Avant Building - Suite 900
200 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202-2107
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
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.
City Centre Residential Condominium, Secretary, Board of Directors