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Rankings & Honors

  • Ranked as Tier 1 in Rochester and Albany, NY, by U.S. News/Best Lawyers 2017 for Environmental Law
  • Ranked as Tier 2 in nationally and in Boston by U.S. News/Best Lawyers 2017 for Environmental Law
  • Three of our attorneys have received recognition as “Lawyer of the Year” for Environmental Law by Best Lawyers
  • Recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in New York and Massachusetts for Environmental Law
  • Additionally, several members have been ranked by Best Lawyers or Super Lawyers.


We use our deep experience and integrated legal, scientific and engineering knowledge across all environmental media to move our client’s objectives forward by anticipating, minimizing and developing practical solutions for business and regulatory risks.

Our approach

Our nationally recognized environmental team helps clients spot and avoid present and potential environmental issues before they become big problems.

Whether you’re encountering serious environmental compliance issues, trying to protect yourself from acquiring environmental liabilities in a merger or acquisition or facing toxic tort or property damage litigation—we’re on the ground to guide you.

From regulatory counsel to transactions and litigation, we forge strategic and practical approaches that maximize opportunities and minimize risk. We join forces with our clients to understand their business drivers, predict future hurdles and move their business forward.

We offer our clients a highly qualified in-house team of environmental engineers and scientists. With every technically complex permitting, remediation and regulatory compliance issue, we go the extra mile for our clients.

We always have been and always will be pioneers in environmental law both in the U.S. and internationally.

We work with

  • Industrial firms
  • Manufacturers
  • Energy companies
  • Financial institutions
  • Municipalities
  • Hospitals and medical centers
  • Universities
  • Electric, gas and water utilities
  • Nonprofits
  • Individuals
  • Developers
  • Technology companies
  • Waste management companies

Recent experience

  • Represented Seneca Meadows, Inc., New York State’s largest landfill, in the successful environmental permitting of a major landfill expansion in Central New York that involved DEC, EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the municipality. Four state permits, four local permits, a federal permit and an Endangered Species Act consultation were required in order for the expansion to be constructed. The state and federal wetland permits were especially controversial because of the significant wetland acreage impacted by the 181-acre landfill expansion.
  • Represented PG&E National Energy Group as the first merchant electric generating facility to undergo all aspects of the complicated environmental review under Article X of the Public Service Law in New York. Our services included providing legal counsel regarding NEPA and NHPA as part of obtaining permits from the Army Corps of Engineers for this highly controversial project and the successful defense of a NEPA and NHPA challenge to the Army Corps of Engineers Permit.
  • Represent Covanta Energy Corporation with respect to environmental issues at its energy- from-waste facilities across the United States.
  • Represent a leading car rental company as national environmental counsel handling environmental transactional, regulatory, contractual, petroleum bulk storage issues and related claims.
  • Leading an investor-owned utility through one of the very first power plant demolition processes. We are representing the client in the planning, permitting, environmental review, investigation, commercial RFP and technical specification development process for the planned demolition of two former coal-fired power plants situated in urban and suburban areas.
  • Represented Nuclear Fuel Services in successfully resolving a RCRA enforcement action brought by EPA Region 4.
  • Represented Tioga County Industrial Development Agency in the development of the Lounsberry Industrial Park, including preparation of environmental impact statement, for use of this site as a regional distribution facility for Best Buy Stores. This project also included a grant from the federal government, and as a result, we were involved in preparing the appropriate documentation to demonstrate that the IDA had complied with NEPA in its administration of the grant funds.
  • Represented Seneca Meadows, Inc. in seeking a mining permit in defeating 18 of 19 issues proposed for adjudication by environmental groups. Successfully handled three-day adjudicatory hearing on PM 2.5 emissions, the one issue that was tried.
  • Represented a client as lead environmental counsel regarding Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and its applicability to federal funding from HUD for a low-income elderly project in a historic building in Wilmington, Delaware. Represented client through contentious Section 106 proceeding and creation of a Memorandum of Agreement.
  • Represented Cornell University in negotiating renewal and modification of a Clean Water Act discharge permit.
  • Serve as lead environmental counsel for environmental compliance, remediation and auditing of manufacturing facilities across the U.S. and as counsel on multiple federal and state Superfund matters.
  • Represent a Government of Puerto Rico entity in the context of the assertion of liability against it by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for cleanup projects at Superfund properties owned or formerly owned by the client that are contaminated with hazardous waste as a result of the operations of current and former tenants of the client’s.

