally recorded April 25, 2013 | April 29, 2013

California's green chemistry regulations of consumer products inch closer to completion
Products: Class Action, Trade & Industry Representation Alert | April 16, 2013

The new "Green Guides": Federal Trade Commission's guidance for avoiding deceptive marketing claims
Legally Green Alert | October 31, 2012

New California laws promote distributed energy, biopower, and expanded net metering in California
Renewable Energy Alert | October 25, 2012

San Francisco bag fees took effect October 1
Environmental Alert | October 9, 2012

Public Notice and Comment Period Ends October 11, 2012 for California's Green Chemistry Initiative's Proposed Safer Consumer Product Alternatives Regulations
Environmental Alert | October 1, 2012

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