GeorgeDuke.jpg

George C. D. Duke, Esq., P.G.

Email: gduke@bdflegal.com

Telephone: (646) 915-0236

Mr. Duke focuses his practice on helping businesses navigate complex environmental and land use laws and regulations pertaining to corporate and real property transactions, mine expansions, land development projects, and brownfield redevelopment projects.  He regularly assists business clients in matters of site acquisition and due diligence, construction and related project development agreements, project financing, and tax mitigation and development incentives.

He handles environmental enforcement actions pertaining to wetlands, petroleum and chemical bulk storage facilities and various commercial and industrial facilities. His experience as a project manager and hydrogeologist for a national environmental consulting firm allows him to understand the basis for environmental legal determinations and solve client problems.

Before joining the Firm, Mr. Duke practiced with environmental law firms in New York City and New Jersey where he counseled clients on numerous brownfield redevelopment projects and commercial transactions involving environmentally distressed properties. Prior to that, Mr. Duke was an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the New York City Law Department’s World Trade Center Unit, representing the City of New York in toxic tort claims arising from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He also litigated environmental claims for the City Law Department’s Environmental Division.

During law school, Mr. Duke gained valuable experience in the Office of Regional Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 2, and the U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Defense Section. He also participated in Pace Law School’s Environmental Litigation Clinic where he represented citizen groups in environmental and land use matters.

Mr. Duke has published articles on the development of Liquified Natural Gas in New York State, brownfield redevelopment and site remediation. He is a frequent lecturer on environmental topics, including site remediation, Brownfield redevelopment, the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), and professional responsibility in environmental law.

In addition to his participation in legal associations, Mr. Duke assisted in the founding of the Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (HoLa), in Hoboken, New Jersey. He sits on HoLa’s Board of Trustees as its Vice President and legal chair and serves on numerous legal and educational committees.   


Representative Experience

  • Land use and environmental counsel to a gaming developer who successfully won its bid to be the first and only Casino Resort Project approved in the Catskill/Hudson Valley Region – a $980 million project with a realistic going-forward investment in excess of $1.1 billion – advising on environmental review, negotiating water and sewer agreements, prosecuting various federal and state wetlands permits, amending local laws to enable a comprehensive master planned destination resort zoning district and obtaining various local land use approvals and entitlements.
  • Land use and environmental counsel for the redevelopment of a renowned golf course in Sullivan County, New York. Representation includes SEQRA compliance, obtaining site plan approvals, obtaining state and federal wetlands approvals to enable redevelopment, and obtaining local financial benefits for the project (sales and use tax exemption, PILOT agreement, etc.) under the County of Sullivan Industrial Development Agency’s uniform tax exempt policy.
  • Represent New York City developer as environmental counsel in the redevelopment of a full city block in Flushing, New York into a mixed used high rise development under the New York State Brownfield Redevelopment Program.
  • Represented one of the largest independent liquid petroleum products pipeline companies in its application to obtain the necessary land use approvals for an above ground petroleum storage facility in the City of Linden, New Jersey.
  • Participated as environmental counsel on the remediation, closure, and redevelopment of landfills in the New Jersey Meadowlands.
  • Negotiated a global consent order with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to resolve petroleum bulk storage violations at multiple facilities throughout New York State for a major mining company.
  • Represented a major Niagara County power producer in its negotiations with the County Industrial Development Agency to secure and maintain financial benefits under the County’s uniform tax exemption policy.
  • Counsel to a major gaming developer in the negotiation and drafting of a PILOT (and related agreements), securing significant financial incentives to ensure financing of the project while guaranteeing a steady revenue stream to local municipalities to enhance essential community services.
  • Applied for and obtained tax exemptions, on behalf of a REIT, for several properties within its 300-plus property portfolio that it refinanced during its $2.5 billion dollar merger with another national REIT.
  • Environmental counsel to a major regional mall and retail property developer on a New York State Brownfields redevelopment project in Queens, New York, involving both on and off-site chlorinated solvent contamination in soil, groundwater and soil vapor.
  • Environmental counsel to commercial tenant on property undergoing active remediation of chlorinated solvent contamination pursuant to CERCLA (Federal Superfund) in Long Island, New York.
  • Environmental counsel to commercial developer on a New York State Brownfields redevelopment project in Brooklyn, New York involving chlorinated solvent contamination from a commercial dying and dry cleaning facility securing both liability protection and significant tax credits.

Education

  • J.D., Pace Law School
  • M.S., Montclair State University
  • B.A., Franklin & Marshall College

 

Admissions

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court District of New Jersey

 

Honors and Affiliations

  • New York City Brownfield Partnership, Member of the Board of Directors and Co-Chair, Pro Bono Committee
  • Trustee, Vice President, The Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (HoLa)
  • Co-Chair, New York State Bar Association Environmental Law Section Task Force on Licensed State Professionals
  • New Jersey School Boards Association – Member of ad hoc Charter School Committee
  • New York State Bar Association
  • New Jersey Bar Association
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York

 

Additional Professional Experience

  • Licensed Professional Geologist, Pennsylvania