Dennis P. Harkawik is a partner in the Firm's Environmental practice group. He is also a member of the Firm's Economic & Land Development practice group. For over 30 years, Mr. Harkawik has practiced environmental law and brings significant experience in complex environmental matters including environmental litigation, permitting and enforcement proceedings before federal, state and local regulatory agencies and courts.
During his career, Mr. Harkawik has successfully represented clients in Superfund litigation in federal and state courts and obtained necessary permits and approvals for controversial large solid and hazardous waste management facilities, public utility and energy projects, industrial facilities and commercial developments. In late 2007, he completed a private cost recovery action trial that lasted eight weeks. In 2010, he obtained a favorable decision in that proceeding that held the two nonsettling parties liable and increased client recoveries to over $5 million. In December 2011 he obtained a decision from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that directed the trial court to issue a Declaratory Judgment allowing his client to obtain future remediation costs and to reallocate a portion of the remediation costs against the nonsettling parties. Upon remand, the trial court adopted his client’s position, which will be worth millions of dollars of additional recovery for his client. In 1998, he successfully represented a defendant in the first known CERCLA litigation tried before a jury.
He has also counseled industrial and utility clients on compliance matters, including recent developments in New York State’s proposed regulation of Marcellus Shale natural gas development and the recent New York Article X power plant siting law and proposed regulations. In 1989, Mr. Harkawik successfully overturned New York State's hazardous waste regulations before the New York Court of Appeals, and subsequently negotiated new regulations with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation which was the first significant negotiated rulemaking in New York. He has also negotiated numerous consent orders, consent decrees and settlement agreements.
Mr. Harkawik chairs the Firm's Economic & Land Development Practice group. In recent years he has counseled developer clients on The New York Brownfields Cleanup Program, including upstate New York's largest brownfield project located in downtown Buffalo. He has also advised clients in voluntary cleanups and brownfield developments at over 30 sites throughout the state.
Mr. Harkawik has worked with corporate, real estate and finance attorneys to provide environmental due diligence and disclosure counseling in corporate acquisitions, divestitures, debt and stock offerings, as well as working on numerous brownfield developments. He has also represented public utility and insurance clients in ratemaking and prudence proceedings before federal and state regulatory agencies.
New York University School of Engineering (B.Ch.E., 1972, M.Ch.E., 1974); New York University School of Public Administration (M.P.A., 1974); State University of New York at Buffalo (J.D., cum laude, 1979). Articles Editor, Buffalo Law Review, 1978-79
1980 New York State Bar; 1980 New York State Courts; 1980 U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York; 1994 U.S. District Court, Western District of New York; 1983 U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit; 1985 U.S. Supreme Court; 1997 Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
Principal Area(s) of Practice:
Environmental Law; Energy Law; Administrative Law; Litigation
Mr. Harkawik practices before the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the Environmental Protection Agency, State Environmental Agencies, FERC & State Public Utilities Commissions. He also worked at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (1974-1976) prior to attending law school.
Memberships & Offices:
- New York State Bar Association (Member, Environmental Section)
- New York State Chemical Alliance, Board of Directors
- National Alliance on Mental Illness of Buffalo & Erie County, Board of Directors
City Centre Residential Condominium, Secretary, Board of Directors
- Listed, Best Lawyers in America
- Listed, "Who's Who in Law," Business First of Buffalo
- Listed, "Upstate New York Super Lawyer," Environmental Law, SuperLawyers Magazine
- In 2014, Mr. Harkawik was recognized as the Best Lawyers’ "Lawyer of the Year" in the category of Environmental Law for Buffalo, NY.
