At the law firm of Rapport Meyers LLP, we represent individuals, businesses, government entities and community organizations throughout the Hudson Valley.

Since 1936, our firm has maintained a diverse, sophisticated practice, assisting clients with transactions, litigation and administrative proceedings in areas such as real estate, land use and zoning, environmental law, insurance law, municipal law and estate planning.

11/01/2013 George Rodenhausen to speak regarding Conservation Development: What Municipalities Want to Know George Rodenhausen to speak at workshop for municipalities regarding Conservation Development: What Municipalities Want to KnowThis workshop will take place at the Columbia-Greene Community College, Room 614, Professional Academic Center, 440 Route 23, Hudson, NY Read More »
10/01/2013 Victoria Polidoro to speak regarding Rural Road Design & Management Victoria Polidoro to discuss how roads contribute to community character, and how they can be created, improved or protected.   Her presentation is part of a seminar entitled: A Better Way to Get There: Rural Road Design & Management Read More »
04/27/2013 On April 27, George Rodenhausen will be speaking on "Floodplains Management Ordinances" at the 2013 Ashokan Watershed Conference to be held at the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, New York Read More »
Scott's Fined for Contaminating Bird Seed with Pesticide According to a release from the Environmental Protection Agency, Scotts Miracle-Gro was sentenced today to pay the highest criminal penalty and the highest civil penalty in the history of the federal pesticide program for eleven criminal violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act "(FIFRA"). Scotts pleaded guilty to "illegally applying insecticides to its wild bird food products that are toxic to birds, falsifying pesticide registration documents, distributing pesticides with misleading and unapproved labels, and distributing unregistered pesticides."In addition to paying a criminal penalty of $4 million, Scotts agreed to  pay more than $6 million in civil penalties and spend $2 million on environmental projects to resolves additional civil pesticide violations.  EPA said the penalties were appropriate for the "widespread company noncompliance with pesticide laws."How does this happen?  Scott's is the worlds largest marketer of residential pesticides, who you would think as a corporation would want to protect its reputation.  However, Scott's admitted to applying a pesticide to its bird food products during storage even though the warning label stated the pesticide was "extremely toxic to fish and toxic to birds and other wildlife.” The illegally treated bird seed was sold for two years, even six months after an employee warned management of the dangers to wildlife.Aside from the fact that they were caught, the only good news is that Scott's is contributing $100,000 each to the Ohio Audubon’s Important Bird Area Program, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Urban Forestry Program, the Columbus Metro-Parks Bird Habitat Enhancement Program, the Cornell University Ornithology Laboratory, and The Nature Conservancy of Ohio to support the protection of bird populations and habitats through conservation, research, and education.The existence of "widespread company noncompliance" in the country's major marketer of residential pesticides gives pause.  What level of million dollar penalties is needed for it to become economically advantageous to follow the law? Read More »
Bloomberg Supports Research to Make Fracking Safe  On August 23rd, Mayor Bloomberg and George Mitchell, the designer of hydraulic fracturing for nature gas, announced in an op-ed article in the Washington Post that through their foundations they are supporting research to make fracking safe.  A day later the New York Times reported that Bloomberg Philanthropies was giving $6 million to the Environmental Defense Fund to get stronger regulations in the states that now allow fracking.  Mitchell's foundation is contributing $1.6 million.Bloomberg successfully opposed fracking in the New York City watershed and has opposed fracking in the  Delaware River Basin. His turnabout seems to be based at least in part on his strong opposition to coal buring power plants and the air pollution they have caused in the northeast.  In the Post article, Blumberg and Mitchell cite for reasons for their support:The new supply of natural gas through fracking should reduce the price of energy to consumers:It should spur industrial job growth by lowering energy costs;It will  reduce dependence on coal, which should improve air quality and fight climate change; andIt allows renewable energy to be integrated more easily into the electric grid.The article calls for five principles for sensible fracking:Full disclosure of chemicals used in the fracking process;Better regulation of well construction and operation;Minimal water consumption, protection of groundwater, and safe disposal of flowback;Improved air pollution controls by stopping the leaks of methane to the atmosphere; andReduced impacts on roads, ecosystems and communities.EDF has been active on fracking for some time.  The five principles announced by Bloomberg are already being advanced by EDF in their fracking critique, Getting It Right. EDF has a history of stepping up to work with industry.  Memorably, in 1990 EDF worked with McDonald's to find a way to reduce the solid waste produced by their restaurants, including elimination of the polystyrene "clamshell" package for hamburgers.  One can only hope their work here will bring safer operations to states already authorizing fracking and cause those not yet fracking to wait for improved regulations and policies. Unfortunately, the more they succeed, the less competitive become alternative energy sources. Read More »
08/09/2012 U.S. Fish &Wildlife Service Offers New Map of Threatened and Endangered Species In New York we are guided by federal and state lists of threatened and endangered species.  A new feature offered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is a state-by-state map of the threatened and endangered species of the United States.  By clicking on New York, you will find stories on featured species along with links to the national program, laws and regulations, grants, programs for kids and other information.  The site lists 19 federally-listed threatened and endangered species in New York, including the well known Shortnose Sturgeon, Karner Blue Butterfly, Indiana Bat, Bog Turtle, Piping Plover and Canada Lynx. Each species is linked to a species profile, including photographs, population, location, federal register documents, action plans, conservation plans, recovery status, critical habitat and other resources.  The federal and state lists of threatened and endangered species play a significant role in regulatory permitting throughout the state.  This Fish & Wildlife map is a particularly useful service for applicants, agencies and citizens involved in permit proceedings.   Read More »