Energy & Utilities Construction

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News & Analysis as of

"Green" Light For Energy-Efficient Home Construction in Maryland

For those who believe that government programs may provide a stimulating effect on the private economy and promote positive changes in the ways in which we work and live, an enrolled bill, not yet signed into law, coming out...more

California Encourages Building Efficiency by Implementing Energy Benchmarking Legislation

After a series of delays, California has implemented new energy disclosure legislation requiring nonresidential building owners to disclose energy information to parties to transactions as well as to the California Energy...more

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

New Law Allows Mining Operators to Remedy Compliance Issues and Retain AB 3098 List Status

Mining companies are subject to myriad requirements under the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) and implementing regulations that can trip up even the most diligent of operators from time to time. When a potential...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

Developers Turn to Tax Opinion Insurance to Solve the “Starting Physical Work of a Significant Nature” PTC Eligibility Issue

Industry reports suggest that three developers have purchased tax opinion insurance to provide financial assurance to tax equity investors that their projects will be production tax credit (“PTC”) eligible. Use of this...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

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

Senate Finance Committee Passes PTC Extension as Part of Tax Extenders

On April 3, the Senate Finance Committee passed a modified extenders package that includes a two-year extension of the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) under section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code as well as an...more

PTC Extension Added to Tax Extenders

A modified extenders package was released today that includes a two-year extension of the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) under section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code as well as an extension of the option to...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

The Applicability of Pennsylvania’s Mechanics Lien Law to Oil and Gas Well and Pipeline Construction Projects

The owner and contractors on a construction project usually anticipate that all parties will be properly paid for work performed. In reality, however, it is not uncommon for issues to arise related to the payment of a...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

Current Developments in Eminent Domain and Oil and Gas Pipeline Construction (Under Construction - March 2014)

On February 19, 2014, a Nebraska state district court judge invalidated a portion of a Nebraska law that had, until the decision, permitted an alternate, streamlined method of obtaining eminent domain authority for the...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

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

Construction and Land Use Newsletter - March 2014

Please see full newsletter below for more information. - Lorton Landfill Dispute Nearing Board of Supervisors’ Review - I Know My (Vested) Rights! Developing a Project in a Changing Climate - Excerpt from...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

Anticipating, Preparing for, and Handling Surprise OSHA Inspections

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the "Act"), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") has very broad powers, including the authority to conduct workplace inspections without providing...more

The Construction Advantage – Issue 2

We hope you enjoy Bernstein Shur’s second edition of The Construction Advantage. This newsletter will provide you with insight into the current legal issues in construction, news and updates. Our goal is to provide practical...more

California Building Energy Efficiency Standards Delayed to July 1, 2014

The California Contractors State License Board (“CSLB”) has issued an Industry Bulletin providing further information regarding the delayed implementation of the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards which has been...more

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