Water Rights Services

Services for New York Landowners

  1. Interpretation of common law water rights, riparian rights and littoral rights,
  2. Interpretation of rights to springs, streams, lakes and aquifers granted in deeds and easements,
  3. Interpretation of dock and mooring laws and permits, and
  4. Interpretation of water withdrawal permitting requirements under New York's new regulations and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission rules.

Presentations on Water Rights Issues

Helping Communities Protect Water Resources

Slides for presentation in Bath, February 3, 2016.

Slides and links for presentation in Candor, March 27, 2013.

Slides and links for presentation in Elmira, February 22, 2013.

Litigation on Water Issues

Seneca Lake Dock Case

Represented landowners on Seneca Lake in a littoral rights challenge to the location of their neighbor's dock. After successfully defending against a motion for summary judgment, Martin v. Gauvin, 2009 NY Slip Op 50214, the case was settled.

Painted Post Bulk Water Sale Case

Along with Attorney Richard J. Lippes from Buffalo, represented the petitioners in Sierra Club v. Village of Painted Post, Steuben County Supreme Court Index No. 2012-0810. The case challenged the failure of the Village to conduct a SEQRA review of its decision to enter into a bulk water sale agreement to sell up to 300 million gallons of water from the Corning aquifer to SWEPI LP, an affiliate of Shell Oil Company. A decision in favor of the petitioners annulling respondents' bulk water sale agreement was issued on December 31, 2015 by the Appellate Division, Fourth Department.  For the decisions and legal papers filed in the case and background materials, visit Painted Post Water Withdrawal Case Materials.

TransCanada Ravenswood Water Withdrawal Permitting Case

Along with Attorneys Richard J. Lippes from Buffalo, Gary Abraham from Allegany and Jonathan Geballe from NYC, representing the petitioners in Sierra Club and Hudson River Fishermen's Association v. Martens (TransCanada Ravenswood), filed December 6, 2013, and refiled February 25, 2014, in Queens County Supreme Court. The case challenges the procedures followed by DEC in issuing the first water withdrawal permit to a non-public user under New York's new water withdrawal permitting law, a permit issued to TransCanada's Ravenswood power plant in Queens to take up to 1.52 billion gallons per day from the East River in the Hudson River estuary. A decision in favor of DEC was issued on October 2, 2014, by the trial court. The petitioners filed their appeal with the Appellate Division Second Department on July 27, 2015. For the legal papers filed in the case and background materials, visit TransCanada Ravenswood Water Withdrawal Case Materials.

Con Ed East River Water Withdrawal Permitting Case

Along with Attorney Richard J. Lippes from Buffalo, representing the petitioners in Sierra Club and Hudson River Fishermen's Association v. Martens II (Con Ed East River), filed March 23, 2015, in New York County Supreme Court. The case challenges the procedures followed by DEC in issuing a water withdrawal permit to Consolidated Edison's East River power plant in Manhattan to take up to 373.4 million gallons per day from the East River in the Hudson River estuary. Oral arguments in the case will be heard August 31, 2016. For the legal papers filed in the case to date and background materials, visit Con Ed East River Water Withdrawal Case Materials.

 

 

 

IMPORTANT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: These reference materials are published for educational purposes only. The matters discussed in the materials are general in nature and are incomplete descriptions of the law. Nothing in the materials constitutes legal advice or an offer of legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

 

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