Dispelling 5 Misconceptions About Environmental Issues

I am starting to prepare course materials for a course entitled “Environmental Law for Non-Environmental Lawyers.” The purpose of the course would be to dispel many of the misconceptions that people have about environmental issues. As a starting point, here are 5 easy ways to tell that the person talking about the environmental issue has no clue: 1. “There are no hazardous substances in the…

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Freedom of Information: How Transparent is Government Decision Making?

The federal Freedom of Information Act (5 USC 553 et. seq.) and New York’s Freedom of Information Law (Public Officers Law section 87) require government agencies to provide records to the public upon request. There are exemptions, but the basic policy is that government records should be open to the public. A recent decision by the federal district court for the District of Columbia addresses…

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Neighbors Win on Imminent and Substantial Danger Claim and Court Grants Them No Remedy

In Lijam, LLC v General Electric Company, 2019 WL 1011021 (March 2019), neighbors of a contaminated site sued under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), claiming the site “may present an imminent and substantial danger to health or the environment.”  The neighbors won on summary judgement, with the court concluding that General Electric was liable under RCRA.  The court then denied the neighbors’ request…

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What Developers and Land Use Practitioners Need to Know About the New SEQRA Amendments

by Andrea Tsoukalas Curto and Jessica A. Leis The first major State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”) revisions since 1996 will be taking effect January 1, 2019. For the complete article click: The New York Environmental Lawyer . Reprinted with permission from: The New York Environmental Lawyer, Fall/Winter 2018, Vol. 38, No. 2, published by the New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207.

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A Closer Look at Nassau’s Reassessment: What the County’s Reassessment Really Means

Nassau County recently completed the first county-wide reassessment in eight years. The results of the reassessment were published earlier this month on the 2020/21 Tentative Assessment Roll. The goal of the reassessment is a laudable one in that it aims to provide a fair assessment for every property owner in Nassau County. Unfortunately, based upon our review of the reassessment, we do not believe the…

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The Cost of Silence: Sexual Harassment Claims in the #MeToo Era

By Lisa M. Casa The recent downfall of numerous high-profile figures due to revelations of serial sexual harassment left many wondering how such behavior was permitted to continue, unabated, for so long. Nondisclosure agreements and arbitration clauses were criticized for allowing these sexual harassers to maintain their positions and continue their misconduct free of consequences. [i] New York, as part of the 2018-2019 budget law,…

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Obtaining Regulatory Guidance from the Regulators

A major part of practicing environmental law is the ability to advise based on an assessment of how an agency is likely to behave.  The rules and regulations are often not as clear as a regulated party would like. Interpreting the rules and regulations, or using how they have been interpreted in other contexts to determine a recommended course of action, can be difficult.  I…

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David Borkon Named a 40 Under 40 by the Long Island Business News

Uniondale, NY, January 3, 2019 — Partner David Borkon of Forchelli Deegan Terrana LLP (the Firm) has been selected by the Long Island Business News for the 40 under 40 Award Class of 2019.  He was recognized for his leadership in business, and commitment to the Long Island community. David J. Borkon is a corporate attorney concentrating in business and transactional matters for a wide…

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Supreme Court Expands Power of Courts to Review Agency Decisions

In Weyerhaeuser v U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018 WL 6174253 (November 27, 2018) the Supreme Court addressed the tension between the presumption that agency decisions are subject to judicial review and the exclusion from review for actions that are given over to the discretion of an agency.  At issue was the agency’s designation of certain land as “critical habitat” for the dusky gopher frog. …

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