Overview

Jose A. Almanzar is an attorney in Holland & Knight's New York office and a member of the firm's Public Policy & Regulation Group. He is licensed to practice in New York and New Jersey. Mr. Almanzar is a knowledgeable environmental and regulatory attorney with prior professional experience as an environmental scientist.

Mr. Almanzar represents clients on a wide range of environmental legal and policy matters across industry sectors, including real estate, transportation, manufacturing, technology and renewable energy. His work includes supporting environmental due diligence for corporate and real estate transactions, regulatory compliance and permitting, enforcement defense, oil spill investigations and cleanups, federal Superfund allocation proceedings, cost-recovery and toxic tort litigation, and contaminated property/brownfields remediation. Mr. Almanzar's work is centered on providing practical and efficient legal solutions to the range of environmental and regulatory challenges that can arise in the course of business.

In addition, Mr. Almanzar counsels clients on issues arising under federal and state laws, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund), Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), New Jersey Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA), New York Oil Spill Act (Article 12 of the Navigation Law), challenges to administrative actions under Article 78 of New York's Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR), New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), and numerous local municipal laws, such as New York City's local laws.

Mr. Almanzar's recent representative engagements include:

  • providing environmental due diligence, risk assessment and regulatory counseling support to a midsize real estate investment trust (REIT) in connection with the refinance of a 50-property industrial warehouse portfolio with sites located in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions
  • providing environmental due diligence and risk assessment in connection with more than 300 telecommunication infrastructure and equipment upgrade projects throughout New York City, and Nassau and Suffolk counties; this work included reviewing and analyzing hundreds of environmental investigation reports and preparing risk analysis memoranda over a three-year period
  • representing the owner of a large mixed-use property in Brooklyn, New York, with the remediation and mitigation of chlorinated solvent contamination (perchloroethylene or PCE/trichloroethylene or TCE); the property was undergoing active remedial investigation under the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program and required significant coordination with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the project engineers and tenants
  • successfully representing a large transportation company in a citizens' suit filed by a nonprofit organization under the Clean Water Act for failure to obtain stormwater discharge permits for more than 100 bus depot facilities across 15 states; this involved coordinating a permit gaps assessment with national environmental engineering firm and creating a compliance program to accomplish goals of the settlement agreement
  • represented clients designated as potentially responsible parties in large, multiparty, billion-dollar Superfund remedial design allocation proceedings for massive sediment sites in the Northeast and Pacific Northwest
  • successfully represented national battery manufacturer in cleanup recovery action filed in New Jersey state court alleging negligence, CERCLA contribution and violation of New Jersey ISRA
  • representing a large airplane parts manufacturer with environmental due diligence and risk assessment prior to the company leasing new manufacturing headquarters, while simultaneously closing its existing facility in compliance with Alabama RCRA closure regulation
  • representing a manufacturer of disposable cutlery in a consumer class action lawsuit filed in a federal district court in California alleging violations under California's Unfair Competition Laws (UCLs), among other claims, for the sale of products allegedly containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)

While in law school, Mr. Almanzar completed legal internships in the Superfund Program at Region 2 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Environmental Protection Bureau within the Office of the New York State Attorney General and in the Environmental Enforcement Division of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. He has also completed internships in the performance track program in EPA's Region 2 office, the tribal program in EPA's Region 10 office, and in the New York State Assembly with then-Assemblymember Ruben Diaz Jr.

Prior to practicing law, Mr. Almanzar worked as an environmental scientist for a national environmental consulting company, where he conducted site surveys and prepared Phase I environmental site assessments, asbestos assessment reports and lead-based paint reports for real estate and telecommunications infrastructure projects. His prior experience and training as an environmental consultant allow him to quickly comprehend complex environmental investigation reports, effectively communicate with environmental engineers to get to the heart of issues, and explain complex information to his clients to address their needs.

Credentials

Education
  • New York Law School, J.D., cum laude
  • State University of New York at Binghamton, B.A., Environmental Studies and Philosophy
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • New Jersey
  • New York
Court Admissions
  • Supreme Court of the State of New York, Second Judicial Department
  • Superior Court of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
Memberships
  • New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), Member, 2009-Present; Environmental Justice Committee, Co-Chair, 2017-Present
  • Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), 2022-Present
  • American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER), Member, 2021-Present; Law Student Mentoring “Bridge Program” Co-Chair, 2024-Present; SEER Liaison to the ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & Responsibilities, 2024-Present
  • Dominican Bar Association, 2017-Present
Honors & Awards
  • Council of Merit Award, New York State Bar Association Environmental & Energy Law Section, 2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, New York Environmental Law Ones to Watch, 2024
  • Rising Star, Super Lawyers magazine, Environmental Law, 2020-2023
Spoken Languages
  • Spanish

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News