June 19, 2013
Sive, Paget & Riesel, P.C. (“SPR”) is pleased to announce that Scott Furman and John Curran have joined SPR as partners.
Scott brings with him a diverse environmental practice focusing on corporate and real estate transactions, brownfield redevelopment, renewable energy development and regulatory compliance. During his 25-plus years of practice, Scott has advised a broad range of clients with respect to complex corporate and real estate transactions, real estate development and renewable energy projects involving facilities throughout the United States and abroad. Scott’s broad technical knowledge of environmental issues and solutions has proven effective in navigating matters for his clients and successfully negotiating with purchasers, sellers, lenders, insurers and environmental agencies in multiple jurisdictions. Having worked on transactions ranging from several hundred thousand dollars to several billion dollars, he has a demonstrated sensitivity not only to the timing aspects of every transaction, but also to the relationships between cost and benefit in analyzing and developing solutions that are consistent with the clients’ business objectives.
John has broad experience in environmental and construction law, both as an advisor and litigator. Over the course of his career, John has represented residential, commercial and industrial real property owners, operators, developers, cooperatives and condominium associations, design professionals, construction managers, contractors and lenders. John counsels clients in all aspects of construction law and assists clients in navigating complex issues relating to real estate acquisition and development, property management and management of environmental conditions. John also has extensive experience in all aspects of sophisticated commercial litigation and dispute resolution. As a litigator, John has successfully handled matters involving environmental liability, cost recovery and cleanup, construction defects and contract claims, land use, loan workouts, commercial and residential leases, employment, franchise and commercial unfair competition and non-competition matters. A frequent speaker and author on construction topics, John is an adjunct professor in Construction Law at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.
April 12, 2013
On April 9, 2013, the New York City Council unanimously approved a proposal to redevelop the historic Pier 57 within Hudson River Park, at the foot of West 15th Street in Manhattan. This followed approval by the City Planning Commission in March, and the environmental review of the project by the Hudson River Park Trust (“HRPT”) and other agencies, through the preparation of an environmental impact statement (“EIS”). SPR is serving as HRPT’s environmental counsel for the Pier 57 redevelopment, continuing the Firm’s representation of Hudson River Park since its establishment in the 1990s.
Pier 57, which was constructed in the early 1950s and comprises three underwater caissons, a head house and a pier shed, is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. It has been vacant since the 1990s. Developer Youngwoo & Associates proposes to lease the Pier from HRPT in order to redevelop it with an urban marketplace (using repurposed shipping containers for small food- and design-oriented retail businesses), restaurants, a large rooftop open space, and public circulation space around the perimeter of the pier. The project may also include cultural space, an educational facility, and a marina.
SPR principals David Paget and Elizabeth Knauer have been advising HRPT regarding all environmental aspects of the project, including preparation of the EIS, consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office, and obtaining environmental permits for work that will be needed within the Hudson River. This representation is the latest example of the firm’s longstanding work on major New York City waterfront developments, dating back to the South Street Seaport and Battery Park City projects and continuing with more recent projects such as Queens West, Brooklyn Bridge Park, the redevelopment of the Battery Maritime Building and Pier A in lower Manhattan, the Whole Foods store and Domino Sugar Refinery redevelopment in Brooklyn, and the proposed expansion of the New York Container Terminal in Staten Island.
April 11, 2013
Last week, at a conference co-sponsored by SPR, government officials, academics, attorneys, and scientists convened at Hofstra University to discuss the legal and practical consequences of Superstorm Sandy. Expert panels addressed the following questions:
- How can local governments physically modify their transportation, power, and sanitary infrastructure to adapt to the impacts of climate change, and by what legal mechanisms?
- Are massive floodgates feasible and desirable for the protection of the New York metropolitan area? Or do “soft” barriers such as man-made wetlands represent a better alternative?
- What planning and land use concepts can be used to encourage smart real estate development that responds to climate change risks?
- Will claims of “scientific uncertainty” hinder climate change adaptation efforts to the same extent that similar claims have hindered climate change mitigation efforts?
- Where and how should coastal communities be rebuilt? What is the legal framework for government-led “strategic retreat” from the coast?
- How may relief be obtained from FEMA? How may relief be obtained from insurance companies?
- What federal, state, and local government programs are available to homeowners and businesses to aid recovery?
- What resources are available to help individual homeowners who have lost everything in the storm? What has been the experience in New York’s underprivileged communities, and can that be improved?
The conference was chaired by SPR principal Michael Bogin and Hofstra Law Professor Carol Casazza Herman, with critical support from SPR principal Pamela Esterman. SPR principal Steven Barshov participated as a lecturer, focusing on the integration of infrastructure resilience into planning and development.
Sponsors of the conference were the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, the New York State Bar Association, and SPR.
For more information on Sandy recovery or climate change adaptation in the context of development, please contact Michael Bogin, Steven Barshov, or David Yudelson.
Conference speakers: (L-R) Professor Katrina Kuh, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University; Associate Dean Jennifer Gundlach, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University; Dean Eric Lane, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University; Nassau County Supervisor Ed Mangano; SPR Principal Michael Bogin; Professor Carol Casazza Herman, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.
March 15, 2013
On April 4, 2013, experts in environmental law, environmental policy, local government, planning, engineering, and environmental science will convene at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY to discuss lessons learned in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. This conference will examine the significant flaws that Sandy revealed in New York’s housing, transit and electric power systems and infrastructure, and the legal implications of addressing those vulnerabilities and climate-change-related impacts. The panelists will discuss how making communities more resilient will require a rethinking of physical changes to the environment and also a reconsideration of local, federal and state land use and environmental laws and regulations. Insurance and risk management have played, and will continue to play, a central role in response and recovery; those topics, as well as sources of funding for rebuilding and mitigation, will also be addressed.
