Barclay Damon
Barclay Damon

Yvonne 
     Hennessey

Yvonne Hennessey

Partner

p: 518.429.4293

f: 518.427.3472

icon_email yhennessey@barclaydamon.com
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Albany Office

80 State Street
Albany, New York 12207

Yvonne is chair of Barclay Damon’s Environmental and Lobbying & Election Law Compliance Practice Areas as well as co-team leader of the oil and gas, linear infrastructure, and energy markets teams. She primarily concentrates her practice on project siting and high-profile environmental and regulatory litigation in both administrative and judicial forums. Yvonne is well known for her strategic advice on navigating the ever-growing opposition to energy siting and successfully developing energy projects, with a strong focus on positing clients to succeed in any resulting litigation.

Yvonne advises clients on a myriad of federal, state, and local laws and regulatory requirements that apply to project permitting and siting, including matters involving the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Coastal Zone Management Act, and related state laws as well as environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the NYS Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). She also assists clients in enforcement matters brought by state and federal regulatory authorities.

Yvonne regularly represents clients in complex litigations, including commercial, regulatory, and permitting disputes and matters. She has extensive experience handling permit challenges and cost-recovery actions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Navigation Law claims, and actions under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

Yvonne also counsels clients on navigating state and federal lobbying and election laws. She regularly advises on complex lobbying registration and reporting obligations, campaign contributions and reporting, and helps troubleshoot issues of compliance and civil or criminal exposure. Yvonne also represent clients during investigations, civil-penalty hearings, and criminal referrals resulting from violations of pertinent lobbying and election laws.

Representative Experience

  • Successfully secured the pre-answer dismissal of a CERCLA action brought in the Northern District of New York that resulted in greatly expanded precedent for NY federal courts regarding the pleading standard for CERCLA claims.
  • Successfully defended Title IV and Title V air-permits issued by the NYS Department of Environmental Consideration as well as its environmental review under SEQRA for the resumption of operations on natural gas at an electric-generating facility historically operated on coal.
  • Represents an interstate-pipeline company proposing to expand its existing infrastructure in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey.
  • Represented a major energy company in litigation involving preemption under the Federal Power Act.
  • Represented a large interstate-pipeline company and industry working group before the US Army Corps of Engineers to help streamline the permitting process for linear energy projects.
  • Successfully settled a CERCLA action concerning alleged radioactive-waste contamination.
  • Successfully defended a landfill operator in a legal challenge to a NYS Department of Environmental Conservation permit and the associated environmental review focusing on alleged noise impacts before the lower court and on appeal.
  • Participated in all aspects of federal and state permitting processes, including Title V and state pollution-discharge elimination-system permitting and in-depth environmental reviews under SEQRA, for multiple solid-waste-management facilities.
  • Represented an energy company in response to a state administrative-agency subpoena and negotiated an acceptable limit to the required response.
  • Represented a retail energy-service company in cybersecurity proceedings before a state regulatory commission.
  • Engaged in a thorough audit of a major energy provider’s election and lobbying-law compliance and provided similar companies with legal advice as to permissible election and lobbying activities.
  • Successfully assisted clients in organizing political-action committees for federal, state, and local election activities.
  • Involved in the 2008 amendments to New York’s Environmental Conservation Law to accommodate shale development in New York, including the Marcellus and Utica shales.
  • Represented the current owner of a state Superfund and hazardous-waste site in disputes with the NYSDEC relative to the need for additional site remediation as well as with prior site owners regarding the contractual responsibility for clean-up.

Practice Areas

Education

  • Northeastern University School of Law, J.D., 1997
  • State University of New York at Geneseo, B.A., 1993

Admitted To Practice

  • New York, 1997
  • Pennsylvania
  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

Memberships & Affiliations

  • New York State Bar Association Environmental and Energy Law Section, Energy Committee Co-Chair
  • Capital District Women’s Bar Association
  • Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association, Past-President
  • Women's Bar Association of the State of New York
  • Air & Waste Management Association, Eastern New York Chapter
  • Barclay Damon’s Women’s Forum
  • Energy & Mineral Law Foundation
  • Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York

Civic Activities

  • St. Pius X School, Board of Trustees Member
  • Girl Scouts of America, Cookie Manager
  • Northeastern New York Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Former Walk Director and Corporate Sponsorships Co-Chair

Speaking & Publications

  • Business Counsel of the State of New York 2018 Annual Environmental Conference, “Update on Pipeline Siting”
  • Business Counsel of the State of New York 2017 Annual Environmental Conference, “New York’s 401 Water Quality Certification Denials”
  • New York State Bar Association Environmental & Energy Section Fall 2017 Meeting, “Key Energy/Environmental Cases of 2016-17,” Moderator
  • New York State Bar Association Environmental & Energy Section Fall 2017 Meeting, “Renewable Energy: Issues Surrounding Development of Wind/Off-Shore Wind,“ Moderator
  • North Atlantic Chapter of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 20th Annual Meeting, “Shale Development: A Comparison of How States Are Regulating Hydraulic Fracturing,” Keynote Speaker
  • LexisNexis Environmental Law in New York Newsletter, “Opposition to Natural Gas Pipelines Following New York’s ‘Fracking’ Ban”
  • Law360, “New York’s Fracking Ban: Politics Under the Veil of ‘Science’”

Honors

  • The Best Lawyers in America®: Litigation—Environmental, 2013-2019
  • Selected to Super Lawyers Upstate New York: Energy and Environmental, 2013-2018
  • New York State Bar Association Environmental Law Section, Brightest Young Member, 2010

Prior Experience

  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Partner
  • The West Firm, Partner
  • O’Connell & Aronowitz, Counsel
  • LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & McRae, Associate
  • US District Court for the Northern District of New York to Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. and Judge Norman Mordue, Confidential Law Clerk

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