Media Clips

  • What To Know About NY's New Cooling Tower Regulations
    Law360 | July 29, 2016
    This guest column authored by Rochester energy and environmental partner Jean McCreary and Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford focuses on final cooling tower regulations put into place by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to protect against legionella and other bacteria.
  • Calling All Breweries: Is Your Wastewater In Order?
    Law360 | July 11, 2016
    Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford and San Francisco Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt co-authored this column discussing the EPA’s national standards for industrial wastewater discharged to local publicly owned treatment works and how they affect breweries.
  • Allianz and Partners Mint ‘Game Changing' Wind Hedge
    Power Finance and Risk | May 10, 2016
    New York City Energy & Environmental partner Ellen Friedman is quoted in this article regarding Allianz Risk Transfer’s novel 10-year hedge product that will fund wind projects against the risk of intermittent wind resources.
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  • EPA's aggressive environmental agenda gets boost
    Buffalo Business First | April 25, 2016
    Partner and leader of the firm’s Energy & Environmental practice Scott Turner is quoted in this feature story that discusses the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s agenda moving forward.
  • Judge dismisses clay mine appeal
    Finger Lakes Times | March 13, 2016
    Rochester Energy & Environmental associate Amy Reichhart is mentioned as counsel for Seneca Meadows Landfill in this article about the recent appeal decision in favor of her client.
  • Green Sale Expands Investor Base, Says N.Y. MTA Official
    The Bond Buyer | February 22, 2016
    This article on New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority inaugural green bond issuance notes Nixon Peabody as co-bond counsel.
  • Nixon Peabody hires energy partner in New York
    Project Finance & Infrastructure Journal | February 9, 2016
    The following coverage highlights the arrival of New York City Energy & Environmental partner Ernie Chung.
  • 7 Firms Guide NTE Energy's $645M Natural Gas Plant Deal
    Law360 | October 2, 2015
    New York City Energy & Environmental partner Ellen Friedman is noted as counsel for NTE Ohio which has successfully closed $645 million in project financing for construction and operation of its Middletown Energy Center.
  • What to do when the California Air Resources Board comes knocking
    The Lumber Log | September 1, 2015
    San Francisco Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt authored this column discussing keeping mobile equipment in compliance with the California Air Resources Board (ARB) requirements.
  • Drought in Calif. is Changing the Real Estate Landscape
    Law360 | July 23, 2015
    San Francisco Real Estate associate Ian O’Banion and San Francisco Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt authored this column discussing how California’s historic drought conditions are impacting the real estate industry.
  • LNG Facilities Outside NYC? Not So Fast
    Law360 | February 12, 2015
    Albany Energy & Environmental partner Ruth Leistensnider and Albany Energy & Environmental counsel Pete Trimarchi co-authored this column discussing New York State Department of Environmental Conservation guidelines creating a regulatory program allowing the construction and operation of new liquefied natural gas facilities in the state.
  • Protecting Affordable Housing Parties Against the Big, Bad Environmental Liability Monster
