Environmental Protection Bureau
Enforcing a zero tolerance policy against any environmental threats in New York that imperil the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land we live on, Attorney General Schneiderman is committed to ensuring that the Environmental Protection Bureau continues to be a national leader in the fight to reverse climate change.
The Environmental Protection Bureau, located within the Office of the Attorney General's Social Justice Division, plays a central role in protecting New York's environment and public health. With a staff that includes some 40 lawyers and 10 scientists, the Bureau vigorously enforces both the State's and Nation's environmental laws. It also represents the State of New York in legal matters related to the environment.
Early in his term, Attorney General Schneiderman joined with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to sue a power plant in Pennsylvania for violations of the Clean Air Act. The plant is the largest out-of-state contributor of sulfur dioxide to our state – emitting more than twice as much of this harmful pollutant as all the power plants in New York combined.
The Attorney General also sued the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission over its decision to approve storage of nuclear waste at plants like Indian Point for at least 60 years after the plant closes without conducting the plant-by-plant environmental impact review required by federal law. In addition, Attorney General Schneiderman led a coalition of state attorneys general in signing a letter to the House leadership opposing efforts to undo tough, new federal limits on emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from cement plants, limits that were the result of a successful lawsuit by our states. And the Office of Attorney General also designated $200,000, recovered in a Clean Air Act lawsuit, to assist Champlain Valley farmers to improve their operations while simultaneously combating phosphorous pollution in Lake Champlain.
If you are aware of any activities or conditions which may violate environmental laws or significantly impact the environment adversely, we would like to hear from you. Please call the New York State Office of the Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau at (518) 474-8096.