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David Paget has been long and widely recognized as one of this country’s leading practitioners of environmental law and litigation. He has been principally responsible for overseeing the preparation of environmental impact statements and assessment for an imposing number of major public and private development and infrastructure projects. In that capacity he has also had the responsibility for securing approvals and permits for those projects under a myriad of federal and state laws and regulations, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Endangered Species Act and their state counterparts. As an accomplished litigator, he has been responsible for defending lawsuits contesting those projects. The clearest measure of his success in that regard is that he has never had a project blocked by litigation.

David began litigating and managing environmental cases in the early 1970s following his service as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and as associate at Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler. Among his current engagements, David is serving as the legal consultant to an international and national array of experts, retained by the City of New York to assess and advise it of measures to address climate change adaptation and coastal flood protection.

Chambers and Partners, Senior Statesman for Environmental Law
U.S. News and World Report & Best Lawyers, Environmental Law and Environmental Litigation
Best Lawyers®, Environmental Law and Litigation-Environmental
Environmental Thought Leader, Who’s Who Legal
Best Lawyers®, Lawyer of the Year in Environmental Litigation for New York City, 2014
New York Metro Super Lawyers, Environmental Law
Who’s Who Legal, Environment & Climate Change

Queens West Development Corporation

Location: Long Island City, NY | Date: 2014

SPR represents Queens West Development Corporation (QWDC), a subsidiary of New York State's Empire State Development (ESD), in connection with New York's largest mixed use public-private development. During the early planning stages of this major initiative to redevelop a 74-acre area of the Long Island City waterfront, the firm provided environmental and land use counsel to the Urban Development Corporation (now d/b/a ESD) in connection with development of the General Project Plan and the environmental impact statement (EIS) process. It subsequently represented ESD in successfully defeating litigation challenging the adequacy of the EIS. The firm has handled all waterfront permitting issues for the development of parks and the waterfront esplanade, which involved obtaining permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and other agencies.

The firm represented QWDC over CERCLA action for response costs and settled. The firm assists in connection with all aspects of remediation of legacy contamination from the area's long and varied industrial uses, including remedies under auspices of either the State's Voluntary Cleanup Program or the Brownfield Cleanup Program, recently representing QWDC in a case over response costs. The litigation recently settled.
Development And Land Use

Battery Park City

Location: New York, NY | Date: 1981

The New York State Urban Development Corporation (now the Empire State Development Corporation) retained SPR to provide legal advice in connection with the environmental review that led to the development of Battery Park City. Built on landfill, Battery Park City is a massive residential and commercial property with 36 acres of parks and gardens.

Municipal Law

Atlantic Yards – Barclays Center

Location: Brooklyn, NY | Date: 2008

SPR represented the Empire State Development Corporation, which was lead agency for the environmental review of Forest City Ratner Companies proposal to develop the Barclays Center, a new basketball arena for the Nets, along with a major mixed-use development, in downtown Brooklyn. SPR worked with the project team to prepare the Environmental Impact Statement for this project.
Environmental Impact Review/Permitting

East River Realty – First Avenue Project

Location: New York, NY | Date: 2013

SPR represents East River Realty Co., LLC, as lead environmental counsel associated with the redevelopment of four parcels of property located along the First Avenue on the east side of Midtown Manhattan, which were the former location of Consolidated Edison's Waterside Generating Station. East River Realty intends to construct a significant, high-rise development on the site. As counsel to the project, SPR prepared the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) required for the sale of the property from Consolidated Edison, and is presently steering the proposed development through the New York City urban land use review procedure and the concomitant EIS process for the development plan. Moreover, SPR has overseen the challenging clean-up of the major former industrial site, including obtaining a Brownfield designation for the site.

Development And Land Use

East River Waterfront

Location: New York, NY | Date: 2006

SPR serves as environmental and regulatory counsel to the New York City Economic Development Corporation in connection with its East River Waterfront Development Study, which is focused on redeveloping and increasing waterfront access along the East River between Battery Park and the East River Park.

