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FrankBifera

Partner

"As the individual formerly in charge of legal matters in New York State's key environmental agency, I know how to readily resolve critical permitting issues."

Overview

Biography

The former general counsel to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Frank primarily concentrates his practice on resolving legal and technical issues associated with state and federal energy, environmental, regulatory, and compliance programs. He provides counsel to Fortune 500 companies on issues pertaining to project development, ranging from siting and permitting to regulatory-compliance matters. His environmental law knowledge enables him to additionally assist with siting energy infrastructure, compliance, and enforcement.

Frank handles the firm’s involvement in several major energy-siting projects while also monitoring daily activities involving the DEC and other state and federal regulatory agencies. Clients depend on his familiarity with DEC staff and his routine interaction with key DEC leaders that allows him to provide quick resolutions to client issues. He also handles matters before the NYS Department of Public Service Commission, the Department of Health, the Department of Transportation, the Department of State, the Office of Parks, the Recreation & Historical Preservation, the Office of General Services, the Adirondack Park Agency, the NY Power Authority, the NYS Energy Research & Development Authority, and the NYS Thruway Authority.

Frank is frequently the lead attorney on environmental matters involving the siting of electric-generation and linear-transmission projects and the enforcement, acquisition, transfer, modification, renewal, suspension, and revocation of federal and state environmental permits and 401 Water Quality Certifications. He has successfully guided clients in the prosecution and defense of CPLR Article 78 litigation pertaining to SEQRA and permits involving solid waste, water supply, SPDES, air, and storm-water.

Bar Associations

  • New York State Bar Association, Environmental Law Section

Selected Memberships & Affiliations

  • Business Council of New York State, Environmental, Energy, and Government Affairs Committees
  • Independent Power Producers of New York
  • Albany County Planning Board, Former Member
  • NYS Energy Research and Development Authority, Former Board of Directors Member
Experience

Representative Experience

  • Represented an international hydroelectric generating company in a FERC relicensing proceeding and defended against intervenor’s administrative and judicial challenge to the DEC’s determination made for the renewal of the facility’s 401 Water Quality Certification.
  • Represented a major electric-transmission owner on siting a $1.9 billion, 319-mile, 1000MW high-voltage direct-current transmission line which included a unique 401 Water Quality Certifications.
  • Represented a pipeline company on a new 120-mile interstate gas pipeline that will connect a Marcellus Shale gas-gathering system in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, to interstate natural-gas transmission pipelines in Schoharie County, New York.
  • Advises and counsels energy clients on environmental permitting, compliance, and enforcement matters involving state and federal regulators.
  • Represented a major pipeline company on securing DEC approvals, including a 401 Water Quality Certification and State Facility Permit.
  • Represented a major NYC-based electric-transmission owner on alleged violations regarding SPDES permit.
  • Represented a joint venture on securing a DEC 401 Water Quality Certification and other approvals for a major offshore liquefied-natural-gas facility.
  • Represented a major gas-pipeline company in securing modifications of its 401 Water Quality Certification and defended the client against a major enforcement case while providing strategic advice on compliance issues relating to the DEC General Stormwater Permit.
  • Represented a major national energy company in its environmental enforcement matters, including alleged violations relating to its 401 Water Quality Certification, oil spills, a major oil storage facility, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, wetlands, and hazardous waste.
  • Represented a national electric-generating company on DEC SPDES-permit renewal involving legal and policy issues regarding the best technology available for a cooling water-intake structure.
  • Represented a major land developer in the DEC’s attempt to modify and revise a 401 Water Quality Certification.
  • Negotiated administrative and judicial settlements at multi-party Superfund sites and settled enforcement cases with penalty demands exceeding $1 million.
  • Represented Fortune 500 clients at the administrative level and on water and air-permitting issues, including SEQRA compliance.
  • Represented clients on the prosecution and defense of CPLR Article 78 litigation pertaining to SEQRA, solid-waste permits, water-supply permits, SPDES permits, air permits and other state and local governmental approvals.

Prior Experience

  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Partner
  • NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel
Knowledge

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Northeast Electric Transmission Owner, “Clean Air and Climate Change” CLE
  • DEC Forum, “DEC State Environmental Quality Review (SEQRA) Dialogue”
  • New York State Bar Association Eleventh Annual Institute on Public Utility Law, “Linear Projects: Environmental Siting Issues” CLE
  • New York City Electric Transmission Owner, “Clean Air Act and Climate Change” CLE
  • Lorman Education Seminar, “Current Issues in Storm Water Regulation”

Selected Publications & Media

Selected Alerts & Blog Posts

Featured Media

Alerts

Use of Third-Party Delivery Services by OptumRx Retail Pharmacies

Alerts

Sweeping Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill Signed Into Law

Alerts

Forum Selection Clauses in IP Licensing: New Impact on IP

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