Mike is the Leader of Hodgson Russ’ Real Estate, Environment, Energy, and Finance Practice Area, and co-leader of the Brownfield Redevelopment Practice.

Mike has a broad-based environmental and energy-based practice, with a focus on addressing environmental issues in business transactions, regulatory compliance counseling and permitting, renewable project development, administrative, civil, and criminal environmental defense, and remediation-based project oversight and assistance.

A large part of Mike’s practice focuses on assisting regional, national, and international clients with regulatory compliance and remedial matters. His experience includes counseling corporate and facility-based management on operational compliance programs and permitting pursuant to local, State and Federal requirements and disclosure obligations, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”), Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, and other environmental statutes and regulations.

Mike also has substantial experience in overseeing small to large-scale, multi-faceted remedial projects, including those pursuant to RCRA, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("CERCLA"), the New York State ("NYS") Spills Program, the NYS Brownfields Program, and the NYS Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site Remedial Program. As part of these representations, Mike has negotiated a number of State and Federal Orders and Decrees with various agencies, including the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the United States Department of Justice.

Mike regularly counsels strategic and financial parties on a wide range of issues in business transactions, including due diligence matters; legacy impairment and compliance liabilities and risks; Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) matters; the negotiation of sophisticated environmental-related provisions and requirements in purchase and acquisition agreements, distributor and supplier agreements, leases and other contractual arrangements; the use of environmental insurance and risk transfer products; compliance with State transfer act program requirements; the use of tax-credit based programs, including the USEPA’s Brownfields Program and the NYS Brownfields Program; and, sustainability-based initiatives and requirements.

Mike regularly assists renewable project developers on a wide range of development, permitting, regulatory compliance, and risk assessment issues. In particular, he has assisted a number of clients on the siting of projects on former landfill and Superfund sites, providing counsel on the wide range of issues to be addressed and considered in doing so, including working with PRP Groups.

Mike also has significant experience representing clients during State and Federal administrative, civil, and criminal investigations and proceedings regarding alleged violations of environmental statutes and regulations. His experience defending enforcement actions includes assisting clients with internal investigations and audits, directing, and overseeing sophisticated third-party environmental professionals, legal and regulatory application and analysis, and interaction with regulatory authorities. 

Mike is a member of the Board of Directors of Hodgson Russ.


State University of New York at Geneseo, B.A., cum laude

University at Buffalo School of Law, J.D., cum laude


  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York

Representative Work

Mike regularly represents clients regarding environmental regulatory issues and disputes before the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; advises clients on interpretation of federal and state environmental provisions, regulations, and statutes; and advises clients on environmental provisions in transaction agreements, including indemnity provisions, supplier agreements, and other associated corporate documents. Specifically, Mike has played a significant role in the following representative matters:


  • Listed, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business - Band 1 (Environment) 2020 - 2024
  • Listed, Best Lawyers in America (Environmental Law) 2024
  • Listed, New York Metro Super Lawyers (Environmental) 2022 - 2023
  • Listed, Upstate New York Super Lawyers (Environmental) 2021 - 2023
  • Listed, Upstate New York Super Lawyers Rising Stars (Environmental) 2014 - 2020
  • Listed, New York Metro Super Lawyers Rising Stars (Environmental) 2013 - 2020 

News & Insights


  • Adjunct Faculty, University at Buffalo School of Law, International Legal Advocacy, 2013 - 2016
  • American Lung Association of the Northeast’s Buffalo Leadership Board, Immediate Past Chair and Chair of the Nomination Committee

  • Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc., former member of the Board of Directors


  • UB Law School Alumni Association, Inc. - President
  • National Association of Environmental Management - Affiliate Council Member Representative
  • Air & Waste Management Association ("AWMA") & AWMA Niagara Frontier Section - Member
  • New York State Bar Association - Environmental & Energy Law Section - Chair and Member of the Executive Committee and Cabinet

  • New York League of Conservation Voters - Central & Western NY Chapter Board Member

Multimedia & Podcasts

  • New York State Brownfield Program (Part 2): Tax Credits

    Joe continues his conversation with Hodgson Russ partners Michael Hecker and Joseph Endres, as the trio discusses the dynamic Brownfield Program. The conversation shifts to the sizeable tax credits available to developers looking to take advantage of the Brownfield Program. Joe Endres highlights how these credits are calculated, claimed, and what scrutiny the tax department may use when reviewing Brownfield credit claims.

  • New York State Brownfield Program (Part 1): Cleanup & Compliance

    Joe is joined by Hodgson Russ LLP partners Michael Hecker and Joseph Endres to discuss the ins and outs of New York State’s Brownfield Program. Federal and State Brownfield Cleanup Programs (BCPs) present unique opportunities for revival of contaminated properties in economically blighted communities and turning barriers to development into productive commercial or industrial sites. These programs also serve as one of the tools that may be used alongside a wide array of other economic development programs to leverage dollars and investment for various types of redevelopments, while providing essential protections against long-term risk. Brownfield projects require a step-by-step understanding of the process in order to ensure those undertaking the project receive the maximum benefits available. Mike shares his expertise on the regulatory and operational compliance required to undertake a Brownfield Project, and the steps to be completed long before the benefit of the Brownfield tax credit can be received.

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Michael J. Hecker / News & Insights