The conference is co-sponsored by Sive, Paget & Riesel, P.C., the American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources, and the New York State Bar Association. SPR principals Steven Barshov, Michael Bogin, and Pamela Esterman will participate in the conference as co-chairs, moderators, and speakers.
For more information about the conference and to register, please visit the conference website.
January 25, 2013
SPR principals Daniel Riesel and Pamela Esterman are co-chairs of the upcoming 43rd annual Environmental Law Course to be held on February 7-8, 2013 in Washington, DC. The course, which is co-sponsored by ALI CLE and the Environmental Law Institute, features advanced-level presentations by senior public officials, distinguished law professors, seasoned private practitioners, and experienced public interest advocates. This conference will feature Professor Richard Lazarus on the Supreme Court’s environmental docket and John Cruden and Juliet Eilperin on environmental issues in the post-election administration. The conference will also include panels on legislative initiatives, regulatory changes, and recent judicial precedent concerning air, water, hazardous materials, endangered species, wetlands, public lands, environmental permitting, international environmental law, and environmental justice. Panels on setting environmental standards, environmental enforcement, the environmental regulation of energy, and ethics for environmental lawyers will also be presented. For those unable to attend the live conference in Washington, D.C., this program is also available via video webcast. For more detailed information, please visit the course website.
December 20, 2012
This year, Sive, Paget & Riesel is proud to celebrate its 50th anniversary. In the five decades since the birth of the modern environmental movement and the founding of the Firm, SPR has been at the forefront of environmental law and litigation.
During the 1960s and early 1970s, David Sive’s synthesis of litigation skills with the burgeoning environmental movement set important precedents in environmental law, just as major national and state environmental statutes and agencies were being forged. Critically, the Firm represented the Sierra Club in the landmark Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference v. Federal Power Commission case, which established that federal administrative proceedings must consider potential aesthetic and environmental impacts. During this period, the Firm brought one of the nation’s first NEPA lawsuits, which challenged the environmental review of a proposed factory adjacent to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
In the 1970s, David Paget and Daniel Riesel left the U.S. Attorney’s Office to join the Firm, which later was renamed Sive, Paget & Riesel. The 1970s and 1980s saw the concurrent expansion of environmental law and the Firm’s practice. New York State enacted its environmental review statute, SEQRA, and the federal government enacted additional environmental statutes such as CERCLA and RCRA, which govern hazardous substances and hazardous wastes. The Firm quickly gained expertise in shepherding major development projects through the environmental review and permitting processes. Beginning with Battery Park City in 1981, SPR has overseen the environmental review of projects such as Hudson River Park, Brooklyn BridgePark, Lincoln Center’s expansion, the new Yankee Stadium, and Columbia University’s new graduate campus in West Harlem.
Throughout the 1990s, SPR continued to litigate matters related to clean water, air and land. The Firm also set important precedents in the area of local government law. For example, in 1998, SPR successfully defended the Town of Cortlandt’s right to restrict mining.
With the turn of the century, SPR has remained at the cutting edge of environmental law and litigation. In 2003, New York State established its Brownfield Cleanup Program, which promotes the redevelopment of contaminated sites by offering liability protection and tax credits. SPR’s extensive experience in the areas of hazardous waste, administrative law, and litigation has made it a natural leader in guiding clients through the Brownfield Cleanup Program’s complex regulatory process. At the same time, SPR has protected natural areas in the Hudson Valley through the use of conservation easements and land use litigation.
Drawing on its founding principles of respect for nature and excellence in legal representation, SPR has developed expertise in the urgent task of upgrading aging infrastructure in an environmentally responsible manner. The firm presently counsels state entities concerning the environmental review and permitting of three major bridge updates in the New York metropolitan area, for the Tappan Zee, Goethals and Bayonne Bridges.
For more details on the Firm’s remarkable history, please visit SPR’s interactive 50-year timeline.
November 5, 2012
We at Sive, Paget & Riesel wish you the best in dealing with the aftermath of Sandy. In the event you need assistance, our staff has significant experience in the following areas:
- Analyzing insurance policies to determine coverage and assisting in the documentation, presentation and resolution and potential litigation of insurance claims;
- Analyzing commercial and residential leases regarding rights of termination due to casualty, rent abatements and the division of restoration obligations;
- Coordinating environmental, structural, electrical, plumbing and mechanical engineering investigations and reports for purposes of safety, habitability, restoration and cost recovery;
- Providing contract review and due diligence assistance prior to hiring response contractors, including environmental testing proposals, environmental remediation contractors, demolition companies, waste disposal, and restoration contractors;
- Assistance with the submission of applications for federal, state and local grants and loans;
- Coordinating environmental remediation for issues including mold, water damage, petroleum, asbestos and sanitary waste cleanups;
- Permitting and approvals for rebuilding buildings, shoreline stabilization and dock/wharf facilities;
- Overseeing the due diligence investigation of alternative or temporary facilities;
- Providing referrals for experienced environmental testing companies, remediation contractors, waste disposal contractors and restoration contractors with which we have successfully worked in the past.
We are immediately available to discuss the foregoing at no charge. If you have questions or believe we can be of assistance please do not hesitate to call David Yudelson at (917)295-6449 or Michael Bogin at (917) 626-1656.
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