Robert M. Rosenthal

Robert M. Rosenthal

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Robert M. Rosenthal focuses his practice on environmental and energy law matters, including litigation and permitting. He is experienced with the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and associated state programs, the New York Solid Waste Management Act, and the New York Public Service Law. He also concentrates his practice on State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) review, toxic tort litigation, Brownfields redevelopment, and the governmental, environmental, and energy aspects of land use and real estate. Bob has wide-ranging experience litigating cases in both federal and state courts, as well as counseling his clients with regard to compliance with environmental and energy laws.

Prior to joining the firm, Bob served as the Assistant Counsel for Energy and Environment in the New York Governor's Office. In that position, Bob worked on a number of high profile matters, including the reform of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), which included amending LIPA’s enabling statute and the agreement between LIPA and the service operator. Bob worked on the adoption of New York’s new power plant siting law and regulations, and the revisions to the Public Service Law related to the authority of the Public Service Commission over electric utilities. He was also responsible for counseling the state’s environmental and energy agencies on legal matters, and reviewing and approving the agencies’ proposed regulations for publication in the state register. Since coming to the firm, Bob has represented several clients in obtaining regulatory approvals for major gas pipelines, electric generation facilities (traditional power plants, solar and wind energy) and solid waste landfills, and has litigated several cases that have raised issued concerning compliance with state and federal environmental laws. Bob has also represented energy clients before the New York Independent System Operator, PJM and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Bob has more than 18 years of experience working on state-related matters both in the governor’s office and as Senior Counsel in the New York Attorney General’s Office, where he served as either lead or co-counsel in numerous cases before federal and state courts. Bob is admitted to practice before all federal and state courts in New York.

Concentrations

  • Environment and natural resources
  • Energy
  • Agriculture
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Capabilities

Experience


 
  • PSEG Long Island LLC v. Town of N. Hempstead, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13533 (E.D.N.Y Feb. 3, 2016): Co-counsel in obtaining order granting permanent injunction preventing enforcement of ordinance that would have required utility to post a warning sign on utility poles that the poles contain a hazardous substance on grounds that ordinance violated the First Amendment.
  • In re: Dry Lots Wind, LLC, FERC Docket No. ER16-1047-000 (April 1, 2016): Represented petitioner in obtaining waiver of milestone under NYISO tariff that would have removed wind energy project from NYISO interconnection queue.
  • State of New York v. General Elec. Co., 45 ELR 20193 (Sept. 29, 2015): Obtained order denying State’s motion to dismiss defendant’s counterclaims under CERCLA on grounds that counterclaims are not barred by Eleventh Amendment.
  • Represented a NJ power plant in a unanimous decision upholding its NJPDES permit.
  • Co-drafted Power NY Act of 2011, including the new Public Service Law Article 10 power plant siting law and the on-bill financing law.°
  • Assisted in all aspects of the Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC's) environmental review and preparation of regulations related to horizontal high-volume hydraulic fracturing.°
  • Drafted and negotiated bill that merged the Belleayre ski resort into the Olympic Regional Development Authority.°
  • Worked closely with Moreland Comm'n on Utility Storm Preparation and Response regarding recommendations to strengthen the PSC, reform the Long Island Power Authority and unify the management structure of the State's energy agencies.°
  • United States v. Ohio Edison Co. (5.D. Ohio 2003). Member of plaintiffs' trial team in case where the district court issued landmark decision, finding company had violated New Source Review (NSR) provisions of the Clean Air Act.°
  • United States v. Cinergy Corp. (7th Cir. 2006). Argued appeal on behalf of states and citizens groups in another NSR enforcement case.°
  • NRG v. DEC (2003-04). Defended (in state supreme and appellate courts) DEC's Acid Deposition Reduction Program.°
  • State of New York v. U.S. Dep't of Energy (2nd Cir. 2008). Litigated and settled case against the Department of Energy, resulting in adoption of more stringent energy conservation standards for furnaces and boilers.°
  • In re: EPA's Adoption of Chesapeake Bay TMDL (2010). Assisted DEC in submission of public comments regarding EPA's proposed rule that would require NY-based sources to reduce discharges of pollutants into New York rivers included within Chesapeake Bay watershed.°

°The above representations were handled by Mr. Rosenthal prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

  • Assistant Counsel, New York State Governor Counsel’s Office, 2011-2013
  • Senior Counsel, New York State General’s Office, Environmental Protection Bureau, 1995-2011
  • Staff Attorney, New York City Law Department, Environmental Law Division, 1992-1995

Recognition & Leadership

  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Environmental Law, 2016
  • Recipient, Louis J. Lefkowitz Memorial Award, 2002 and 2007
  • Chair, Albany Chapter of the New York League of Conservation Voters, 2018-Present

Credentials

Education
  • J.D., cum laude, Temple University Beasley School of Law, 1992
    • Staff, Temple Law Review
    • Co-Editor-in-Chief, Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Journal
    • Recipient, Barrister's Award for Outstanding Trial Advocacy
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Rutgers University, 1986
Admissions
  • New York