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Steven C. Russo chairs the firm’s New York Environmental Practice. He focuses his practice on environmental law and litigation, environmental permitting, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) review, toxic tort litigation, environmental crimes, Brownfields redevelopment, government, energy and the environmental aspects of land use and real estate law. Steven is equally experienced litigating in federal and state courts, as well as counseling his clients with regard to environmental liability risk and due diligence, permitting, Brownfields, and impact assessment and review. He also practices election and campaign finance law.

Prior to joining the firm, Steven was the Chief Legal Officer of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. There, he supervised approximately 90 attorneys in Albany, as well as the agency’s nine regional offices. He also supervised the agency’s legislative affairs department and Office of Environmental Justice. At the agency, Steven initiated a reform of the state’s environmental review regulations and assessment forms, completed the issuance of new power plant siting regulations pertaining to environmental justice and carbon emissions and revised the agency’s environmental audit policy.

Steven also serves as election law counsel to a number of New York State and federal campaigns and political parties.

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

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

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

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

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently released guidance on what constitutes “essential” construction in support of remedial activities pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 202.6 signed by
Continue Reading New York Environmental Regulator Issues Guidance on Essential Construction in Support of Cleanup Activities