Telisport W. Putsavage


Telisport W. Putsavage has more than 30 years of experience in environmental law and regulation, with a major focus on pesticides. He has held significant public sector environmental positions, serving as an Assistant Counsel of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and as an Assistant Attorney General in the Maryland Department of the Environment. In addition, Mr. Putsavage was a partner at Keller & Heckman and Carter, Ledyard and Milburn, and Of Counsel to Sullivan & Worcester in their Washington, D.C. Offices.

Presently, Mr. Putsavage counsels pesticide producers, distributors, retailers and trade associations on federal and state pesticide regulatory and business matters, including product registration and cancellation, federal and state enforcement, and data compensation, as well as broader environmental issues. 

In addition to his environmental work, Mr. Putsavage has both represented and been a participant in Thoroughbred racing and breeding. Through his client the American Horse Council, he represented the interests of horse racing before the Federal Gambling Impact Study Commission. He also served as Counsel to the New York Olympic Task Force for the Lake Placid Winter Games. Previously he was a staff attorney with the Food Law Project, a Legal Services Corporation law reform project.

Significant Client Representation

  • Represented numerous clients in multi-million dollar negotiations and arbitrations addressing the compensation due for reliance upon pesticide data previously filed with EPA.
  • Represented clients in federal and state pesticide enforcement matters, including negotiation of state consent order providing for a significantly reduced penalty of $1 million and establishing a precedential environmental benefit project to underwrite the collection and environmentally sound disposal of waste pesticides.
  • Designed and supervised audit of pesticide compliance for client holding in excess of 100 pesticide registrations.
  • Obtained for clients the first registration of insect-repellent fabric for use in commercially-available outdoor activity apparel.
  • Persuaded EPA that plant vitamin-hormone mixture that functions as a plant growth regulator is naturally occurring, thereby qualifying for exemption from pesticide registration.
  • Counseled clients producing various products qualifying for EPA classification as antimicrobial-treated articles.
  • Handled appeal in which the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service overturned a decision of American Arbitration Association on the procedural provisions of an arbitration, in a manner favorable to client.
  • Obtained for an off-shore client the first U.S. generic registration of the herbicide paraquat, overcoming fierce resistance from the pioneer registrant, including discredited claims that its proprietary formulation presented less risk than the generic formulation.

 Significant Public 

  • For the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), assisted in drafting the amicus brief on behalf of the states supporting EPA in Whitman as Administrator of the EPA v. American Trucking Company v. EPA  531U.S. 457 (2001) which addressed ambient air quality standards under the Clean Air Act.
  • For the MDE, counseled the decision maker for In the Matter of the Fairfax County Water Authority, a Potomac River withdrawal permit application that ultimately lead to the decision in Virginia v. Maryland, 124 S. Ct. 598 (2003).

 For the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”) Developed and advocated for legislative positions sponsored by the Governor: major amendments to Environmental Conservation Law Article 33 [Pesticides] Article 23 [Mineral Resources]; the establishment of the Olympic Regional Development Authority [Public Authorities Law ARticle 8]; and the New York Conservation Easements Law [Environmental Conservation Law Article 49 Title 3].

  • For NYSDEC, developed strategy and supervised litigation resulting in precedent-setting decisions in New York Court of Appeals [CSMA v. Jorling; upholding state authority to regulate pesticdiep roducts through legislative-type rulemakings] and U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit [New York State Pesticide Coalition v. Jorling; upholding state authority to require distribution of pesticides labels prior to commercial applications]
  • For NYSDEC counseled the Pesticide Management Program on aquatic permit requirements and represented the NYSDEC in 25 day, multi-party hearing concerning a proposed herbicide application to Lake George

Bar & Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York


  • J.D., Boston University School of Law
  • B.A., Muhlenberg College

Awards & Honors

  • Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers [Sullivan & Worcester Environment and Natural Resources Practice Group 2013]

Professional Activities

  • Member, Executive Committee, and Co-Chair, Pesticides Committee, Environmental Section, New York State Bar Association
  • Member, Pesticides, Toxics and Right to Know Committee of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section, American Bar Association
  • Member, Cannabis Law Committee, Representing the Environmental and Energy Section, New York State Bar Association