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Practice Area

Environmental Impact Review/Permitting

Government-Sponsored Developments

Sive, Paget & Riesel is regularly trusted by public sponsors of large commercial, retail, residential and industrial development projects to supervise the preparation of Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) and assessments under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), permitting and litigation. Our attorneys have served as environmental counsel on projects such as the Brooklyn Bridge Park, sponsored by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, JFK Rail Link sponsored by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Javits Convention Center, sponsored by the New York State Urban Development Corporation and the Javits Convention Center expansion, the South Street Seaport development, the Hunters Point Waterfront Redevelopment Project and the Willets Point Redevelopment Project, sponsored by the City of New York and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The Firm also serves as environmental counsel to the Long Island Power Authority, where its project work has included the environmental review for an electric transmission project on the East End of Long Island. Our attorneys served as environmental counsel to the New York State Thruway Authority in connection with Tappan Zee Bridge/I-287 Corridor Project, and for the Hudson Yards Development Corporation in connection with the redevelopment of the Hudson Yards on the far west side of Manhattan.

Private Commercial Developments

We represent private developers throughout the country in the environmental review and permitting processes and, if necessary, in subsequent litigation. Our experience includes large urban projects such as New York City’s Metrotech Center, Riverside South as well as handling the expansion of the U.S.T.A.’s National Tennis Center and construction of the New Yankee Stadium. Our lawyers also have experience with large suburban projects including planned unit development in Newburgh and Montgomery New York and the Milford Senior Housing Project in Port Washington, New York.

In New York City, we have unparalleled experience in shepherding projects through the review and approval process on properties subject to E-Designations under the New York City Zoning Resolution.  As part of this practice, we work closely with environmental engineers, architects, mechanical engineers and air modeling experts to meet City regulatory requirements for environmental investigations and implementation of remedial plans addressing air quality, noise and hazardous materials.


Our attorneys regularly analyze proposed project permitting requirements, and interface with regulators at the national, state and local level to assist clients with permit applications, modifications, renewals and compliance for a range of environmental permitting schemes.  We have unparalleled expertise in obtaining permits for general construction projects, industrial facilities, including air, solid waste and other types of permits for a range of industries, including co-generation facilities, coal slurry projects, refineries, PCB-reclamation companies and wastewater treatment plants.

We have extensive experience navigating the numerous federal, state, and local statutes and regulations which govern wetlands and water quality issues, including stormwater. Whether obtaining coverage under a general stormwater permit for a construction site or evaluating a proposed project’s potential impacts on tidal or freshwater wetlands, our attorneys are deeply knowledgeable in this area, and have substantial experience working with the relevant governmental agencies.

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.
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.
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.

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.

City Point

Location: Brooklyn, NY | Date: 2013

On behalf of project developers, SPR obtained dismissal of claims in New  York County Supreme Court brought under the State Environmental Quality Review Act to challenge the mixed-use City Point project in Downtown Brooklyn by community group and labor unions on statute of limitations and standing grounds.  SPR also advised the developer with respect to subsequent environmental review of project modifications.
Environmental Impact Review/Permitting

Victoria Theatre Redevelopment

Location: New York, NY | Date: 2013

The firm advised the Empire State Development Corporation with respect to the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for the redevelopment of the site of a historic theater in Harlem with cultural uses and market rate and affordable housing.
Environmental Impact Review/Permitting

Muss Development – Prince’s Point

Location: Staten Island, NY | Date: 2001

SPR represented Muss Development Corporation with respect to a proposed large-scale residential development on Prince's Point, which borders Staten Island. Shortly after Muss purchased the property, it was discovered to be seriously contaminated with hazardous wastes from historic uses, resulting in its listing as an Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site under the State Superfund Program. SPR provided legal advice pertaining to the remediation of the site, which took many years to complete, and then provided representation concerning State Tidal and Freshwater Wetlands permitting and associated environmental issues.

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.

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.

