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 on the environment.
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.
Attorney General Schneiderman has made environmental protection a centerpiece of his administration, tackling a wide range of critical issues such as climate change, nuclear power plant safety, air and water pollution, energy efficiency, hazardous waste, and safe and healthy communities. The Attorney General's accomplishments include:
- Successfully defending New York State's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative -- a multi-state effort to reduce emissions of pollution that contribute to climate change -- against challenges by out-of-state political interests.
- Winning a landmark ruling against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for sanctioning long-term storage of radioactive waste at nuclear power plants without fully assessing the related public health, safety and environmental hazards.
- Leading a coalition of states in legal action that directly led to the federal EPA's adoption of national air standards for harmful particulate matter -- commonly referred to as "soot" pollution -- that better protect public health.
- Dedicating $4 million in settlement funds to local efforts to improve water quality in the Bronx River, $200,000 to assist farmers to combat water pollution in Lake Champlain, and $400,000 to fund projects aimed at restoring lakes and streams in the Adirondacks still suffering the damages of acid rain pollution.
- Leading a coalition of states in reaching an agreement with the federal Department of Energy that established a timetable for updating long-overdue energy efficiency standards for four common commercial appliances.
- Successfully defending New York State's ability to hold polluters responsible for the cleanup of hazardous waste in communities.
- Dedicating $2.2 million in settlement funds to expand his office's highly-successful Buffalo Green and Healthy Homes Initiative to help more of New York's neediest families lower their energy bills, and eliminate serious health and safety hazards in their homes.
If you are aware of any activities or conditions which may violate environmental laws or significantly harm the environment, 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.