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Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Releases "Evaluation of Risk-Based Decision Making" With Public...

On August 29, 2014, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) released “Evaluation of Risk-based Decision Making,” a report prepared by CDM Smith under contract to the state. DEEP has now...more

New York’s Plan for a Self-Sustaining Solar Industry

Governor Cuomo recently announced that New York’s multiple solar programs are transitioning into the single, statewide NY-Sun Incentive Program. The decision is intended to support the $1 billion NY-Sun initiative and help...more

The Wait Is Over: Liable Parties Can Now Seek Early Contribution Claims Without New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection...

The recent Supreme Court of New Jersey ruling in Magic Petroleum v. Exxon Mobil demonstrates a trial court’s ability to allocate liability to “dischargers” while maintaining the role of the state’s Department of...more

Other 2014 Environmental and Land Use Legislation: Fracking, Brownfields, State Land Conservation, Private Easements, Wood Burning...

The General Assembly passed noteworthy bills on six diverse environmental and land use subjects. Hydraulic Fracturing Waste - A deceptively simple bill concerning hydraulic fracturing waste, PA 14-200, emerged...more

Boon Island lighthouse auction

The U.S. federal government is auctioning off Maine's tallest lighthouse, located on Boon Island near one of the state's designated offshore wind test sites. ...more

Boost for Solar Energy in Illinois

Governor Pat Quinn recently signed into law amendments to The Illinois Power Agency Act aimed at promoting solar power in Illinois. Utilizing deposits in the Illinois Power Agency Renewable Energy Resources Fund, these...more

Does The EPA Have A Thing Against Building Energy Codes?

What if there was a technology that had a 20 year track record of saving 4.8 quads of energy and 41 million tons of carbon, while saving consumers more than $44 billion over the past 20 years, and was anticipated to save...more

EPA Issues Proposed Rule to Significantly Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Summer has kicked off with a regulatory push by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This alert briefly addresses two recent EPA rulemakings....more

NY Property Tax Exemption Extension for Renewable Systems

The New York legislature has passed a bill that extends a real property tax exemption for wind, solar and certain other energy systems until January 1, 2025. The bill provides that real property which includes an eligible...more

2014 Legislative Update: Environment, Growth Management and Water

CS/CS/CS/HB 325 amends statutory provisions relating to the brownfield program and modifies the procedures for establishing a brownfield area. The bill also authorizes the local government designating a brownfield area to use...more

Additional Guidance for California Energy Commission Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program

The second phase of the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program takes effect on July 1, 2014 (the first phase took effect on January 1, 2014 and applies to nonresidential...more

SB 871 Bumps Back Repeal of Solar Energy Exclusion by Eight Years

Solar Energy Systems Will Continue to Be Excluded from Full Cash Value of Real Property - A new law extending the exclusion of solar energy systems from affecting the full cash value of real property for taxation...more

IRS Creates Narrow Distributed Generation Wind Opportunity for REITs

The IRS has opened the door a crack for real estate investment trusts (REITs) to be the lessors of wind projects. To qualify as a REIT, a corporation must satisfy a series of complicated tests that require the...more

You Decide: Green Globes v. LEED

The U.S. General Services Administration recently added Green Globes as an additional third-party green building certification system for federal government construction projects. With this addition, many are now asking about...more

Financial Infeasibility of CEQA Alternatives Determined By Reasonably Prudent Person

In SPRAWLDEF et al. v. San Franscisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, et al. (“SPRAWLDEF”)(certified for publication 5/28/2014), the First Appellate District reversed the trial court’s decision and held the San...more

Minnesota Brownfields Soil Reuse Study Identifies Significant Cost-Saving and Carbon Reduction Opportunities

Stoel Rives environmental analyst Steve Heurung was among the co-authors of a Minnesota Brownfields report commissioned by Hennepin County to evaluate the potential for cost savings associated with the off-site reuse of soil...more

Treasury Proposes REIT Solar Regulations but Excludes Most Common Transactions

On the same day as President Obama’s speech championing solar, the Department of the Treasury proposed regulations defining “real estate assets” for purposes of the definition of a real estate investment trust (REIT). The...more

Proposed IRS Regulations Would Qualify PV Modules as Real Property under REIT Rules in Certain Circumstances

On May 9, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations that clarify the definition of real property for purposes of the real estate investment trust (REIT) provisions of the Internal Revenue Code....more

Changes To The Massachusetts Contingency Plan Could Affect Your Cleanup

After a long rulemaking with many hundreds of comments, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has just adopted major updates to the state’s cleanup program, known as the Massachusetts Contingency...more

DEP Provides New Guidance on Community Environmental Projects in Lieu of Civil Penalties

Recently revised guidance issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (the Department or DEP) concerning use of community environmental projects (CEPs) in lieu of civil penalties warrant the attention...more

Leach Oil and Mouren-Laurens Oil Sites Add 1,300 New PRPs to Litigation

The Leach Oil Site and the Mouren-Laurens Oil Site are located adjacent to each other in Compton, California. These sites have been the subject of litigation between the current and former owners and operators for almost 15...more

Enforcement of Municipal Stormwater Ordinances Is Tricky Business: Failure to Enforce an Ordinance Required Under a Permit Is Not...

Stormwater pollution has become an increasingly important problem. Part of the difficulty in solving it is that it’s not obvious who should be responsible. Should cash-strapped municipalities be on the hook or should it be...more

It's Final—State Water Board Adopts New Industrial General Permit for Storm Water Discharges

On April 1, 2014, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) unanimously adopted a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for the Discharge of Storm Water Associated...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

CEQA Alert: Court of Appeal Addresses Inadequate Blight/Urban Decay Mitigation and Energy Impact Analyses

In California Clean Energy Committee v. City of Woodland (opinion filed 2/28/14; partial publication ordered 4/1/14), the Third Appellate District ruled that the City of Woodland violated the California Environmental Quality...more

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