    Affordable Housing Finance | January 29, 2015
    San Francisco Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt authored this column discussing environmental due diligence in deals including low-income housing and new markets tax credits.
  • EPA Coal Ash Rules May Hasten Power Plant Closures
    Law360 | January 8, 2015
    Rochester Partner and leader of the firm’s Energy and Environmental practices Scott Turner and senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford authored this article discussing the Environmental Protection Agency’s comprehensive set of requirements for the “safe” disposal of coal combustion residuals.
  • Profile - BASF Because…
    BASF Bulletin | December 1, 2014
    The Bar Association of San Francisco featured Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt in this profile opportunity.
  • Out of Gas
    Long Island Business News | October 22, 2014
    Long Island Energy & Environmental counsel Jesse Hiney is quoted in this feature story discussing possible future uses of local properties that once housed gas stations.
  • Understanding Environmental Laws Reduces Risks
    Rochester Business Journal | September 19, 2014
    Rochester partner and leader of the firm’s Energy & Environmental practice Scott Turner is quoted in this article on how to reduce the risks of criminal and civil prosecutions from violations of environmental laws.
  • Combating Calif. Drought with New Rules on Recycled Water
    Law360 | July 22, 2014
    San Francisco Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt authored this column discussing efforts to save scarce freshwater sources under California’s Drought State of Emergency proclamation.
  • Excellence in Law
    Daily Record | June 26, 2014
    This special section features the Rochester-area attorneys earning “Excellence in Law” distinctions. Rochester Energy & Environmental partner Jean McCreary is profiled among the “Top Women in Law.” Rochester Labor & Employment associate Joe Carello and Real Estate associate Darren Miller are among the “Up & Coming Attorneys.”
  • Future of fracking is up in the air
    Daily Record | April 25, 2014
    Rochester partner and leader of the Energy & Environmental practice Scott Turner is featured in this story on the future of hydraulic fracturing (“hydrofracking”).
  • Fracking Issues Raised by Auburn Wastewater Report
    Syracuse Post Standard | April 23, 2014
    This story highlights findings and broader implications of a report conducted by an engineering firm regarding the city of Auburn, New York’s ability to accept wastewater from gas drilling. Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford, who co-chairs the hydrofracking committee of the New York Water Environment Association, provides commentary.
  • Are State RPS Effective Wind Development Drivers?
    North American WindPower Magazine | April 1, 2014
    Albany Energy & Environmental counsel Pete Trimarchi and Boston Energy & Environmental associate Jen Simon Lento co-coauthored this article discussing if state renewable portfolio standards are enough to drive renewable energy development.
  • Mass. Solar Program Sets a Shining Example for Other States
    Law360 | January 28, 2014
    Boston Energy & Environmental partner Rob Dewees discusses Massachusetts’ Solar Renewable Energy Certificate program and how it’s leading the way for other states.
  • Business News
    WBZ-AM (News Radio) | January 23, 2014
    Albany Energy & Environmental counsel Pete Trimarchi discusses a recent chemical spill in West Virginia, tips to avoid a similar incident and the cost of non-compliance.


