Environmental Commercial Real Estate

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
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SCOTUS Gives Landowners New Tools to Challenge Wetlands Permitting Decisions

The United States Supreme Court handed landowners and developers a win this month in a unanimous decision allowing appeals to federal courts of Army Corps of Engineers determinations that a body of water or wetland is subject...more

Historic contamination in Romania under sale–purchase agreements

General Context - Historic contamination receives a lot of attention in Romania, particularly in the process of privatizing formerly state owned enterprises. Some of these enterprises are taken over as ongoing...more

Sustainable Development Update - June 2016 #3

Sustainable Development Focus - A suburban experiment aims for free energy - New York Times - Jun 3 - At first glance, Anthony and Vanessa Genau’s home in a subdivision beneath the San Gabriel Mountains is like...more

Tightening the Timeline for Original Condition: the First Circuit Denies Writ from Ruling Applying Subsequent Purchaser Doctrine...

In the watershed Corbello decision, the Louisiana Supreme Court affirmed a $33 million award—the cost to restore property valued at $108,000 to its “original condition” after it was damaged by oil and gas operations.  If...more

EPA Brownfields Site Planning Grants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has posted a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Fiscal Year 2017 Brownfields Area-Wide Planning program grants. With estimated funding of $4 million and a maximum grant amount of...more

Why You Should Continue to Pay Attention to PACE

With commercial property owners and tenants still seeking sustainable building designs that incorporate energy efficiency or green building features, Property Accessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing will continue to rightfully...more

Supreme Court Rules Landowners Can Challenge Jurisdictional Determinations

On May 31, 2016, in a unanimous ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held in USACE v. Hawkes Co. that approved jurisdictional determinations (“JD”) are final actions which can be reviewed by the courts. Under the Clean Water Act a...more

Have You Got the Right EPCs?

We were reading in the Property Week (27th May edition) just how unreliable an EPC rating can be. This matters because from 2018 when new minimum energy efficiency regulations (MEES) start to apply, investors won’t be able...more

Corps Proposes Renewal of Nationwide Permits

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) has proposed new and revised Nationwide Permits (“NWPs”) for certain activities that require authorization under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act or Section 10 of the Rivers and...more

Governor Ducey Vetoes Water and Development Bills

With the second regular legislative session of Governor Doug Ducey’s tenure complete, the Governor exercised his veto pen rejecting several laws impacting water and land development. On May 9th, Governor Ducey vetoed two...more

Clean Water Act Client Alert: US Supreme Court Concludes US Army Corps of Engineers Wetland "Jurisdictional Determinations"...

Earlier this week, the US Supreme Court unanimously concluded that wetland determinations by the US Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) under the Clean Water Act constitute final agency action, meaning that landowners can...more

Insurers Take Notice: Ninth Circuit Rules that EPA Request Letter Triggers Duty to Defend

On May 11, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a general liability insurer owed a duty to defend an environmental matter even though no suit had technically been filed. Ash Grove Cement Co v. Liberty Mutual...more

When Contract is Silent, Accommodation Doctrine Applies to Water Rights Disputes

A case that has been closely followed by oil and gas and other interests which involves groundwater disputes has now been decided by the Texas Supreme Court. In Coyote Lake Ranch, LLC, v. The City of Lubbock, decided on May...more

Clean Up Green Up—Supplemental Use Districts—more regulation for three LA City Neighborhoods

On June 4, 2016, the City of Los Angeles rolls out its much-discussed Clean Up Green Up (CUGU) pilot program for three communities: Boyle Heights, Wilmington and Pacoima. Ordinance 184246, approved by Mayor Garcetti on April...more

Sustainable Development Update - May 2016 #3

Sustainable Development Focus - Energy efficiency is a must for California buildings moving forward - Los Angeles Daily News - May 14 - Energy efficient homes like those at Skylar at Playa Vista in Los...more

Compliance Audits as part of Environmental Due Diligence - It’s more than just a Phase

When Borrowers and their lenders think about environmental due diligence, they immediately focus on Phase I/Phase II/ Environmental Site Assessments. That’s a good thing, and is an essential requirement when acquiring real...more

Update: New Legislation Creates Land Banks

Valuable Tool for Municipalities Seeking to Redevelop Brownfield Sites - On May 4, the General Assembly passed Public Act 16-115, An Act Concerning The Creation Of Connecticut Brownfield Land Banks, Certain Lender...more

Guidance for building owners on the Energy Performance of Non-domestic Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2016

The first batch of general and technical guidance notes on the Energy Performance of Non-domestic Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2016 ("the Regulations") was published on 23 May and is now available on the Building...more

New LA Ordinances “Clean Up, Green Up” Industry in Residential “Toxic Hotspot” Neighborhoods

On June 4, 2016, two new Los Angeles ordinances will go into effect under the Clean Up, Green Up (CUGU) initiative. The initiative aims to improve air quality and residential quality of life in areas with high concentrations...more

Renewable Energy Update - May 2015 #3

Renewable Energy Focus - Voter support for clean energy policies up since last presidential election - Solar Industry Magazine - May 18 - A new survey by Lazard Ltd., a financial advisory and asset management...more

Sustainable Development Update - May 2016 #2

Sustainable Development Focus - 399 Fremont tower's water heated by solar power - Bisnow - May 11 - San Francisco's 399 Fremont Street, owned by UDR and MetLife, now features the world’s tallest solar water...more

CDFA Creates New Brownfields Project Marketplace to Advise on Projects and Financing Resources --- Online Marketplace Scheduled...

The Council of Development Finance Agencies (“CDFA”), a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests, announced the creation of the Brownfields Project Marketplace...more

New Kansas Act Allows Relief for Purchase of Contaminated Property

On May 9, 2016, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law the Contaminated Property Redevelopment Act (the “Act”). The goal of this Act is to allow purchasers in Kansas to acquire real property with pre-existing...more

Oakley to Condemn Century-Old Building for Street Widening Project

As cities become more dense and urbanized, it is common for infrastructure to get outdated or insufficient to handle increased demand. We see this with roads, highways, schools, and even utilities. When new infrastructure...more

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County (Case No. S214061)

On May 4, 2016, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (Case No. S214061), which addresses the standard of review that...more

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