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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 Review
Permitting and Litigation for Government-Sponsored Developments

The Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge

Location: Westchester, NY | Date: 2014

Sive, Paget & Riesel represented the New York State Thruway Authority, which together with the Metro North Railroad, a subsidiary of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, undertook the Tappan Zee Bridge/I287 Corridor environmental review. This process addressed the possible replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge. The Firm advised the Project Sponsors with regard to the environmental review of the proposal pursuant to both NEPA and SEQRA, as well as to environmental permitting and related requirements.

Development And Land Use
Environmental Review
Hazardous Waste Remediation

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 Review

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.

“Clean Water Act Issues and Environmental Impact Review”

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

June 2016

“Environmental Law: Developments in the Law of SEQRA”, co-authors Mark A. Chertok and Victoria S. Treanor

For: 66 Syracuse Law Review 905


“Accelerated Environmental Review of Infrastructure Projects”

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