Harlem River Yards

Location: | Date:

Development And Land Use
Environmental Impact Review/Permitting

United States Tennis Association

Location: Queens, NY | Date: 1999

SPR represented the United States Tennis Association in conjunction with the construction of the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens.  The Firm advised with regard to the environmental impact review and environmental permitting, and dealt with numerous complex issues including alienation of parkland, approvals for highway improvements and impacts from the location of the stadium within the flyway to LaGuardia Airport.

American Museum of Natural History

Location: New York, New York | Date: 2019

SPR is representing the American Museum of Natural History with respect to the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation, a five-story, approximately 190,000-gross-square-foot addition to the Museum.  The Gilder Center will include new exhibition and learning spaces with state-of-the-art technology, modernized classrooms, and other Museum improvements.  The Firm advised the Museum during the project’s State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process and is currently defending the project’s SEQRA review and governmental approvals in pending litigation in New York State Supreme Court, New York County.

Port Authority Bus Terminal

Location: | Date:

SPR is special environmental counsel the Port Authority of NY & NJ with regard to the environmental impact review under NEPA of the potential replacement of the existing bus terminal in Times Square.
Development And Land Use

JFK Airtrain

Location: Queens, NY | Date: 2003

SPR advised the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey with respect to the preparation of the EIS issued by the Federal Aviation Administration for the construction of the JFK Airtrain, which runs from Jamaica, Queens (where it connects with the LIRR and NYC Subway) to the main terminals at JFK Airport.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Location: | Date:

The Firm serves as environmental and litigation counsel to ESD, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation with respect to development projects adjacent to Piers 1 and 6 of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, which generate critical funding for the operation and maintenance of the Park.  These developments include a hotel, market-rate and affordable residential units, and retail space.  In recent years, we successfully defended two challenges to the height and design of the Pier 1 development.  Litigation over the Pier 6 development is currently pending in New York State Supreme Court, New York County.
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.


Hudson Yards Rezoning

Location: | Date:

SPR represented the Hudson Yards Development Corporation and the City of New York in the preparation of an environmental impact statement for the redevelopment of the Long Island Rail Road’s Caemmerer West Side Storage Yard as a 6-million square foot mixed-use project.
Development And Land Use
Environmental Impact Review/Permitting

Columbia University Manhattanville Expansion

Location: New York, NY | Date: 2010

SPR represented the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), an involved agency in the environmental review of the rezoning of a 35-acre portion of Manhattanville in West Harlem, a rezoning which facilitated Columbia University's proposed expansion on 17 of the 35 acres. The Columbia University development created a new 6.8 million square foot graduate campus in West Harlem that is to include state-of-the-art educational and academic research facilities, publicly-accessible open space, and other significant elements. SPR assisted in the preparation of the rezoning's environmental impact statement and ESDC's General Project Plan pertaining to the Columbia project, and won the litigation challenging the project through the Court of Appeals.

“Local Law 97’s ‘Mediated Resolution’ Clause Gives Too Much Leeway for Exemptions, Lawyers Say,” Contributor

For: City Limits Article by Mariana Simões

February 2024

“Practical Guide to Zoning and Land Use Law in New York: Navigate the Zoning Process With an In-Depth Understanding of Zoning Regulations,” Presenter

For: National Business Institute

November 2023

“Environmental Law: Developments in the Law of SEQRA,” Co-Author

For: Syracuse Law Review Vol. 73, No. 717

Article Title: Developments in the Law of SEQRA

July 2023

“Clean Water Act Issues and Environmental Impact Review,” Presenter

For: PLI’s Environmental Regulation, New York, NY

June 2016

“Environmental Law: Developments in the Law of SEQRA”, Co-Author

For: 66 Syracuse Law Review 905; Co-Author(s): Mark A. Chertok, Katherine Ghilain Trudell, Victoria S. Treanor


“Accelerated Environmental Review of Infrastructure Projects,” Presenter

For: NYSBA Environmental Law Section Annual Meeting

January 2013

“Improving Community Character Analysis in the SEQRA Environmental Impact Review Process: A Cultural Landscape Approach to Defining the Elusive “Community Character”

For: 17 New York University Environmental Law Journal 1194