Ruth E. Leistensnider

Ruth Leistensnider is a partner in the Energy and Environmental practice group. She concentrates in the permitting and regulation of complex infrastructure facilities, such as fossil fuel and renewable power plants, landfills, electric and gas transmission lines and other infrastructure facilities.

What do you focus on?

I assist clients in working through the complex environmental and energy regulatory climate that may face them in order to bring a project to a successful fruition. This includes representation of clients in high stakes administrative proceedings and the defense of those approvals in court following challenges to the approvals.

I represented the City of Albany in obtaining a permit to expand its landfill in the middle of a preserve area, negotiating with the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regarding measures to protect endangered species. I have represented numerous other clients in obtaining environmental and energy regulatory permits for both renewable and fossil fuel fired facilities.

I work with clients to successfully navigate the complicated maze of the State Environmental Quality Review Act as well as the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act.

I also represent clients before the Public Service Commission regarding energy regulatory issues. I regularly appear before the New York Public Service Commission to assist independent power producers to obtain the regulatory approvals needed to achieve their desired business needs.

What do you see on the horizon?

There is no doubt that there is a desperate need for infrastructure improvement. With the boom in shale gas and liquids occurring in the U.S., this will include major upgrades in midstream and other facilities. Climate change policies will drive the need for these facilities, and we are uniquely positioned to assist clients in making sure that these facilities are approved.

New York 'environmental rights' bill sparks industry fears

Inside EPA | September 14, 2017

This article about the pending New York legislation that would expand residents’ environmental rights quotes a recent Nixon Peabody blog post titled “What’s Trending: New York possible constitutional right to clean air and water,” authored by Albany Energy & Environmental partner Ruth Leistensnider and Rochester Energy & Environmental group professional specialist Libby Ford.


Ruth E. Leistensnider



Phone: 518-427-2655

Fax: 866-947-1299

Albany Law School of Union University, J.D., summa cum laude

Mount Holyoke College, B.A.

New York

U.S. District Court, Western District of New York

U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York

U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Ruth was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 in the field of Environmental Law. Ruth has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2016.

Other recognition includes Capital District Business Review “40-Under-40,” 2001, recognizing professional success and community involvement; and Albany Law School’s Donald D. DeAngelis Distinguished Alumni in Service Award, 2008, for outstanding dedication and commitment to alumni, the alumni association and the law school. She has been recognized as a Super Lawyer for Energy and Natural Resources in the 2013–2017 editions of the Upstate New York Super Lawyer Magazine.

New York State Bar Association (Chair 1997–2001), Law Office Economics and Management Committee; Member, Task Force on Electronic Communications, 1994–2004; Member, Environmental Law Section; Member, Business Law Section (Public Utility Law Committee); Delegate, Third Judicial District, House of Delegates, 2001–2003); Albany County Bar Association; Capital District Women’s Bar Association; American Bar Association (Member, Section of Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law; Member, Public Utility) Air & Waste Management Association (member, Eastern New York Chapter, Mid-Atlantic States Section); Member, New York Association for Solid Waste Management; Member, Board of Advisors, Government Law Center of Albany Law School; Albany Law School National Alumni Association (Treasurer, 2000–2002; Secretary, 2002–2004; Vice President 2004–2006; First Vice President, 2006–2007; President, 2007–2008; Member, Executive Committee, 2000–2009; Chair, Admissions Committee, 1998–2003); Member, Capital Leadership Alumni Association, Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce; Member, New York Economic Development Council; Member, New York State Business Council; Member, Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York; Board of Directors, New York Solar Energy Industries Association (2010 to present).

Back to top