Environmental Impact Review/Permitting

Hudson River Park

Location: New York, NY | Date: 2013

From its inception, SPR has served as environmental and litigation counsel to the Hudson River Park Trust on major proposed projects in Hudson River Park, most recently Pier 54 and Pier 57.  Pier 54 will be reconstructed as “Pier 55,” a distinctive pier offering world-class recreation and performing arts events, with the support of a $200 million donation from the Diller/von Furstenberg Family Foundation – the largest gift to a public park in the history of New York State. Pier 55 was the subject of litigation in state and federal court for over two years, during which SPR successfully overcame a challenge to the Trust’s environmental review and a challenge to the permit issued by the DEC (as co-counsel with the State). SPR also helped the Trust obtain new permits after the donor terminated and then restarted the Project. Pier 55 is now in construction, as is Pier 57.

Development And Land Use

Javits Convention Center

Location: New York, NY | Date: 2007

SPR represents Empire State Development Corporation (“ESD”) and has represented both the Jacob Javits Development and Operating Corporations in the environmental review of the proposed expansion of the Convention Center.  This representation included the review of the preparation of the Hudson Yards EIS, which analyzed the Convention Center expansion, extension of the number 7 subway line and the rezoning of the Hudson Yards.  The Firm also represented ESD and the Javits Development Corporation in assessing the need for a supplemental EIS when changes were made in the proposed expansion design and successfully defended in litigation the determination not to prepare a supplemental EIS.  SPR currently represents ESD with respect to potential additional development associated with the Convention Center with a mix of commercial and medical office, bio-tech/research, hotel, accessory housing and other uses.

Development And Land Use

Lincoln Center

Location: New York, NY | Date: 2005

SPR served as environmental counsel in connection with modernization and rehabilitation of David Geffen Hall and other potential changes with the Lincoln Center complex. SPR also advised on permitting and historic preservation issues.

Development And Land Use
Environmental Impact Review/Permitting
Permitting and Litigation for Government-Sponsored Developments

The Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge

Location: Westchester, NY | Date: 2014

SPR represents the New York State Thruway Authority with respect to the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge, which connects Westchester and Rockland counties across the Hudson River.  SPR advised as to the project’s environmental review pursuant to National Environmental Policy Act and State Environmental Quality Review Act, and with regard to the environmental permitting and related requirements under both state and federal laws.  SPR also assisted in critical negotiations with public interest groups in order to avoid potential litigation challenging the project.

Brownfields Redevelopment

New York Times Color Printing Plant

Location: Queens, NY | Date: 1997

Sive, Paget & Riesel served as environmental counsel in connection with the Environmental Impact Statement prepared for the New York Times color printing plant in College Point, Queens.

Development And Land Use

New York Yankees – Yankee Stadium

Location: Bronx, NY | Date: 2009

Sive, Paget & Reisel represented the New York Yankees in connection with the development of the new Yankee stadium in the Bronx. The project also included the construction of additional parking facilities, and the creation of new parkland and recreational facilities at and in the immediate vicinity of the existing stadium, as well as along the Harlem River waterfront. The firm successfully defended the New York Yankees in the lawsuit that challenged the environmental review and parkland aspect of this project.

Development And Land Use

Northern Westchester Hospital

Location: Westchester, NY | Date: 2011

Sive, Paget & Riesel represented Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, New York, in obtaining rezoning and site plan approvals for its proposed expansion of the hospital and construction of a 57,000 square foot medical office building. The firm is coordinating the preparation of the scope and other supporting documents for the project's SEQRA review, and working with the involved agencies to obtain other required approvals. This includes the acceptance of a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, which has oversight authority because of the project's location in the City's Croton Water Supply System watershed.

