Environmental Energy & Utilities Commercial Real Estate

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

Can Solar Reboot Your Coal-Fired Plant Site?

The future of coal-fired plants is not bright. With regulations weighing on them, many plant operators are powering down and asking themselves what’s next for their sites. Solar offers viable options for reusing a plant site....more

Coming Soon To A Roof Near You: Solar Panels (At Least If You Live in SF)

This week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors enacted an ordinance that will require that the developers of all new buildings of 10 floors or less that apply for building permits after January 1, 2017 install solar PV or...more

Oil, Gas and Mineral Companies Take Note: Agreements Purporting to “Run with the Land” may be Rejected in Bankruptcy

A recent bankruptcy court decision from the influential Southern District of New York permitted a debtor to reject executory contracts with midstream gathers as an exercise of sound business judgment. In In re Sabine Oil &...more

About those calls from MassDEP…

Last month, we wrote about MassDEP’s trichloroethylene (TCE) site reevaluation initiative. MassDEP has begun the process of screening sites previously closed under the MCP to look for sites where TCE might exceed the new...more

Environmental Notes - March 2016

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether Jurisdictional Determinations May be Appealed - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines the presence or absence of wetlands and other “waters of the United States” on a...more

EPA Seeks to Add Subsurface Intrusion to CERCLA Hazard Ranking System

The National Priorities List (“NPL”) is EPA’s list of the most contaminated sites in the country that warrant cleanup under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, (“CERCLA” a/k/a...more

Complaint over FERC hydro project property transfers

What happens when the holder of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license for a hydropower project buys, sells, or transfers real estate that is part of the project? A complaint recently filed with the Commission raises...more

Recent Developments Affecting Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Loans

New Jersey Governor’s Conditional Veto Restricts New Jersey PACE, Florida’s Supreme Court Expands State’s PACE Market, Congress Extends the Federal Investment Tax Credit and States Reduce Effectiveness of Net-Metering...more

Moratorium on Federal Coal Leasing Issued by Secretary Jewell

On January 15, 2016, Interior Secretary Jewell halted federal coal leasing on public lands. Western coal companies are attempting to sort out the implications of the moratorium and exemptions set out in Secretarial Order...more

FERC holds CO microhydro needs license

In an order issued earlier this month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found that the developer of a micro-hydropower project proposed in Colorado must obtain a license for the Patton Colorado Hydropower Project's...more

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 on to the market for sale. These assets typically are made available through either...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

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

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

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

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

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

Hot Tips for a Tenant to Green its Space

Companies of all shapes and sizes ranging from office and commercial tenants to those in the retail sector continue to look for ways to ensure their spaces are as “green” as possible – especially in today’s climate with a...more

UK emissions reduction schemes – an update for property lenders

At the end of last year, we wrote about the energy efficiency schemes most relevant to property lenders. In this article, we set out the key developments in this area since then....more

New California Energy Use Disclosure Program for Commercial and Multifamily Buildings Approved

Current Disclosure Requirements for Building Owners and Tenants Repealed - A complicated energy reporting requirement for owners and tenants of commercial and multifamily buildings is ending under a new law that takes...more

Administration Announces New Mitigation Policies

This afternoon, the Administration issued two policies intended to encourage private investment in natural resource conservation and to facilitate application of the mitigation hierarchy—avoiding, minimizing and compensating...more

Governor Brown Signs Legislation Changing Commercial Building Owner Obligations on Energy Usage Disclosure

On October 8, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 802, which among other actions repeals the existing nonresidential building energy usage disclosure requirements. The prior law, AB 1103, codified in the...more

California Mandatory Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosures Revisited

The goal of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California by 2020 to the emission levels of 1990. At the time of enactment California was the second largest greenhouse...more

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