Construction Environmental

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NREL Analyzes Production Tax Credit Extension Implications for U.S. Manufacturing

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which is a component of the U.S. Department of Energy, has published a report analyzing the implications of the extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for U.S....more

Bright Line Rule: Collateral Estoppel Precludes Attacks on Quasi-Judicial Permit Decisions (But Stay Tuned: Rehearing Granted on...

Simply stated: “[a] collateral attack is not a substitute for an appeal” reasoned the Second Appellate District Court in Bowman v. California Coastal Commission (2nd Dist., Div. 6, 03/18/2014, B243015) ___Cal.App.2nd___,...more

A Timely Reminder From the CSLB and a Funny Acronym to Boot

Growing up in Sacramento, California I remember it being so hot that you could feel your tennis shoes stick to the asphalt on the playground. As California enters it’s worst drought in 119 years concern over water has...more

Federal Agency Approvals Beyond the Scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

In the last month, two separate federal district courts have declined to extend the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 703-712 (MBTA), to federal agency approvals of projects that plaintiffs alleged could...more

Senate Finance Committee Passes Bill to Extend Certain Lapsed Tax Breaks

The Senate Finance Committee passed the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency Act (EXPIRE Act) on April 3, 2014. The legislation would renew through 2015 more than 50 tax incentives that either have lapsed or...more

Cities Alive: The Future of Green Infrastructure

If you follow the construction industry you know that green is the new gold. As well as LEED bronze, silver and platinum. Green building, which not long ago conjured images of hippie architects and wealthy eccentrics,...more

City Fails to Adequately Mitigate "Urban Decay" and Energy Impacts of Big Box Retail Project

In the latest decision addressing challenges to "big box" projects under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), on February 28, 2014, the California Court of Appeal invalidated the approval of a retail project in...more

Second District Addresses Interesting CEQA and CESA Species Mitigation Issues in Lengthy Partially Published Opinion Upholding...

In a lengthy, mostly published opinion filed on March 20, 2014, the Second District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s judgment granting a writ of mandate, and upheld – as against state law challenges brought by a...more

EPA and the Army Corps Propose Rules Expanding Clean Water Act Jurisdiction, Potentially Affecting Everyone Who Uses Lands Where...

On March 25, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) jointly released a long-awaited proposed rulemaking that would redefine the scope of their shared jurisdiction...more

Wyden’s Extenders Bill Due March 31 - PTC Advocates Muster for the Fight

Senator Wyden (D-OR), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, stated that he will release his “extenders” bill on March 31 and that the included provisions will be renewed through the end of 2015. Senator Rockefeller...more

California’s New Building Energy Efficiency Standards to Go Into Effect July 1, 2014

California builders should be aware of a new set of energy efficiency standards set to go into effect on July 1, 2014. The California Energy Commission’s Energy Efficiency Standards (Standards) were promulgated in 1977 to...more

EPA Approves the New Phase I Standard

Many in the construction industry are familiar with Phase I testing as the first step in identifying environmental risk to any site. Since 2005, the industry standard for a Phase I has been the ASTM E 1527-05. Recently,...more

Green Law Corner: What LEED v4 Means for You

In late 2013, the U.S. Green Building Council released its latest version of LEED, Version 4. Most of you have certainly heard of LEED but you may not know what LEED really means. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and...more

New Legislation to “Ban LEED” Highlights Concerns about LEED v4

In recent weeks, multiple news sources have reported that the Ohio Senate voted to “ban LEED” when it passed Concurrent Resolution Number 25 (“SCR 25”). However, a closer look at SCR 25 reveals that it does not actually ban...more

The Construct - March 2014

In This Issue: - Green Law Corner: What LEED v4 Means for You - Deliberate Intent: Beyond Workers' Compensation and Into the Assets of Your Business - EPA Approves the New Phase I Standard -...more

California High Speed Rail Authority Gains New Approvals to Move Project Forward: Eminent Domain Proceedings Commenced on Eight...

Despite recent obstacles, the California High Speed Rail Authority (the “Authority”) remains steadfast in its determination to complete the high-speed rail project (the “Project”), bolstered by recent approvals from various...more

Previous Environmental Convictions Considered In Jailing Of Supervisor For OHSA Offences: Court’s Reasons Now Available

A supervisor’s previous violations of the Environmental Protection Act, and failure to pay more than $50,000 in fines for those violations, were a factor in the court’s decision to send her to jail for Occupational Health and...more

Overreaching to Apply CEQA; Second District Strikes Down LA’s Attempted Mid-Game Rule Change in Tower Lane Properties

Sometimes in the land use world, municipal planners and other regulators need to be reminded of the simple things. For example, a fundamental precept of due process is that the rules cannot be changed in the middle of the...more

SB 1270 Proposes Significant California Mining Reform

The recent submittal of significant proposed revisions to California's mining law, the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act ("SMARA"), signals potentially broad-reaching changes to the statute. On February 21, 2014, Senator...more

Environmental and Energy: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Issues Draft Environmental Monitoring Services...

On Wednesday, February 12, 2014, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a draft Commissioner Policy on Environmental Monitoring Services (the Policy). The proposed Policy updates DEC’s...more

Yes, Virginia, NSR Really is a Preconstruction Permitting Program: Another NSR Enforcement Case Fails on Statute of Limitations...

The trend of cases holding that the NSR provisions of the Clean Air Act constitute a one-time preconstruction review requirement got stronger earlier this month, as the decision in Sierra Club v. Oklahoma Gas and Electric...more

She Matters - Winter 2014

In This Issue: - The Aggregates Levy: Exemptions On Rocky Ground - Strict Liability, Or Not? - Conflict Minerals – European Developments - European Union Signs Minamata Convention On Mercury - Wildlife Law...more

Tower Lane Properties v. City of Los Angeles: JMBM Prevails in Published Court of Appeal Opinion Holding that a City's Erroneous...

JMBM has prevailed in the Court of Appeal on behalf of its client in a well-publicized and hotly-contested development project in the City of Los Angeles. The court's published opinion will come as welcome relief to property...more

EPA Requiring Best Practices at Construction Sites to Control Erosion

The EPA published a final rule on March 6th that clarifies the requirements for the construction industry to use best management practices (BMPs) to control stormwater and minimize soil erosion and pollutant discharges. The...more

House Passes Energy Efficiency Bill

On March 5, 2014, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2126, the “Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2014.” The bill was co-sponsored by Representatives David McKinley (R-W.Va.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.). The bill...more

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