J. Kevin Healy


Land Use

Kevin Healy is a member of the Environmental and the Real Estate Client Service Groups.  He was a member of the firm’s Executive Committee from 2002 to 2005.

Mr. Healy has practiced environmental and land use law for 45 years.  Twelve of those years were devoted to public service.  Among other positions, he served as General Counsel to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and in that capacity was one of New York’s two lead negotiators in a multi-state dispute over the City’s diversions from the Delaware River Basin during times of drought.  The “Good Faith Agreement” that emerged from those negotiations, which established a drought diversion regime modifying a protocol established under a 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decree, remains in effect today.  Around the same time, Mr. Healy settled a dispute between the City and State of New York regarding the level of releases required from the New York City reservoirs to maintain a viable trout fishery in the tributaries of the Delaware River.

Mr. Healy has served as Special Master in two federal cases: Seggos, et al v. Datre et al, 2:17-cv-02684 (E.D.N.Y.) and USA and State of New York v. County of Westchester, 89 Civ. 5274, (S.D.N.Y.), in which he oversaw compliance with the provisions of a federal court order requiring the cessation by the County of the practice of ocean dumping.  He also has served as a member of the panel of mediators for the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York and has mediated the resolution of multi-party CERCLA actions. 

Case List

•       Empire State Development Corporation ("ESDC") in connection with the Atlantic Yards project, a project including the Barclays Center Arena and over 7 million square feet of mixed use space;

•       ESDC in the environmental and historic review of the Moynihan Station Development project (to convert the landmark Farley Post Office Building into a new Penn Station);

•       New York State Transportation Development Corporation in connection with the redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport;

•       Metropolitan Transportation Authority ("MTA") in connection with the Second Avenue Subway project;

•       MTA in connection with the East Side Access project (to connect the Long Island Rail Road ("LIRR") to Grand Central Terminal);

•       MetroNorth Commuter Railroad ("MetroNorth") in the negotiation of a global settlement with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("NYSDEC") for the remediation of MetroNorth's rail storage and service yards in Westchester and Delaware Counties, and in settling a related claim brought by MetroNorth against Penn Central Railroad's successor in interest;

•       Consolidated Edison of New York, Inc. ("Con Edison") in connection with the repowering of the East River Generating Station (involving the construction of a new 360 MW gas fired generating unit on 14th Street in Manhattan);

•       Con Edison in connection with the environmental aspects of the closure of the Waterside Generating Station and the sale of several properties on First Avenue in Manhattan; and

•       IKEA Property, Inc. in the redevelopment of a 150 year old ship yard in Red Hook, Brooklyn under New York's Brownfields program.

•       Special Master in Seggos v. Datre et al., CIV NO. 2:17-CV-2684, (E.D.N.Y.);

•       Special Master in USA and State of New York v. County of Westchester, 89 Civ. 5274, (S.D.N.Y.), in which capacity I oversaw compliance with the provisions of a federal court order requiring the cessation of the practice of ocean dumping by the County of Westchester;

•       Co-mediator in the settlement of actions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act involving more than 50 leather tanneries in upstate New York; and

•       A member of the 2002 New York State Climate Change Task Force, and chaired the emissions trading committee of that group. This effort resulted in the creation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative ("RGGI") among several Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.

Convention Center Development Corporation (General Counsel) (1982-1984)

Chief legal officer of a New York Urban Development Corporation subsidiary. Handled all legal matters relating to the final steps of the environmental review, and construction of the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (General Counsel) (1978-1982)

Chief legal officer of a major New York City agency responsible for the enforcement of the City's environmental laws and the construction and maintenance of the City's water supply, sewer system and sewage treatment facilities. Managed a staff of 11 NYCDEP lawyers and supervised counsel to the Environmental Control Board of the City of New York. Notable matters included:

•       Serving as one of the two lead negotiators for New York City in the "good faith negotiations" before the Delaware River Basin Commission, which resulted in a landmark agreement among the Delaware River Basin states and the Cities of New York and Philadelphia allocating the waters of the Delaware River during times of drought;

•       Representing New York City in connection with the defense of permits to allow the ocean disposal of sewage sludge in the New York Bight under the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act;

•       Negotiating a settlement of a dispute between the City and NYSDEC concerning reservoir releases to the headwater streams of the Delaware River to maintain a viable trout fishery in those streams;

•       Negotiating consent orders with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the construction of the North River and Red Hook Sewage Treatment Plants;

•       Handling the legal aspects involved in the planning and construction of the North River and Red Hook Treatment Plants, the upgrade of several other New York City sewage treatment plants, and the construction of the Third Water Tunnel; and

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region II (Attorney, Enforcement Division) (1973-1978).

Notable matters included:

•         Representing USEPA in the Transportation Control Plan case against New York City, enforcing strategies to require tolls on the East River Bridges, emissions testing for New York City taxis and parking restrictions in Manhattan, among others;

•         Delegating the New Source Performance Standards and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants programs to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; and

•         Representing USEPA in consultations before the Council on Environmental Quality and in the indirect source permit proceeding before NYSDEC with respect to the Westway project.

Honors Membership Awards

Professional Associations and Activities

The Association of the Bar of the City of New York: Current Co-Chair, Environmental Law Committee (2017- present); Member of Task Force on Climate Change Adaptation.

New York State Bar Association, Environmental Law Section: Co-Chair, Global Climate Change Committee (1991-present), Member of the Executive Committee.

Founding board member of the New York City Climate Action Alliance.

Professional Recognition

Listed in the 2005-2018 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (Band 1, 2010-2018).
Best Lawyers in America, 2017-2018.
AV Rating, Martindale Hubble.
Listed in New York Metropolitan Area "Super Lawyers" for 2005-2017. Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers, 2010-2017.