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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

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

Mainebiz Real Estate Insider – The Winds of Change: Maine’s Transitioning Forest Products Industry

Maine’s economy has faced a difficult transition. Gone are the days of robust and stable economic growth based on our abundance of tangible natural resources. In weathering the consequences of the electronics age for our pulp...more

Developing Renewable Energy Projects on Brownfields: Mitigating Enivronmental Risks & Liabilities

“Greenfield” utility-scale renewable energy projects have generated both considerable praise and criticism. Government agencies and the public generally applaud efforts to generate renewable energy, while at the same time,...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

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

Shale Gas in the UK: a year in review (a regulatory and policy update)

Introduction - Shale gas exploration is now featuring in the news headlines in the UK on an almost daily basis. The positions of those for and against extraction of unconventional gas through hydraulic fracturing...more

Mixed Result In A Louisiana Legacy Pollution Case

The Dietz family sued several lessees for injunctive relief and restorative damages arising out of leases on two non-contiguous tracts in Acadia Parish. In Dietz, et al. v. Superior Oil Company, et al the trial court granted...more

Changes To California Title 24 Energy Use Requirements Effective July 1, 2014

On July 1, 2014, 2013 CALGreen, Part 11, Title 24, of the California Code of Regulations will go into effect. As a result, certain nonresidential additions and alterations will trigger compliance with more stringent...more

AAI Rules Amended Under CERCLA – Focus on Vapor and Records Review

Effective December 30, 2013, the EPA acted to amend the standards and practices for conducting all appropriate inquiries (“AAI”) to embrace an update to ASTM International standards, and to expressly bring vapor issues to the...more

LEED Silver Requirement To Be Introduced in Montgomery County

On January 21, Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner will introduce 13 legislative initiatives to increase the County's commitment, in the public and private sector, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent...more

IRS Guidance for Historic Tax Credit Transactions: Partnership Flips and Inverted Leases

The IRS released Revenue Procedure 2014-12 on December 30. It is available below. It addresses the structuring of historic tax credit transactions (i.e., transactions involving rehabilitation tax credits provided for in...more

EPA Issues Rule Approving New ASTM E1527-13 Standard For All Appropriate Inquiries

On December 30, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final rule approving the use of ASTM International’s revised “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site...more

Vapor Intrusion “Guidance” – What Now?

"The Fog comes in on little cat feet," according to Carl Sandburg, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tells us that vapors come in through cracks in basements, utility lines, and the like — considerably less poetic...more

Delayed AB 1103 Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure Requirements Set To Go Into Effect In January 2014

Following significant delays, the California Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program is now slated to go into effect on January 1, 2014 for buildings over 10,000 square feet. An owner of a building subject to...more

Public Interest in Renewable Energy May Outweigh the Purpose of the Williamson Act; Cancellation of Williamson Act Contracts May...

After a Central Valley county cancelled Williamson Act contracts on ranchland to make way for a solar energy plant, several environmental groups sued challenging the County’s decision. The trial court found against the...more

New York Landowners Threaten State with Takings Claims over Drilling Moratorium

In a draft complaint circulated to its members this week, the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York—a group of pro-drilling landowners—laid out several claims against state agencies and Governor Andrew Cuomo as a result of...more

2013 CEQA and Land Use Legislative Roundup: Baby Steps, Few Leaps as California Remains Committed to Sustainable Policies

Although 2013 was not a banner year for the passage of new environmental legislation, Governor Brown did sign several bills that make modest changes to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), revisit incentives for...more

Capital Infusion: Practical Environmental Considerations in Acquiring or Securing Financing with Real Estate

This article focuses on environmental due diligence issues in the context of acquiring commercial/industrial real estate or using real property to secure financing. The analysis and risk factors for the acquisition of real...more

Current Issues in Texas Surface Water Law

Learn more about the major issues currently going on in Texas related to surface water. This article was initially published on the Texas Agriculture Law Blog at http://agrilife.org/texasaglaw ...more

Texas Water: Basics of Surface Water Law

This article outlines the basics of surface water law in Texas. *This was first published on the Texas Agriculture Law Blog at http://agrilife.org/texasaglaw . ...more

Environmental Impact Report Must Compare Existing Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Those of the Proposed Project

A city approved relocation and expansion of an existing Wal-Mart into a 24-hour Wal-Mart Supercenter. Opponents of the expansion sued, claiming the project approval violated the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”)...more

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