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August 1, 2015

Appeal of Queens County Water Permit Decision Filed

On July 27, Sierra Club and Hudson River Fisherman’s Association (HRFA) perfected their appeal of the decision of the Queens County Supreme Court in Sierra Club and HRFA v. Martens, Index No. 2949-14, to the Appellate Division, Second Department, Docket No. 2015-02317. The suit challenges the procedures followed by the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) in issuing a water withdrawal permit to TransCanada for its Ravenswood Generating Station in Queens to take over 1.5 billion gallons per day from the East River in the Hudson River estuary. The Ravenswood permit is the first permit issued by DEC under New York's new water permitting law and new regulations.

Petitioners asserted in the trial court and on appeal that DEC's issuance of the Ravenswood permit violated the new permitting law, the Water Resources Protection Act of 2011, the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), federal, state and city coastal zone and waterfront laws and DEC's public trust responsibilities. For a discussion of the trial court's decision dismissing the petition, see Queens Judge Rules against SEQRA Review of Water Withdrawal Permits.

A second case raising the same arguments raised in the Martens I case was filed in New York County Supreme Court on March 23, 2015. The case, Sierra Club and HRFA v. Martens II, Index No. 100524/2015, challenges the water withdrawal permit DEC issued to Consolidated Edison for its East River generating station. See Second Suit Filed Challenging DEC on Water Withdrawal Permits.

I am working with attorneys Richard J. Lippes from Buffalo, Gary Abraham from Allegany, and Jonathan Geballe from Manhattan to represent the petitioners/appellants in the appeal to the Second Department. The record and appeal brief are posted here.

Posted by Rachel Treichler on 08/01/15, updated 04/06/16.



Copyright 2016, Rachel Treichler



About NY Water Law

New York Water Law covers legal developments relating to water usage in New York and in jurisdictions that may be influential in New York. The author, Rachel Treichler, practices law in the Finger Lakes region.
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