Gene works predominantly on matters involving environmental regulatory compliance and permitting issues, including a strong focus on energy project development. In this practice, he provides focused counsel on a wide range of matters requiring interaction and familiarity with complex environmental regulations and the regulators responsible for their implementation.
Gene has an extensive background in environmental regulatory policy and litigation, including 21 years of public service, during which he formed professional relationships with leaders and policymakers in state government. His experience affords clients insight into navigating complex regulatory structures. Prior to joining Harris Beach, Gene was the regional director of Region 4 (Capital District/Northern Catskills) of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, where he directed all aspects of a multi-office agency with a staff of more than 200 in a nine-county region. He is experienced in working with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection; the New York State Departments of Transportation and State; the Empire State Development Corporation; and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Justice.
Prior to serving as DEC Region 4 regional director, Gene served for 10 years as an assistant attorney general in the Environmental Protection Bureau of the New York State Office of the Attorney General, representing New York in state and federal courts in a broad range of civil prosecutions involving violations of state and federal laws affecting public health and the environment. Prior to that, he was a senior attorney in the DEC’s central office and then an assistant regional attorney in the DEC’s Region 4 office, representing staff in a comprehensive range of enforcement and permit proceedings, directing enforcement and program staff and establishing strategies for investigations, enforcement and permitting matters. Gene was the primary enforcement counsel for the DEC for all Clean Air Act requirements, including coordination of regional enforcement priorities.
For more than 20 years, Gene served in the United States Marine Corps and then the United States Marine Corps Reserve, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. While serving with the Marine Corps Reserve, Gene served as an environmental law judge advocate, in which he was the primary reserve legal advisor in the Office of Counsel to the Commandant, advising on a broad range of environmental/land use issues attendant to Marine Corps-wide environmental compliance strategies, including training activities and administration of installations. He also served as an advisor to the assistant general counsel (Installations and Environment) to the Secretary of the Navy. Gene began his legal career in commercial litigation with a law firm in Ballston Spa.
RECENT PUBLICATIONS + SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
- "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Approves New Standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments," Harris Beach Legal Alert, May 2022.
- "Navigating The New Wave Of PFAS Regulation And Litigation," Law 360, November 2021.
- "PFAS: Navigating a New Frontier in Environmental Regulation," Harris Beach Legal Alert, October 2021.
- “NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Issues COVID-19 Guidance on Environmental Cleanups and Brownfields,” POLITICO New York’s Energy Newsletter, April 6, 2020.
- “NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Issues Revised General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activity”, Synergy Environmental Newsletter, March 2020.
- “The Impossible Search for Perfect Land: Siting Renewable Generation Projects in New York State”, Environmental Law in New York, September Issue 2019.
- New York State Business Council Environmental Conference “New York’s Renewable Energy Push” 2018.
- New York State Business Council Environmental Conferences, 2014, 2016 and 2019.
- Halfmoon Education, Inc. statewide seminars “Handling Ethical Issues for Environmental Engineers” Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Ronkonkoma, White Plains, 2015-2016.
- Halfmoon Education, Inc. national webinar “Handling Ethical Issues for Environmental Engineers” November, 2016.
- Numerous blog posts on the Harris Beach MuniBlog, including a series of posts on New York’s Environmental Audit policy.