Permitting and Environmental Review



Representative Matters


Permitting and Environmental Review

Permitting and Environmental Review Law includes:

  • Environmental Permitting
  • NEPA
  • CEQR

Assisting clients in permitting and environmental review is the core of Young/Sommer. Since its founding in 1999, Young/Sommer has obtained hundreds of federal, state and local permits and approvals for our clients. The firm incorporates a team approach to ensure that legal services are provided in a cost effective and efficient manner. We are also well versed in the nuances of the environmental review process under State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and New York City’s City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR). This experience enables the firm to identify potential obstacles and develop strategies for successful outcomes.

Over the years, the firm has taken the lead in numerous projects, ranging from small residential subdivisions to major industrial projects. The firm guides its clients through the environmental permitting process, identifying needed permits, developing permit applications, and negotiating permit terms. To facilitate this process, the firm strives to develop close working relationships with the applicant’s engineering and environmental consultants and the regulators responsible for granting the final approvals.


The firm’s lawyers have broad experience with New York’s SEQRA process. The firm regularly is called upon to assess whether SEQRA applies to a particular project, participate in the scoping process, review environmental assessment forms and environmental impact statements, and provide guidance on SEQRA-related issues. Where necessary, the firm also prosecutes and defends Article 78 proceedings arising under SEQRA. Several of the firm’s attorneys have served as town/village attorneys and on planning boards, providing them with valuable insights into SEQRA compliance from the government’s perspective. The firm also has represented various clients undertaking projects that require NEPA review and so is well-versed in the federal environmental impact review process.

The environmental review statutes are not only necessary elements in approving a project but are also important tools in protecting the environment and the legitimate concerns of neighboring property owners and communities. The firm is one of the few in the state which represents applicants as well as property owners and environmental organizations that are concerned about the potential adverse impacts of projects. Our expertise has helped balance the interests of developers and neighboring property owners by using our skills to persuade developers to mitigate adverse impacts or stop those projects that present insurmountable adverse impacts. The firm is active in the review of major projects in New York City and the application of the City’s own environmental review process, CEQR.

The firm’s Permitting and Environmental Review practice group includes Kevin Young, Doug Ward and James Muscato.

The following Young/Sommer attorneys represent clients in this practice area.

Jeffrey S. BakerJeffrey S. Baker

Jeffrey S. Baker has extensive experience in environmental, zoning and land use law. He has represented both the public and private sector, including major environmental organizations in the permitting and opposition to major commercial and industrial projects.


James A. Muscato IIJames A. Muscato II

Jim Muscato is a partner and his practice focuses on environmental and energy law and litigation. Jim assists clients in environmental permitting, State Environmental Quality Review Act issues, alternative energy project development, pollution cleanup and litigation.


Douglas H. WardDouglas H. Ward

Douglas H. Ward has extensive federal and state civil practice experience at both the trial and appellate levels. As an Assistant Attorney General from 1984 to 1995, he served as either the lead attorney or the supervising attorney in hundreds of environmental cases, including air, water, wetlands regulation and the State Environmental Quality Review Act.


Kevin M. YoungKevin M. Young

Kevin M. Young has been practicing environmental law for over 28 years. Mr. Young assists clients in achieving their business and municipal objectives while complying with environmental and land use regulations. He also serves as counsel to over 20 municipalities, numerous manufacturing facilities and developers.


Joseph F. CastiglioneJoseph F. Castiglione

Joseph F. Castiglione primarily practices in the areas of commercial, contract, municipal, land-use, administrative and environmental law, with his practice primarily dedicated to litigation in State and Federal courts.


J. Michael NaughtonJ. Michael Naughton

J. Michael Naughton is a partner in the firm, and has practiced as a litigator for over 25 years. He began his career in New York City and moved to Albany in 1987. Mr. Naughton was a partner at the law firm of Shanley, Sweeney Reilly & Allen, P.C. before joining Young/Sommer LLC in 2005.


Allyson M. PhillipsAllyson M. Phillips

Allyson M. Phillips received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Fordham University and is a 2006 graduate of Albany Law School. While at Albany Law, Allyson served as Associate Editor for the Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology and was a research assistant for the Dean of the Albany Law School Government Law Center, Patricia E. Salkin.


Laura K. BomyeaLaura K. Bomyea

Laura Bomyea received her J.D. from Albany Law School, and her Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, with a concentration in Literature, from Bard College.  She spent… Read More


E. Hyde ClarkeE. Hyde Clarke

E. Hyde Clarke joined Young/Sommer after receiving his J.D. from Albany Law School in May 2014. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from… Read More


Kristina M. MagneKristina M. Magne

Kristina M. Magne received her J.D. from Albany Law School in 2016. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology from the State… Read More


Kristin Laviolette PrattKristin Laviolette Pratt

Kristin Laviolette Pratt (Associate) has been practicing environmental law, commercial litigation, and real property law at Young/Sommer LLC since 2005. Kristin has represented both corporate and individual clients before the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in negotiating regulatory proceedings as well as before local government boards.


Scott P. OlsonScott P. Olson

Mr. Olson has been a strong advocate for the wireless communications industry since the mid-1990’s. He has successfully represented international tower companies and FCC licensed… Read More


Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County, Inc. v. Town of Allegany Planning Bd., et al., Sup Ct, Cattaraugus County, 2011, Index No. 79455

The firm represented the Respondents in an Article 78 proceeding involving the proposed construction of a 29 unit wind farm. The Plaintiffs’ challenged the Planning… Read More

Fleming v. New York City Dept. of Envtl. Protection, 66 AD3d 777 (2d Dept 2009)

The firm represented the developer-respondent, RFB, LLC. RFB and its contract-seller Kent Acres Development Co.,Ltd., who proposed to construct an approximately 280 residential condominium development… Read More

Gellert v. Town of Livingston Planning Board, et al., Sup Ct, Columbia County, 2013

The firm represented Plaintiffs-Petitioners Anthony Gellert and Alexander Gellert in a combined proceeding brought pursuant to CPLR Article 78 and CPLR §3001 seeking relief annulling… Read More

Highview Estates of Orange County, Inc. v Town Bd. of Town of Montgomery, Orange County, 955 NYS2d 175 (2d Dept 2012)

The firm represented Taylor Holdings Group, Ltd/Taylor Biomass Energy in overturning a lower court judgment that annulled several state and local approvals that permit the… Read More

In the Matter of Lori Bergami, et al., v. Town Board Of The Town Of Rotterdam, et al., 97 AD3d 1018 (3d Dept 2012)

The firm represented Plaintiffs Lori Bergami and a group of neighboring property owners in a proceeding challenging the rezoning of property in the Town of… Read More

In the Matter of the Application of Ten Towns to Preserve Main Street, et al. v. The Planning Board of the Town of Northeast, et al., Sup Ct, Dutchess County, 2013, Index No. 3816/2013

The firm successfully defended New York real estate developer Southern Realty and Development, LLC (“Southern”) in a State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”) challenge to… Read More

In the Matter of the Application of Ticonderoga Property Development LLC, APA Order Granting Variance, 2005-261V, October 18, 2006

The firm represented Ticonderoga Property Development LLC in its application in the Adirondack Park for a variance from Appendix Q3 standards regarding sign regulations. TPD… Read More

Town of Henderson Town Bd. v. Town of Hounsfield Planning Bd., et al., Sup Ct, Jefferson County 2010, Index No. 2010-0336

In an Article 78 proceeding, the firm represented the Applicant for a proposed 82 turbine wind farm project in the Town. Petitioner sought to reverse,… Read More