- Panelist, Natural Gas: New York Politics and the Impact on Energy, Jobs and the Manufacturing Renaissance at “Transforming New York’s Energy Future: Policy, Innovation, and Economic Growth,” a forum sponsored by the American Chemistry Council, the New York State Chemical Alliance and The Business Council of New York State, Inc. (May 2013)
- Speaker, The Status of Marcellus Shale Development in New York State, New York State Chemical Alliance (March 2013)
- Moderator, The Future of Energy in New York State, a panel discussion presented by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership (February 2013)
- Speaker, Regulation of Unconventional Natural Gas Development in New York State: Where are We and What Have we Learned”, ISA Tech Expo (March 2012)
The New York Brownfield Cleanup Program's Exemption From SEQRA Requirements Thrown Into Doubt
Nov-13-2012 — A recent opinion by New York's highest court, In re Bronx Committee for Toxic Free Schools v. NYC School Construction Authority, 2012 WL 5199403 (N.Y., October 23, 2012), has cast doubt as to whether, or the extent to which, parties who have sites accepted into the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) are exempt from complying with the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).
Environmental Case Summary: Jaeckle Fleischmann Recovers Additional $5 Million for Solvent Chemical Corporation
Jun-26-2012 — Jaeckle Fleischmann’s Environmental attorney team of Dennis Harkawik and Charles Grieco have successfully recovered additional cleanup costs from responsible parties under the federal Superfund law for a site formerly owned by its client, Solvent Chemical Company, Inc. (Solvent) located in Niagara Falls, New York.
Dennis Harkawik and Charles Grieco featured in Buffalo Law Journal Special Report on Environmental Regulations
May-30-2012 — If you like the picturesque sight of windmills dotting the skyline of Lake Erie, you may be in luck. A change in environmental regulations could increase the chance of more wind farms sprouting across Western New York. The state regulation is commonly known as Article 10, and according to Dennis Harkawik, a partner in Jaeckle
New York's Highest Court Upholds New York Hazardous Waste Regulations
Feb-01-2012 — On December 15, 2011 the New York State Court of Appeals rejected an industry group's challenge to the current New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) hazardous waste cleanup regulations (6NYCRR Part 375), holding that NYDEC acted within its authority to require cleanups to so-called "pre-disposal" conditions.
NYSDEC’s Proposed Regulations Provide Restrictions on Gas Well Locations; Guidelines for Water Well Usage
Jan-17-2012 — This Alert provides an analysis of the components of the proposed regulations that restrict the location of natural gas wells, and the permit application disclosure requirements related to drinking water well testing and water sources to be used in the fracturing process.
Case Summary: Jaeckle Prevails in Federal Appeal of Superfund Case
Jan-11-2012 — Jaeckle Fleischmann's environmental practice group recently won a significant victory on behalf of its client, Solvent Chemical Company, Inc. ("Solvent") when it obtained a Decision and a separate Summary Order from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York v. Solvent Chemical Company, Inc., et al. (Docket No. 10-2026-cv (L)) (December 19, 2011)
Proposed NYSDEC Regs Guard Against Contributing Factors in Wyoming Hydraulic Fracturing Groundwater Case
Dec-09-2011 — The USEPA draft report on groundwater contamination in Wyoming caused by high volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) is being strongly questioned by Industry regarding the connection between the contamination and HVHF. The USEPA report is still in draft form, so the conclusions may change. Nonetheless, the draft report may have lessons for New York State. A closer look at the same scenario in New York State demonstrates that several HVHF
New York State Creates Statewide Water Supply Permit Program
Aug-17-2011 — The New York State Legislature passed a new Bill during the most recent session that significantly expands the statewide water permit system. When signed into law, Bill S3798 will cover large withdrawals of surface water or groundwater not already regulated by the Delaware or Susquehanna River Basin Commissions and will be administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
The Power NY Act of 2011: New Power Facility Siting Regulations Under Article X
Jul-28-2011 — The New York state legislature recently passed the Power NY Act of 2011, finally reinstating the state's long expired power plant siting law, known as Article X of the Public Service Law.