Court awards nearly $207 million in Section 1603 case, upholds arm's-length purchase price as appropriate measure of cost basis
Tax Credit Finance & Syndication | November 3, 2016

New York State cooling tower regulations move from "emergency" to "final"—with new requirements added
Environmental & Health Care Alert | July 20, 2016

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When is a water a "water of the U.S."?
Environmental Law Alert | June 28, 2016

Calling all breweries: do you have your wastewater in order?
Environmental Law Alert | June 24, 2016

Fed/OSHA's new electronic reporting rule: a major change and significant hidden traps for employers
June 10, 2016

New Massachusetts solar net metering legislation (an act relative to solar energy, Chapter 75 of the Acts of 2016)
Energy & Environmental Law Alert | May 18, 2016

California keeps the pressure on most drought restrictions, while turning the faucet back on for a few…
Environmental Law Alert | May 11, 2016

Webinar Recording: New wastewater permit for craft breweries, wineries and cideries
Originally recorded on December 3, 2015 | December 16, 2015

Just in time for the holiday season… EPA's eDisclosure for voluntary self-reporting of civil violations!
Environmental Law Alert | December 11, 2015

EPA's proposed hazardous waste pharmaceutical regulations
Energy & Environmental Alert | November 4, 2015

Hard to keep on truckin': U.S. EPA settles first federal enforcement of CARB's truck and bus regulation
Environmental Law Alert | October 13, 2015

California ups its game yet again in the fight against climate change
Environmental Law Alert | October 9, 2015

State legislatures moving to regulated power plant decommissioning, decontamination and demolition
Environmental Law Alert | September 28, 2015

EPA'S 2015 vapor intrusion guides—What do they mean for your facility?
Environmental Law Alert | July 22, 2015

Building resilience—California real estate opportunities and challenges during the drought
Real Estate Alert | July 14, 2015

This storm cloud does have a silver lining! Yesterday's deadline for California's Industrial General Permit for stormwater was extended to August!
Environmental Law Alert | July 2, 2015

Webinar Recording: The future of fossil fuels as a global energy source and special problems in restructuring energy companies
Originally recorded June 18, 2015 | June 22, 2015

NYSERDA announces MW block incentive program for commercial and industrial grid-connected solar energy systems
Environmental Law Alert | May 13, 2015

California's mandatory water restrictions — just in time for summer, but too little, too late?
Environmental law Alert | April 29, 2015

What do California statewide mandatory water cutbacks mean to your business?
Environmental Law Alert | April 2, 2015

Webinar Recording: California Hospitals: Compliance with California standards and guidelines for EVD
Originally recorded February 12, 2015 | February 23, 2015

New York joins the rest of the nation in allowing LNG facilities
Environmental Alert | February 9, 2015

Webinar Recording: Health Care Employers: How to effectively prepare for and respond to EVD and other outbreaks
Originally recorded February 5, 2015 | February 9, 2015

Webinar Recording: What all employers need to know: From seasonal flu to Ebola and beyond
Originally recorded January 29, 2015 | February 5, 2015

Coal ash not a hazardous waste — but ash landfills and impoundments will be heavily regulated
Environmental Law Alert | December 23, 2014

A flood of funding for water projects in California
Environmental Law Alert | November 14, 2014

Louisiana refuses Ebola incineration waste
Environmental Law Alert | October 17, 2014

The continuing CWIS rule war—the battleground has been chosen
Environmental Law Alert | October 7, 2014

Don't get caught holding the bag: California enacts ban on single-use plastic bags
Retail Alert | October 6, 2014

A wellspring of groundwater legislation rises up in California
Environmental Law Alert | September 23, 2014

Lots of tears over spilled wine
Environmental Law Alert | August 27, 2014

Joining the main stream: California groundwater regulation seems likely
Environmental Law Alert | July 30, 2014

Supreme Court's ruling on the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions: a victory for both sides?
Environmental Law Alert | June 30, 2014

D.C. Circuit upholds attorney-client privilege in internal compliance investigation
Government Investigations & White Collar Defense Alert | June 30, 2014

Combating drought: California's new general permit for recycled water use
Environmental Law Alert | June 23, 2014

EPA issues greenhouse gas rules for existing power plants
Energy Alert | June 9, 2014

New York and several other states move closer to banning microbeads in personal care products
Products Alert | May 15, 2014

Ouch: penalties for reporting errors add up quickly under California's greenhouse gas emissions regulatory regime
Environmental Law Alert | April 15, 2014

What constitutes Waters of the United States? The next round in the debate has started
Environmental Law Alert | April 11, 2014

Dramatic change for light industry: adoption of California's new Industrial General Permit for stormwater
Environmental Law Alert | April 7, 2014

California's Green Chemistry Initiative continues rolling along: DTSC announces draft priority products which will require a rapid response from manufacturers
Products Alert | April 4, 2014

West Virginia chemical spill: tips to avoid a similar incident at your facility
Energy & Environmental Alert | January 23, 2014

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