Minimum Qualifications Candidates should have a broad array of environmental/regulatory law and senior level management experience, including experience with government work, administrative hearings or litigation, analyzing legal issues, and researching and interpreting complex areas of law. Candidates should also possess experience with multi-agency project management and development, the ability to develop and maintain strong professional relationships, and an expertise in clean energy siting, managing legal staff, and strong oral and written communication skills. Candidates must have a law degree from an accredited law school and admission to, and be a member in good standing of, the New York State Bar, and should have 10-15 years of post-bar public sector legal experience, including 5 years of managerial experience, preferably in the energy and environmental sectors, and more specifically with New York’s electric industry and/or renewable energy field. Preference will also be given to candidates that have experience in siting of major transmission and/or generation projects under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, Public Service Law (PSL) Article VII and/or PSL Article 10.
Duties Description The Counsel serves as the chief legal officer for the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES), will provide direct support to the ORES Executive Director and Executive Deputy Director, and will liaise with other agencies (Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Public Service, New York State Energy and Research Development Authority). The Counsel will oversee the day-to-day functions of the legal department on behalf of ORES whose lawyers will specialize in the siting of renewable generation consisting of the review of "major renewable energy facility" applications for determining completeness with ORES policies and regulations, publishing for comment draft siting permit conditions, participating in public adjudicatory and non-adjudicatory hearings, and drafting written summary of public comments and assessing comments received on applications. As a new office and function in a highly technical and emerging field, the Counsel will be engaged in activities with a high complexity of laws and regulations governing operations, with unprecedented legal and regulatory responsibilities, and with a strong role in executive level decision making.
Specific duties include:
• Research and interpret complex areas of regulatory law, decisions and business as well as economic policies. Advise and update the ORES Executive Director and Executive Deputy Director on related matters and cases.
• Take sole charge of legal staff in all assigned ORES proceedings set for hearings, negotiations, alternative dispute resolution, etc.
• Defend ORES before the courts of New York and, upon request, bring judicial actions before the courts of New York.
• Draft regulations and orders to carry out all recommendations submitted to and directives promulgated by ORES.
• Provide legal counsel, services, and representation to ORES; and in matters of significant legal importance and sensitivity, personally represent the Office and its Executive Staff.
• Oversee the drafting of legislative proposals and their submission to Governor’s Counsel. Answer inquiries from the Executive Chamber and legislative staff on proposed legislation.
• Review all proposed and existing federal, State, and local legislation affecting ORES; and make recommendations for appropriate action.
• Review ORES’s application of law and related policies and regulations; and render formal opinions to various parties.
• Serve as a liaison between ORES and the Governor’s Counsel on matters of legal significance.
• Work with the Attorney General's Office to develop responses to matters in litigation and provide legal counsel to the Executive Director and Executive Deputy Director on specific issues under litigation.
• Present testimony in court and other adjudicatory settings.
• Advise the Executive Director and Executive Deputy Director on laws, rules, and regulations governing the operations of ORES.
• Direct the drafting of agreements and contracts and ensure they contain appropriate protections.
• Conduct special studies or participate in special assignments as directed by the Executive Director.
• Represent ORES at meetings and events of professional associations and civic groups.
• Work with other functions, at the request of ORES leadership, on a variety of compliance matters, audits and reviews and required action items.
• Supervise and mentor subordinate staff by providing training and evaluation.
Additional Comments ORES will be instrumental in helping New York State meet the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) policy goals, the most ambitious climate legislation in the United States. The office will be responsible for implementing and executing a new streamlined permitting process for renewable energy projects in New York State greater than 25 MW, and any projects 20 MW and above that opt into the siting process administered by ORES. The process has been streamlined within this new office to decrease the time from application to approval for construction to a maximum of one year.
Some positions may require additional credentials or a background check to verify your identity.
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