Barclay Damon
Barclay Damon

Andy 
     Leja

Andy Leja

Partner

p: 315.425.2742

f: 315.425.8595

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Syracuse Office

Barclay Damon Tower
125 East Jefferson Street
Syracuse, New York 13202

Andy is Barclay Damon’s former Land Use & Zoning Practice Area chair. Drawing upon almost 30 years of experience in environmental, municipal, and energy law matters, he offers a unique blend of cross-disciplinary knowledge to clients.

As counsel to publicly and privately held companies, Andy develops strategies and provides tactical advice on permitting, site development and expansion, environmental-impact assessment, historic preservation reviews, and complicated regulatory enforcement matters. As special counsel to local governments and not-for-profit development agencies, he guides the conduct of environmental and land-use approval processes and routinely appears before state and federal agencies and courts regarding land use, health, and environmental matters.

From obtaining substation and transmission line construction approvals across New York State for a major Northeast electric utility to coordinating multijurisdictional permits for a nuclear facility’s new headquarters and spent nuclear-fuel storage pad to supervising due diligence and permitting for a 330-mile long underwater electric cable between Canada and New York City, Andy is well versed in negotiating complex permits and agreements with governmental entities on behalf of his clients. When necessary, he uses his extensive trial and appellate experience to defend client interests in litigation.

Representative Experience

  • Leading the permitting team responsible for a major Northeast electric utility’s infrastructure expansion and upgrade program throughout New York State.
  • Accomplished the multijurisdictional permitting of major construction projects at a high-profile nuclear-power generation facility in Downstate New York, including a new 110,000 square foot office complex and a new Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) located in a sensitive Hudson River ecosystem.
  • Identified critical nuclear and electric utility infrastructure information at risk for public disclosure and negotiated its safe retrieval from municipal agencies.
  • Headed local regulatory review and the underwater permitting process for a 330-mile, 1000MW underwater/underground electric-transmission line from Canada to New York City.
  • Negotiated favorable terms of underwater crossing licenses in Lake Champlain, Hudson River, and New York City waterways for electric utility clients.
  • Led due-diligence team review on behalf of a purchaser of a 195-turbine, 320+MW wind farm installation in Upstate New York.
  • Successfully litigated dozens of Article 78 expedited special proceedings for and against municipal governments throughout New York State.

Practice Areas

Education

  • Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., 1990
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, B.S., 1986

Admitted To Practice

  • New York, 1991
  • Massachusetts, 1990
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York

Memberships & Affiliations

  • New York State Bar Association
  • Onondaga County Bar Association

Civic Activities

  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County, Former Board of Directors President

Speaking & Publications

  • New York State Association of Towns Annual Meeting, “Why Indian Law is Important to Towns in New York”
  • Lorman Education Services, “Land Use and Zoning”
  • Lorman Education Services, “Public/Private Development Partnerships”
  • Lorman Education Services “New York Zoning as a Development Tool”
  • New York State Association of Towns Highway School, “Legal Issues: Drainage and Rights-of-Way”

Honors

  • The Best Lawyers in America®: Environmental Law, 2013-2019
  • Martindale-Hubbell BV Distinguished Peer Review Rated for High to Very High Ethical Standards and Legal Ability, 2003-2019

Prior Experience

  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Partner
  • Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency, Environmental Counsel
  • NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Region 7 Legal Affairs Program

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