I first met Dave Markell around 1988, when he moved to New York to direct the Division of Environmental Enforcement of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). This was an era when the federal Superfund and its state equivalents were rapidly growing in importance; the laws passed in the wake of the Love Canal disaster of the late 1970s were finally growing teeth. Dave led New York's efforts to drive the cleanup of contaminated sites by using both civil and criminal remedies. He established DEC's criminal enforcement unit and doubled the number of criminal cases developed and referred annually to prosecutors. His work was so effective that for a time he was called upon to direct DEC's Office of Environmental Remediation, which ran the nation's largest state-level hazardous waste cleanup program. Massive amounts of money were at stake in this program, together with legions of lawyers and consultants, and Dave handled it masterfully.
Law | Legal Biography
Michael B. Gerrard,
Tribute to Dave Markell,
J. Land Use & Env't L.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/4021