Barclay Damon
Barclay Damon

Frank V. Bifera

Frank V. Bifera

Partner

p: 518-429-4224

f: 518-427-3487

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Albany Office

80 State Street
Albany, New York 12207

Frank Bifera brings his clients a wealth of experience in resolving legal and technical issues associated with state and federal energy, environmental, regulatory and compliance programs. As the former General Counsel for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Frank knows what it takes to work with commissioners and executive staff to develop and implement state policies. He provides counsel to Fortune 500 companies on issues pertaining to project development, which range from siting and permitting to regulatory compliance matters. Frank's knowledge of environmental law allows him to provide assistance with siting energy infrastructure, compliance, enforcement and strategic counsel to clients across all sectors.

As Chair of the firm's Environmental Practice Area, Frank leads members of his group on several major energy siting projects while also keeping a firm handle on the daily activities involving the DEC and other state and federal regulatory agencies. Clients depend on his familiarity with the DEC's legal, scientific and engineering staff. His routine interaction with key DEC leaders provides quick resolution to the variety of legal and technical issues he handles for clients. He also assists them with issues before the New York State Department of Public Service, Department of Health, Department of Transportation, Department of State, Office of Parks, Recreation & Historical Preservation; Office of General Services; Adirondack Park Agency; New York Power Authority; New York State Energy Research & Development Authority; and the New York State Thruway Authority, among others.

Frank routinely is the lead attorney on issues involving the siting of electric generation and linear transmission projects; and the enforcement, acquisition, transfer, modification, renewal, suspension or revocation of federal and state environmental permits. He has experience negotiating administrative and judicial settlements at multi-party Superfund sites and settled enforcement cases with penalty demands exceeding $1 million. His representation of Fortune 500 clients provided administration relief on water and air permitting issues, including SEQRA compliance. Frank’s counsel has successfully guided clients with the prosecution and defense of CPLR Article 78 litigation pertaining to SEQRA, Solid-Waste Permits, Water Supply Permits, SPDES Permits, Air Permits, Storm Water Permits, and other state and local government approvals.

Representative Experience

  • Represents a major electric transmission owner on siting a $1.9 billion, 319 mile, 1000 MW high voltage direct current transmission line.
  • Represents a pipeline company on a new 120-mile interstate gas pipeline which will connect a Marcellus Shale gas gathering system in Susquehanna County, PA, to interstate natural gas transmission pipelines in Schoharie County, NY.
  • Represented a major pipeline company on securing DEC approvals including a 401 Water Quality Certification and State Facility Permit.
  • Represented a major New York City electric transmission owner on alleged violations regarding SPDES permit.
  • Represented a Joint Venture on securing DEC approvals for a major offshore Liquefied Natural Gas facility.
  • Represented a major gas pipeline company in securing modifications of its 401 Water Quality Certification and defended client against major enforcement case while providing strategic advice on compliance issues relating to DEC's General Stormwater Permit.
  • Represented a major national energy company on all of its environmental enforcement matters including alleged violations relating to oil spills, Major Oil Storage Facility, Clear Air Act, Clean Water Act, Wetlands and Hazardous Waste.
  • Represented national electric generating company on DEC SPDES Permit renewal involving legal and policy issues regarding the Best Technology Available for cooling water intake structure.
  • Represented international hydroelectric generating company on intervenor's administrative and judicial challenge to DEC's determination made for facility's 401 Water Quality Certification.
  • Represented major land developer on DEC's attempt to modify and revise a 401 Water Quality Certification.
  • Negotiated administrative and judicial settlements at multi-party Superfund sites and settled enforcement cases with penalty demands exceeding $1 million.
  • Represented Fortune 500 clients at the administrative level, on water and air permitting issues, including SEQRA compliance.
  • Represented clients on the prosecution and defense of CPLR Article 78 litigation pertaining to SEQRA Solid-Waste Permits, Water Supply Permits, SPDES Permits, Air Permits and other state and local governmental approvals.
  • Advise and counsel energy clients on environmental permitting, compliance and enforcement matters involving state and federal regulators.
  • Lead attorney on a variety of environmental issues involving the siting of electric generation and linear transmission projects as well as the enforcement, acquisition, transfer, modification, renewal, suspension or revocation of federal and state environmental permits.

Practice Areas

Education

  • Albany Law School of Union University, J.D., 1975
  • State University of New York at Albany, B.S., cum laude, 1970

Admitted To Practice

  • New York, 1976
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Memberships & Affiliations

  • New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Former Member of Board of Directors
  • Albany County Planning Board, Former Board Member
  • Independent Power Producers of New York
  • Business Council of New York State, Environmental, Energy and Government Affairs Committees
  • New York State Bar Association, Environmental Law Section

Speaking & Publications

  • "Increasing Federal Regulation: NY Shale Development - Part 2," Law360, February 4, 2013
  • "Finally Ready To Drill: NY Shale Development - Part 1," Law360, January 22, 2013
  • "Clean Air and Climate Change;" Certified CLE - presented to a major Northeast Electric Transmission Owner, 2010
  • DEC State Environmental Quality Review (SEQRA) Dialogue - presented at DEC Forum, 2010 
  • “Linear Projects: Environmental Siting Issues;” Certified CLE - presented at the Eleventh Annual Institute on Public Utility Law at the New York State Bar Association, 2009 
  • “Clean Air Act and Climate Change;” Certified CLE - presented to a major New York City Electric Transmission Owner, 2009 
  • “Current Issues in Storm Water Regulation,” Lorman Seminar, October 2005 
  • “Basic Environmental Law Practice,” New York State Bar Association, 2003 
  • “State Regulatory Developments,” American Law Institute, American Bar Association, 1999 
  • “Protecting Public Health and the Environment,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1999 
  • State Environmental Regulatory Programs, Fordham University, 1997

Prior Experience

  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Partner
  • New York State DEC, Deputy Commissioner & General Counsel

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