Terresa Bakner -

Attorney Biography

Terresa M. Bakner

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Attorney Biography

Terresa M. Bakner


Terresa Bakner represents clients in permitting, administrative and enforcement proceedings before State and federal agencies, such as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Department of Public Service, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the United Environmental Protection Agency and OSHA, among others. Ms. Bakner specializes in obtaining land use approvals for commercial, industrial and residential projects, as well as energy projects. Such projects require her expertise in the N.Y.S. Environmental Quality Review Act, Brownfields redevelopment, wetlands laws and regulations, protection of endangered species and critical habitats, and the preservation of archeological and historic resources, as well as local and State zoning laws. Ms. Bakner is the chair of Whiteman Osterman & Hanna’s CleanTech Practice which was established to support the rapidly expanding business sector focused on cleaner energy technologies.

Representative Accomplishments
  • Represents energy companies before the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers in obtaining the necessary permits and approvals for wind farms and gas transmission projects in New York. Represented clients, including municipalities in the Article 10 process before the Public Service Commission and the N.Y.S. Siting Boards.  Many of these projects require extensive local, regional, state and federal environmental review under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and the National Environmental Policy Act, and related statutes such as Articles 7 and 10 of the N.Y.S. Public Service Law. Obtained authorization for the construction of a pipeline across a county nature preserve. Assisted in addressing historic and archeological issues before the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
  • Advised the developer of a major independent power project in Clinton County, New York, with respect to compliance with federal, State and local environmental and land use laws. Assisted with the development of an Environmental Impact Statement for the project which involved the construction of a cogeneration plant, electric transmission lines and related facilities, and a natural gas pipeline transporting natural gas from Canada. Addressed issues concerning State-owned lands, navigable waterways, and archeological and historic resources, as well as wetland mitigation permitting and design.
  • Represented project sponsors in the development of millions of square feet of distribution centers including environmental reviews, obtaining land use approvals, economic incentives and PILOT agreements.
  • Represented municipalities on diverse environmental, planning and energy issues including development of a regional water supply, establishment of sewer and water districts, adoption of solid waste management plans, continued operation of a hydroelectric facility, adoption of local legislation protecting regional aquifers and mining issues, and development of Brownfields projects and obtaining federal and state funds for such projects.
  • Obtained wetlands and other environmental permits for residental, municipal and industrial clients.  Also assisted regional commercial shopping centers throughout the State in obtaining such permits. These permits were negotiated with the involved State and federal agencies, enabling the developers to commence construction without resorting to protracted and expensive administrative or judicial proceedings.
  • Routinely represents clients before federal and State agencies in obtaining permits and resolving enforcement actions regarding alleged violations of environmental and health and safety laws, such as those protecting wetlands, streams, and other natural resources.

Ms. Bakner is a past Chair of the Environmental Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. Ms. Bakner routinely lectures on wetlands regulations, the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act, and other land use and development topics, including RLUIPA,  for organizations such as the New York Planning Federation and the New York State Association of Towns, among others. Ms. Bakner is a member of the Capital District Women’s Bar Association and the Bar of the City of New York.


Albany Law School of Union University (J.D., 1987)

Pennsylvania State University (B.A., 1984)

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