Development And Land Use

Riverside South

Location: New York, NY | Date: 2010

SPR was lead environmental counsel for the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement for the Riverside South project, a General Large-Scale Development located along Manhattan's West Side between West 59th Street and West 72nd Street. This project, developed by Donald Trump, was approved by the City of New York in 1992. Since that time, SPR has continued to represent the developer, successfully defending a number of legal challenges to the project brought in both New York State and federal courts.

Development And Land Use

Traditional Links Golf Course

Location: Riverhead, NY | Date: 2002

SPR provided legal advice in connection with the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Traditional Links golf course in Riverhead, New York. SPR also assisted in connection with related permits and approvals required to construct this world-class golf course in Long Island.
Development And Land Use

Hudson Yards

Location: New York, NY | Date: 2006

SPR represents the Hudson Yards Development Corp. with respect to the environmental review of the proposal by the Related Companies to develop residential and commercial buildings and significant public open space over the western portion of the John D. Caemmerer West Side Storage Yard, used by Long Island Rail Yard. SPR's representation to date includes advising HYDC and the City with respect to the appropriate contents of the Environmental Impact Statement for the project.
Development And Land Use

Pier 57 Redevelopment

Location: New York, NY | Date: 2014

As counsel to the Hudson River Park Trust, the firm assisted in the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for the redevelopment of Pier 57 in Hudson River Park, resulting in approval of the project by the New York City Planning Commission and City Council.
Environmental Impact Review/Permitting
Permitting and Litigation for Private Commercial Developments

Arthur Kill Terminal

Location: Staten Island, NY | Date: Ongoing

SPR is environmental counsel to the developer of the proposed Arthur Kill Terminal, the first offshore wind pre-assembly port facility in New York State. SPR assisted in identifying and acquiring the project site and is shepherding the project through the state and federal permitting and approval processes. This Staten Island project is uniquely positioned to serve the offshore wind industry in the Mid-Atlantic and will form a hub for the development of an offshore wind supply chain. The project will reduce the cost of constructing and operating offshore wind projects, facilitate the realization of significant local economic benefits, create thousands of jobs, provide workforce development and training, and catalyze supply chain investments needed to support offshore wind projects throughout the United States.

“Trial Advocacy and Environmental Law,” Lecturer

For: Columbia Law School, New York University School of Law, Fordham Law School, Pace University School of Law and seminars sponsored by the American Planning Association

December 4, 2018

Appellate Division Dismisses SEQRA Challenge to Capital Region Multi-Use Development, Unanimously Reversing Lower Court

In a unanimous reversal of a decision that stalled a multi-family residential development and proposed Costco outlet in Guilderland, New York, on the border of Albany, the Appellate Division, Third Department reversed in all respects the Albany County ...

Appellate Division Confirms That Brooklyn Heights Library Redevelopment May Proceed

On May 8, 2019, the Appellate Division, Second Department unanimously affirmed a lower court ruling dismissing a petition challenging the sale and redevelopment of the Brooklyn Public Library’s (“BPL”) Brooklyn Heights Branch. This ruling clears the way for a proposal by the developer Cadman Associates LLC (an affiliate of The Hudson ...

Appellate Division Affirms Dismissal of Challenge to the American Museum of Natural History’s Gilder Center Project

In a decision dated April 18, 2019, the Appellate Division, First Department unanimously and emphatically affirmed a lower court ruling dismissing the lawsuit challenging the legality of the American Museum of Natural History’s Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. The Gilder ...

New York University School of Law, L.L.B., 1964, Order of the Coif and Law Review Editor

City College of New York , A.B., 1961

New York, 1964

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

United States Supreme Court, 1969

Long-standing co-chairman of the annual ABA/ELI program on the National Environmental Policy Act and State Environmental Review Acts

Has served on the faculty for the ABA/ELI Environmental Litigation program and for the Practicing Law Institute’s program on Historic Preservation

Has co-chaired programs on Resource Recovery Facilities for the United States Conference of Mayors

Co-chairman of the Practicing Law Institute’s program on Retail Property Development and a participant in its program on Negotiating the Sophisticated Real Estate Sale Transaction