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Holly K. Austin

P: 315.565.4503
F: 315.565.4600

Holly K. Austin is a partner in the Environmental Practice. She focuses on all aspects of environmental law, including permitting, state and federal environmental, health and safety regulatory compliance and enforcement, remediation, SEQRA, and zoning and land use. Ms. Austin has negotiated enforcement and permitting issues with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, United States Environmental Protection Agency, United States Army Corps of Engineers, Public Service Commission, New York State Department of Health, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and New York State Department of Labor.

Ms. Austin’s legal experience includes:

  • Brownfield and related cleanup programs
  • Petroleum and chemical bulk storage
  • Spills response and cleanup
  • Penalties, consent orders, settlements, and stipulations for environmental and OSHA violations
  • Environmental due diligence
  • Wastewater
  • Storm water
  • Wetlands
  • Hazardous waste
  • Air permitting
  • Environmental compliance of health care and industrial facilities
  • Navigation Law, CERCLA, and RCRA Litigation
  • Mining
  • Environmental insurance
  • Environmental impact review (SEQRA), including Type 1, Type 2 and unlisted projects
  • Environmental, zoning and land use litigation
  • Assisting municipal boards in SEQRA, planning and zoning reviews
  • Obtaining approvals from local zoning, planning and historic preservation boards
  • Construction contracting

Ms. Austin served as the pro se law clerk for the Federal District Court for the Northern District of New York, under the supervision of the Hon. Gustave J. DiBianco from November 2004 through May 2005.

Representative Matters

  • Resolved myriad air permit, petroleum storage and discharge violations at a major oil storage facility through a global consent order, and negotiated modifications of an air permit to allow the owner to maximize its facility capacity and revenue.
  • Resolves OSHA violations with substantially lower penalties as part of settlement negotiations.
  • Negotiated favorable agreements requiring a newly constructed landfill to purchase homes of nearby property owners.
  • Assisted in obtaining a favorable settlement during trial jury deliberations in a matter seeking compensation for the faulty installation of a tank liner that caused environmental contamination at a metals plating facility.
  • Led facility-wide environmental audits and facilitated development of comprehensive environmental compliance programs at various manufacturing, health care, and warehouse distribution facilities.
  • Resolved violations and obtained required permits for a construction facility accused of mining topsoil without a permit.
  • Assisted client in obtaining permits for several community solar projects, including successful defense of lawsuits opposing the projects.
  • Regularly defends municipalities and developers against lawsuits challenging approvals issued for controversial projects.
  • Cornell Law School, J.D., 2004
  • Colby College, B.A, magna cum laude, 1998



  • Member, Onondaga County Bar Association
  • Member, New York State Bar Association
  • Member, Onondaga County Volunteer Lawyers Project
  • Member, Syracuse City Court Small Claims Arbitration Program
  • Member, Central New York Women’s Bar Association
  • Past Chair, Central New York Air & Waste Management Association, Board of Directors
  • Past President, Friends of Historic Onondaga Lake Park, Inc., Board of Directors
  • Past President, Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, Board of Directors