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Charles W. Malcomb

Partner; Public Authority Practice Co-Leader
Related Info
  • New York

University at Buffalo, B.A., summa cum laude

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

Chuck concentrates his practice on environmental law, energy law, land-use law, municipal law, and real estate development. He has experience working with both private and public clients on issues involving both state and federal environmental statutes, and he assists municipalities with a wide range of legal issues, including environmental review and zoning.

A primary part of Chuck’s work focuses on the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) where he has extensive experience guiding municipalities and developers through its requirements. Successful projects include environmental assessments for large-scale telecommunications projects, power generation projects (including some of the largest wind farms in the eastern United States and both utility and small-scale solar projects), infrastructure improvements, and public and private developments, from project inception through successful litigation. He has assisted in drafting scoping documents, environmental impact statements, findings statements, decisions, and guiding public review. Chuck also counsels clients on local, state, and federal permitting processes, including compliance with historic preservation laws, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and other federal environmental statutes and regulations.

Chuck frequently gives presentations and provides training programs for local government officials across the State on SEQRA, zoning, environmental law, land-use law, and ethics. He regularly presents at the Summer School and Annual Meetings of the Association of Towns and provides training for the New York Planning Federation. He has trained code enforcement officers and town and village justices on zoning and building code enforcement, and has published articles on investigating and prosecuting violations. In addition, Chuck has provided training to planners and local government officials on NYS Agriculture and Markets law, and the protections applicable to farm operations, including the limitations on municipal regulations. 

As part of his municipal practice, Chuck serves as the attorney for an upstate New York municipality addressing the full-range of general municipal issues. He regularly counsels municipal clients on leasing, ethics, environmental matters, zoning, assessment, eminent domain, and procurement. Chuck represents clients engaged in farm operations in County-adopted, State-certified Agricultural Districts and have assisted in securing municipal approvals for operations, including renewable energy projects. He has also defended lawsuits challenging municipal approvals to farm operations. His further litigation experience includes tax assessment matters, land use issues, environmental enforcement, and other issues before administrative and judicial forums. He has drafted laws for municipalities on a variety of subjects.

Chuck also counsels clients in the oil and gas industry on a variety of matters, including environmental compliance and administrative enforcement defense. Chuck and his colleagues represent several oil and gas companies in defending lawsuits alleging pollution resulting from drilling activities.

Chuck has represented clients with matters pending before the State Liquor Authority, including applications for licenses. Specifically, he has provided guidance to wineries and distilleries with respect to licensing issues and compliance with Federal and State laws regulating the sale and consumption of alcohol. 

In addition, Chuck is conversant in Russian.


  • Listed, Best Lawyers in America (Land Use and Zoning Law; Litigation-Municipal Law; and Municipal Law) 2023 - 2024
  • Listed, Upstate New York Super Lawyers (Environmental) 2021 - 2023
  • Listed, Upstate New York Super Lawyers Rising Stars (Environmental) 2014 - 2020

Press Releases


Blog Posts

Chuck contributed to Hodgson Russ’s Clean and Green Law blog. His entries included:

  • “Cuomo Announces State Investment of $225 Million Toward the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub,” November 25, 2013
  • “Solar Balance of System (BoS) Cost Continues to Be the Focus of Cost-Reduction Strategy,” August 20, 2013
  • “Will President Obama’s Climate Change Policy Impact the 2014 Midterm Elections?,”  July 3, 2013
  • "Proposed Amendments to New York's State Environmental Quality Review Act Do Little More Than Provide Lip Service to Sustainability,"  January 28, 2013
  • "Will the Wind Energy Production Tax Credit Play a Major Role in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election?,"  August 15, 2012

Presentations & Events

Professional Associations

  • Environmental Law Institute
  • New York State Bar Association

  • Bar Association of Erie County

Community & Pro Bono

  • Rivershore Foundation, Inc. board member