Robert J. Kafin currently serves as chair of the Times Square Alliance, the business improvement district for the Times Square neighborhood in Manhattan. In addition, by appointment of the NYC Mayor, he is chair of GrowNYC, the operator of 54 Greenmarkets and other environmental conservation programs in New York City. He is also Chair of the Adirondack Council a nonprofit which works to preserve the ecological integrity and wild character of the six million acre Adirondack Park. He devotes most of his time to not-for-profit civic and environmental organizations, while continuing as an optional service partner at the firm, where he remains available to advise its clients. He is the founder and a member of the firm’s Environmental Practice Group.
From 1991 to 2009, Bob was a member of the senior management of the firm, serving as its Chief Operating Partner for 15 years and also as its General Counsel.
Bob has concentrated his outside client service in the area of environmental law since 1971. As such, he has handled complex problems arising under the entire spectrum of environmental issues which face businesses and has a sophisticated understanding of their legal, political, regulatory, scientific and transactional aspects and regulatory schemes under the major federal environmental laws and state analogues, including the Clean Air Act, Emergency Planning and Right-to-Know Act, Federal Water Pollution Control Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Oil Pollution Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Superfund, and Toxic Substances Control Act.
In addition, Bob has reviewed and evaluated environmental compliance and liabilities in major transactions involving almost every type of industry. He also has assisted clients with “Brownfields” projects in working their way through the regulatory and financing maze created by new statutes and regulations setting up voluntary clean-up and liability protection programs.
Land use regulation and environmental impact analysis has been another branch of Bob’s environmental law practice. He has worked extensively on the environmental impact and zoning problems of major real estate developments and industrial facilities, including the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, for which he supervised the preparation of environmental impact statements and obtained permits for the major sports facilities.
In addition to his positions at The Times Square Alliance, GrowNYC and the Adirondack Council, Bob is a director of the Preservation League of New York State and Parks and Trails New York.