EnvironmentalMining and Natural Resources

Practice Group Chair

Attorneys

Natural resources development and the production of materials using natural resources (asphalt, concrete, etc.) provides the foundation of our infrastructure. It is also one of the most highly regulated industries in the state and throughout the nation. In addition to the complex web of environmental regulations and land-use issues that must be addressed to locate and operate these facilities, these projects can generate unjustified, but significant public controversy that can affect a company’s ability to establish or operate a mine site or secondary production facility.

Members of the environmental practice group are recognized leaders in the natural resources industries and have achieved significant success for both individual companies and, as counsel to the statewide associations representing these industries, for the industry as a whole. The Firm’s representative experience includes:

  • Advise mine and plant operators on development, expansion, and modification of facilities.
  • Represent applicants in all stages of project development, including state and federal permit proceedings, environmental review and land-use approvals.
  • Represent applicants before municipal boards and state and federal agencies in adversarial proceedings, including adjudicatory proceedings.
  • Successfully overturn adverse zoning and land-use determinations through negotiation or litigation.
  • Successfully secure and defend companies’ grand-fathering rights to establish or expand operations without environmental review.
  • Successfully secure and defend companies’ right to continue and expand operations as non-conforming uses.
  • Successfully obtain vested rights to establish operations based upon municipality’s intentional delay in processing site plan application.
  • Establish judicial precedent from the New York Court of Appeals (state’s highest court) recognizing expanded definitions of non-conforming use and vested rights as applied to mining and related operations.
  • Overturn state law to exempt sub-contractors and materialmen from state-mandated diesel engine retrofitting requirements.
  • Acquire judicial protection preventing municipalities from requiring individualized second environmental reviews of state reviewed proposals.
  • Advocate industry interests in statutory and regulatory proposals through comment, meetings with agencies and legislators, public hearings and, as needed, litigation.

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