Theodore A. Schwartz
Environmental Law - Lyndhurst, NJ

You could say I grew up with environmental law, and it grew up with me. When I started back in the 1960s, the Department of Environmental Protection had not even been created. Those early years were an education for everyone: the judicial system, the enforcement bodies, even the public. How would government address water pollution, air pollution and regulate solid waste and land use?

For decades, New Jersey, along with New York and the Great Lakes Region, contained the most plentiful sources of fresh water in the nation. As a consequence, for decades New Jersey supported a water-based manufacturing sector which led to the creation of voluminous and complex environmental impacts. After the impacts began to emerge, it took years for a coherent regulatory structure to be put into place. After all, no one had really paid much attention to pollution matters prior to the mid 1960s.

Iíve been fortunate to have grown up with environmental law. The cases we worked on and the statutes we helped write are the cornerstones of what became todayís environmental regulatory structure.

Technical knowledge is absolutely critical in this area of the law to effectively represent a client. Iíve always made it a habit to be well informed about the technical disciplines in all areas of the environment and be as conversant as possible with the subject matter. The devil is in the details in this area of the law.

Thereís no question that politics and the agenda of certain administrations will affect the application of the law and how we approach it. New Jersey is a very complex state to manage from an environmental perspective, in part because of the effect of different enforcement philosophies and the nature and volume of the environmental impacts.

Still, my experiences have been worthwhile, and theyíve helped my clients. Today we represent some of the largest companies in the nation, often on regulatory and compliance matters covering all environmental fields. We also represent such transaction-oriented clients as developers on land-use and redevelopment issues, which have come to the forefront in urban industrial centers.

Ours is an extremely important area of the law, and Iíve been very fortunate to contribute to it and help shape it. I think everyone understands the stakes of our work. Today, through good regulatory management, we have a chance to turn problems into opportunities and turn environmental liabilities into assets. Thatís a great and worthwhile challenge.

Theodore A. Schwartz
"Today, through good regulatory management, we have a chance to turn problems into opportunities. "
Phone: (201) 896-4100
Fax: (201) 896-8660
Seton Hall University, BA, 1961
St. John's University, LLB, 1964

2009-04-23 09:52:47