Erica Levine Powers

Erica Levine Powers, Esq. is a land use and environmental lawyer with a strong interest in transitional and alternative energy.  As Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University at Albany (SUNY) she teaches a core course in Planning Law and an interdisciplinary Environmental Planning seminar on Hydrofracking the Marcellus Shale to graduate students in the Masters in Regional Planning Program.

A cum laude graduate of Harvard College in Modern European History and Literature (1965), she holds J.D. (1971) and LL.M. (Taxation) (1976) degrees from Boston University School of Law.  Powers is admitted to the bar in Massachusetts (1971), Maryland (1987) and New York (2003); the United States District Courts for Massachusetts (1979), Maryland (1988), and the Southern District of New York (2003); the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (1979); and the United States Supreme Court (2006).

Her law practice combines public sector and private sector experience.  Initially counsel to the Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks, and then a corporate transactional lawyer, at Gaston Snow & Ely Bartlett, Boston (MA), Powers served as counsel to the Deputy Mayor/ Collector Treasurer of the City of Boston and as General Counsel to the Massachusetts Department of Food & Agriculture.  Her law practice portfolio includes commercial lending, economic development, industrial revenue bonds and public finance, and transferable development rights, in addition to land use regulatory analysis and municipal law.

Powers became involved in environmental law as an interested volunteer on the Concord (MA) Natural Resources Commission.  Her passion gradually became her law practice.  Her university-level teaching, doing sabbatical coverage at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, Cornell University, and Massey University in New Zealand, and now as Adjunct Professor at the University at Albany (SUNY), reflects and draws on the depth and breadth of her law practice experience.

She is a co-chair of the Committee on Coastal and Wetland Resources of the Environmental Law Section (ELS) of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) and a member of the ELS Executive Committee; is active in the NYSBA Dispute Resolution Section; and is active in the Planning and Law Division of the American Planning Association.  Powers also participates in the Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources Committee of the Environment, Energy and Resources Section of the American Bar Association.

She is a past president of the Women’s Bar Association of Orange-Sullivan Counties, former member of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York Board of Directors, and a former member of the Board of Commissioners of the Newburgh (NY) Housing Authority.

Recent publications:

Editor, conference proceedings for “Revitalizing NY: Building a New Economy through Sustainable Development” conference co-sponsored by Empire State Future and New York State Department of State,;

Research subcontractor, for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as Research Agency, on (2010) Transportation Research Board NCFRP 25: Freight Trip Generation and Land Use,;

Panel Abstract- A Best Practices Approach to Managing Shale Gas Development


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