John Greenthal concentrates in environmental remedial matters, focusing on brownfield and Superfund projects, and in the defense of environmental enforcement matters, particularly in the hazardous waste area. John is involved in a wide variety of matters, including negotiating with environmental regulatory agencies relative to waste disposal and brownfield issues and representing industrial and commercial clients in judicial and administrative proceedings brought by governmental authorities.
According to Chambers USA, John Greenthal is “‘excellent at dealing with enforcement agencies on compliance issues.’” He is “‘highly regarded’ for his ‘thoughtful’ approach” and “is perfectly placed to impress clients with his contacts and up-to-date working knowledge,” with a “hazardous waste and brownfields profile [which] is of a nationally respected standard.”
Prior to joining the firm in 1987, John served as director of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Environmental Enforcement. He started his career with DEC in 1976, when he became regional counsel in DEC’s Region 3 (New Paltz) office, working on enforcement matters, permitting issues, and SEQRA questions. He later served as compliance counsel in DEC’s Office of General Counsel in Albany, and, in 1980, became head of the newly formed hazardous waste enforcement group. In that capacity, John was chiefly responsible for developing DEC’s legal theories and strategies for ensuring private-party funding for the cleanup of contaminated properties.
By 1984, this group had become the Division of Environmental Enforcement, responsible for enforcement of the state’s inactive hazardous waste site remediation program (State Superfund) and all other hazardous waste enforcement activities in the state. In addition, the Division had responsibility for coordinating and overseeing the enforcement activities of the DEC regional offices in the areas of air and water pollution, solid waste, and all natural resource conservation programs. As director, John supervised 30 professionals (lawyers and scientists) located in Albany, Buffalo, and White Plains.
John also served as chair of the Northeast Hazardous Waste Project, an association of hazardous waste enforcement officials from 14 states.