Court of Appeals Decision Opens New Opportunities for the NYS Brownfield Cleanup Program
Jul-27-2010 — Eligibility into the tax credit-rich Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) has been eased by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) due to a recent New York Court of Appeals decision in LighthousePointe Property Assoc. v. NYSDEC, 14 NY3d 161 (2010). If a site exceeds cleanup standards, it appears that the site is now eligible for inclusion into the program. This ease of eligibility returns the BCP to its earlier days, when NYSDEC was eager to get sites into the Pro
Buffalo Law Journal Article - Falls chem company wins $2.5M judgment
Feb-11-2010 — In a case that has entered its fourth decade of legal wrangling, lawyers representing Solvent Chemical Co. and its parent company, ICC Industries Inc., won a $2.5 million judgment tied to the cleanup of Solvent's former chemical facility in Niagara Falls.
Expedited Brownfield Eligibility Program Announced by NYSDEC
Nov-14-2009 — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) issued a recent press release and draft guidance document that will allow NYSDEC to determine relatively quickly whether a property is eligible for the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) before a formal application into the program is submitted. The documents reflect NYSDEC efforts to shorten the time it takes for a potential developer of contaminated property to determine whether a proposed development will qualify for subst
Twenty-Two Jaeckle Fleischmann Attorneys Named "Super Lawyers"
Aug-16-2013 — Jaeckle Fleischmann announces that twenty-two of the Firm's attorneys have been named to the Super Lawyers list for 2013. Published annually by Thomson Reuters, Super Lawyers is a rating service of attorneys from more than 70 practice areas
Gayle Eagan, Vincent Hanley, Dennis Harkawik, Michele Heffernan and Randall Odza Named to “Lawyer Of The Year” List
Aug-15-2013 — Jaeckle Fleischmann announces that Gayle L. Eagan, Vincent Hanley, Dennis Harkawik, Michele Heffernan And Randall Odza have been further designated by Best Lawyers of America as “Lawyers of the Year” For 2014.
Twenty-Six Jaeckle Attorneys Named As "Best Lawyers In America" By Peer Review
Aug-15-2013 — Jaeckle Fleischmann announces that 26 lawyers from the Firm were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2014 (Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).
Dennis Harkawik to Serve as Panelist at Albany Energy Forum
May-16-2013 — Dennis P. Harkawik will serve as a panelist at “Transforming New York’s Energy Future: Policy, Innovation, and Economic Growth,” a forum sponsored by the American Chemistry Council, the New York State Chemical Alliance and The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
Dennis Harkawik to Moderate Panel Discussion on NYS Energy Infrastructure
Feb-04-2013 — Partner Dennis P. Harkawik will serve as the moderator at The Future of Energy in New York State, a panel discussion presented by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. The event will take place on Friday, February 15th from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership .
Dennis Harkawik to Present at New York State Chemical Alliance Annual Meeting
Oct-10-2012 — Jaeckle Fleischmann Partner Dennis P. Harkawik will serve as a session speaker at the annual meeting of the New York State Chemical Alliance which is scheduled Thursday, March 11th. Mr. Harkawik will present on the status of marcellus shale development in New York State.
Dennis Harkawik to Present at Niagara Frontier International Society of Automation (ISA) Tech Expo
Mar-14-2012 — Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel, LLP is pleased to announce that Dennis P. Harkawik will present at the ISA Tech Expo scheduled Tuesday, March 27th. Mr. Harkawik’s presentation is entitled “Regulation of Unconventional Natural Gas Development in New York State: Where are We and What Have we Learned?”.
Jaeckle Prevails in Federal Appeal of Superfund Case to Recover Future Cleanup Costs and Obtain New Allocation
Jan-10-2012 — Jaeckle Fleischmann's environmental practice group recently won a significant victory on behalf of its client, Solvent Chemical Company, Inc. ("Solvent") when it obtained a Decision and a separate Summary Order from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York v. Solvent Chemical Company, Inc., et al. (Docket No. 10-2026-cv (L)) (December 19, 2011)
Jaeckle Secures $5 Million for ICC in Settlements & Judgment of Superfund Case
Feb-02-2010 — Jaeckle Fleischmann's environmental practice group recently secured a court order for payments totaling over $2.5 million in the successful representation of Solvent Chemical Company and its parent company ICC Industries, Inc., in a Superfund case.