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BY ALBERT AMATEAU | Constantine Sidamon-Eristoff, an environmental lawyer and former New York region administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the George H.W. Bush administration, died at home in Manhattan at 81.
A Republican, he was a member of the M.T.A. board of directors for 15 years, having been appointed by New York Republican Governor Malcolm Wilson and reappointed by Democratic Governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo. Sidamon-Eristoff championed protecting land around the New York City watershed Upstate, which ultimately saved the city from having to build a $2 billion water-filtration plant.
Sidamon-Eristoff, a member of the Georgian aristocratic family that emigrated from the Caucasus in the 1920s after the Soviet takeover of Russia, was born in Manhattan and graduated from Princeton in 1952 with a bachelor’s of science degree in geological engineering.
An officer in the U.S. Army Reserves, he served as a second lieutenant in the artillery during the Korean conflict, winning a Bronze Star and promotion to first lieutenant. After discharge from active service, he earned his law degree from Columbia in 1957.
He was chairman of the Audubon New York board of trustees and a member of the National Audubon Society board of trustees at his death.
He married Anne Phipps, a descendant of the family that created Phipps Houses in 1905 to build and manage low-and-middle-income housing. Sidamon-Eristoff was chairman emeritus and a member of Phipps Houses, which provides homes to more than 15,000 people and is actively developing 400 more apartments for low-and-middle-income residents.
In addition to his wife of 54 years, his son Andrew, a member of the New York City Council from 1993 to 1999, also survives, as do another son, Simon, and a daughter, Elizabeth, and eight grandchildren.
A public memorial service to be announced is planned for mid-February. Donations may be made in his memory to Audubon New York, 225 Varick St., N.Y., N.Y. 10014 or American Friends of Georgia, P.O. Box 1200, Truro, Mass., 02666.