Environmental Commercial Real Estate

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Stop the Presses. Superfund is Stupid.

I know that pointing out CERCLA’s stupidity has something of a dog bites man quality, but sometimes Superfund’s stupidity bears repeating. Today’s exhibit? New York v. Next Millenium Realty, in which Judge Feuerstein held –...more

The Shale Play Today: First Quarter 2016

The Best Protection - Safeguards in Purchasing Distressed Oil and Gas Assets - In the current environment of depressed prices for oil, natural gas and related liquids, oil and gas wells, leases and properties are coming...more

Maryland Environmental Reporting Regulations On Hold For Now

Property owners and developers in Maryland have dodged another bullet, at least for now, with respect to their environmental reporting obligations. On October 31, 2014, the Maryland Department of Environment (“MDE”) proposed...more

EPA Proposes to Add Vapor Intrusion Pathway Assessment to Superfund Listing System

Last week, we wrote about an audit that MassDEP is conducting of previously closed sites to look for high concentrations of TCE in soils and groundwater. The intent of the audit is to address potential vapor intrusion. The...more

Eminent Domain: Be Careful What You Ask For

The condemnation of property for public works may not always be as clean and easy as the government would like. Although local governments are often critical players in the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated...more

Updates to CEQA Guidelines for Transportation Impacts Analysis Under SB 743

On January 20, 2016, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (“OPR”) released a revised draft of thresholds for measuring transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). These draft...more

If MassDEP calls…

At a recent meeting of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee, MassDEP announced that it will soon begin the process of contacting owners of previously closed sites...more

New Jersey’s Appellate Division Declines to Pierce Corporate Veil and Impose Personal Liability on Company Principal for Cleanup...

Action Item: On January 14, 2016, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court in New Jersey Dep’t of Envtl. Prot. v. Navillus Group, No. A-4726-13T3, 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 77 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div....more

Real Estate and Land Use - January 2016

Using Project Objectives to Select a Reasonable Range of Alternatives - North Coast Rivers Alliance v. A.G. Kawamura (January 4, 2016) Third District Court of Appeal Case No. C072067 - Why It Matters: This opinion...more

AIG Bows Out of the Pollution Legal Liability Market

On January 26, 2016, insurance giant AIG announced a major restructuring designed to make it a “more profitable and focused insurer.” Apparently as a result of these efforts to streamline and slim down, AIG has begun...more

California Governor’s Office Releases Updated CEQA Guidelines Proposal on SB 743 Implementation

On January 20, 2016, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a new draft proposal for implementing Senate Bill 743 (Steinberg 2013) (SB 743), which would require traffic analysis to be based on vehicle...more

Arizona Supreme Court Affirms ADWR’s Approval of Mining Company’s Request to Sever and Transfer Its Surface Water Rights

The Arizona Supreme Court, in Arizona Department of Water Resources v. Hon Crane McClennen in and for the county of Maricopa, No. CV-15-0223-SA, reversed a ruling from Judge McClennen of the Superior Court of Maricopa County...more

When CEQA Violations Are An Afterthought: Fourth District Upholds Trial Court’s Independent Judgment Determination That City Of...

CEQA and land use law in California go together like a hand in a glove. Due to CEQA’s broad scope and exacting substantive and procedural requirements, it is relatively easy to plead a cause of action for CEQA violations in...more

California Supreme Court Shifts Gears on “Reverse CEQA”

The California Supreme Court has shifted gears on so-called “reverse CEQA” under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”)....more

New regulations will oblige owners of buildings in Scotland to improve or report on energy efficiency of buildings

Section 63 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 provides for regulations to be made for: (1) the assessment of the energy performance of existing non-domestic buildings and greenhouse gas emissions from such buildings;...more

Department of the Interior Announces Comprehensive Review of Federal Coal Program

On January 15, Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the Department of the Interior will launch a comprehensive review to identify and evaluate potential reforms to the federal coal program. During the review, which is...more

US Suspends Coal Leasing on Federal Lands

Legal challenges to moratorium likely as US Department of Interior considers reforms. On Friday, January 15, 2016, US Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the US will “pause” federal coal...more

A Good Reminder: State and Federal Wildlife Laws Have Severe Penalties for Harm to Endangered Species

Welcome to the New Year! I have decided to declare 2016 to be the year of the endangered species. Why? We ended 2015 with a bang by seeing how serious the take prohibition in the California Fish and Game Code can be for fully...more

Global Private Equity Newsletter - Winter 2016 Edition: Tools for Managing Environmental Risks in Deals

When parties to an M&A deal consider most environmental risks, they essentially seek the same goals that they seek with respect to other liabilities in the deal. M&A sellers, particularly private equity sellers, seek to avoid...more

West Coast Real Estate Update: Jan. 2016 #1

Hit Pause on Energy Use Disclosure - Pursuant to California Assembly Bill (AB) 1103, the Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program required an owner (or an agent authorized to act on behalf of an owner) of...more

Energy and Environmental Forecast for 2016

When Robert Klee took over as Connecticut’s Commissioner of Energy and Environmental protection in 2014, he viewed his role as that of an implementer. As he indicated when he took over two years ago, it was his job to take...more

CEQA Doesn’t Operate in “Reverse” (Usually)

It’s not quite Star Wars, but in the world of land use, this counts as a blockbuster. The California Supreme Court has decided unanimously that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) generally does not require...more

The Carbon Challenge - How emission reduction schemes may affect property lenders

Commercial property is now subject to a range of EU-wide and UK domestic law aimed at reducing carbon emissions. These laws raise important questions for those lending against property....more

Worth the Wait? The California Supreme Court Rules that CEQA Does Not Require An Analysis of the Environment's Impacts on a...

On December 17, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (No. S213478). The sole question before the Court...more

Real Estate and Land Use - December 2015

Not Your First Rodeo—CEQA Exemption for Rodeo Event Upheld - Citizens for Environmental Responsibility v. State of California - Why It Matters: The Third District Court of Appeal upheld the use of a categorical...more

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