Continuing the trend toward protecting environmental justice communities, New York Gov. Hochul is expected to sign a chapter amendment to a recently passed bill that would have established new standardsContinue Reading New York Adopts New Environmental Justice Law That Requires Consideration of ‘Disproportionate Impacts’ on Disadvantaged Communities for Permit Issuance and Renewal
Zackary D. Knaub
Zackary D. Knaub brings deep New York government experience to his Environmental and Government Law & Policy practices. Prior to joining Greenberg Traurig, Zackary served as Interim Chief Counsel and First Assistant Counsel to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and before that, as Assistant Counsel to the Governor for Energy and the Environment. In these roles, Zackary advised Governor Cuomo and his administration on all legal issues related to executive actions, policies, and legislative initiatives. He coordinated the legal affairs and operations of over 100 State Executive Agencies, State Authorities, Public Benefit Corporations, and boards, and oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Office of the Governor’s Counsel. Zackary managed the development and negotiation of major legislation and gubernatorial initiatives. He supervised negotiations of all legislation in the Governor’s annual $175 Billion state budget and managed outside counsel in litigation. His public relations experience includes advising press and operations staff on crisis management strategies and public messaging of complex legal and policy initiatives.
Zackary has also defended and prosecuted environmental and commercial cases in state and federal courts, and before administrative tribunals, arbitration panels, and mediators for a wide range of businesses in areas of law including federal and state environmental laws, intellectual property, Federal Acquisitions Regulations, employment law and policy, insurance coverage, and environmental risk management.
New York State Climate Action Council Adopts Final Scoping Plan to Achieve Climate Goals
Now that the New York State Climate Action Council adopted the final scoping plan, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act requires the Department of Environmental Conservation to adopt regulations to enforce emissions mandates consistent with the Plan, which must be promulgated by Jan. 1, 2024. …
Continue Reading New York State Climate Action Council Adopts Final Scoping Plan to Achieve Climate Goals
Environmental Sustainability Is Fashionable, But New Bill Presents Hurdles to Industry
On the heels of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s State of the State address, in which she endorsed a suite of progressive environmental policies including product stewardship laws governing the paper and…
Continue Reading Environmental Sustainability Is Fashionable, But New Bill Presents Hurdles to Industry
New York State Environmental Regulator Issues Draft Plan to Achieve GHG Emissions-Reduction Goals
On Dec. 20, 2021, the New York State Climate Action Council (Council) voted unanimously to approve the most recent draft of the scoping plan, a roadmap to achieve compliance with…
Continue Reading New York State Environmental Regulator Issues Draft Plan to Achieve GHG Emissions-Reduction Goals
Turning Back the Clock: CEQ’s Recently Announced NEPA Amendments Aim to Restore Pre-Trump Administration Approach to Environmental Review
On Oct. 6, 2021, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) announced Phase 1 of a proposed two-phase rollback of the most significant substantive changes included in the National…
Continue Reading Turning Back the Clock: CEQ’s Recently Announced NEPA Amendments Aim to Restore Pre-Trump Administration Approach to Environmental Review
Pleasing All the People Some of the Time: New York Simultaneously Proposes Regulations Implementing Its New Siting Law and Community Benefit Program for Renewable Projects
Earlier this year New York state, conceding that its previously enacted siting law had not been effective in siting large-scale renewable energy projects, enacted the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and…
Continue Reading Pleasing All the People Some of the Time: New York Simultaneously Proposes Regulations Implementing Its New Siting Law and Community Benefit Program for Renewable Projects
A Tale of Two Environmental Policies: President Trump Announces NEPA Reform, as Former Vice President Biden Vows to Roll Back Reforms If Elected
On July 15, 2020, President Trump’s administration finalized a significant overhaul of the regulations governing the administration of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In January 2020, when the regulatory overhaul was announced, we observed that rolling back 50 years of precedent in an administrative action could trigger judicial challenges to the rule and result in greater regulatory uncertainty for federal projects. The final rule, while making some relatively minor modifications, hews closely to its original terms, and does little to satisfy potential challengers.
Continue Reading A Tale of Two Environmental Policies: President Trump Announces NEPA Reform, as Former Vice President Biden Vows to Roll Back Reforms If Elected
For Developers and Owners: How COVID-19 Is Affecting Construction Projects and Actions You Should Consider
COVID-19’s impact on construction projects is mixed and varies by state. Many states consider construction an “essential” service, following guidance from the federal Department of Homeland Security, which issued a…
Continue Reading For Developers and Owners: How COVID-19 Is Affecting Construction Projects and Actions You Should Consider
New York State Legislature Passes Renewable Energy Siting Law In Step Toward Meeting Ambitious Renewable Energy Mandates
With New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pronouncing the state’s process for siting renewable energy projects broken, the New York State legislature late yesterday passed sweeping reforms to the siting of…
Continue Reading New York State Legislature Passes Renewable Energy Siting Law In Step Toward Meeting Ambitious Renewable Energy Mandates
New York’s Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act Sends Positive Signals to Renewable Energy Developers, and Revamps Renewable Siting
In January 2020, in his annual budget address, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed a complete overhaul of renewable energy siting. In his 30-day amendments to the executive budget, he proposed the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act (the “Act”). The proposal would apply to large and mid-sized renewable projects, energy storage, and transmission, as well as directing the state’s agencies and public authorities to establish incentive programs to deliver shovel-ready, permitted sites to developers. The bill signals a shift in thinking about renewable energy siting, from a bureaucratic energy regulatory issue sometimes hindered by fierce local opposition, to an economic development process focused on steering the train of jobs and economic benefits anticipated from renewables over the next decade as a result of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), while continuing to ensure all environmental requirements are met. The bill will need to be approved by the legislature during the state budget negotiations that will occur over the next month.
The Act, weighing in at roughly 40 pages, would consolidate the environmental review and permitting of renewable projects of 25 MW and above, while allowing projects of 10 MW up to 25 MW to opt into the new process. The Act would also provide fast-track siting for co-located energy storage, as well as require regulators to expedite certain transmission projects. The Act would establish a new Office of Renewable Siting within the Department of Economic Development (DED), the state agency arm of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD). The newly created Office of Renewable Siting would create a permitting system and set uniform standards for siting and construction. It would provide a one-stop shop for environmental review and permitting of covered renewable energy projects, operating under statutory time constraints. Renewable energy projects currently moving through the existing Article 10 siting process would be allowed to opt into the new siting process, which is designed to ensure a determination within the Act’s timeframe.
Continue Reading New York’s Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act Sends Positive Signals to Renewable Energy Developers, and Revamps Renewable Siting