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IRS Rules That Some Basis in Solar System Must Be Allocated to Structural Functions

On October 31, the IRS released Private Letter Ruling 201444025, which was addressed to a manufacturer of solar systems that are mounted on real estate. The nature of the real estate, along with many other interesting facts,...more

California Update: New Laws Give Residential and Commercial Tenants Rights to Install EV Charging Stations and Streamline...

Last month Governor Brown signed AB 2565, which gives residential and commercial tenants new rights to install electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, and AB 2188, which directs cities and counties to streamline permitting...more

DOE Issues Final Rule on Federal Green Building Standards

The Federal government has long been a leader in constructing green buildings, and LEED has been the Federal standard of choice. The Department of Energy issued a final rule updating its recommended certification standards...more

ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 10/20/2014

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE - With just over two weeks until election day, Congress is preparing for a brief but intense Lame Duck session, while continuing final campaign pushes. With several races still in the...more

PACE Yourself

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans allow property owners to finance clean energy improvements to their properties generally secured by property liens senior to mortgages through tax assessments. Moody’s recently...more

Gov. Cuomo Signs Law Extending Real Property Tax Abatement for Solar Power Installation

Governor Cuomo has signed into law a bill that extends real property tax breaks for installing electricity-generating solar panels on New York City buildings effective September 23, 2014. ...more

Texas Supreme Court Declines to Address Recovery for Stigma Damages in the Absence of a Permanent Physical Injury to Property

In a closely watched case, the Texas Supreme Court recently declined to address the issue of a right to recover damages for “stigma” in the absence of a permanent physical injury to property. (Houston Unlimited, Inc. v. Mel...more

BLM Issues Proposed Rule to Establish Competitive Leasing for Renewable Energy Projects on Public Lands

On September 30, 2014, the Bureau of Land Management issued a proposed rule that would establish competitive processes, terms, and conditions, including rental and bonding requirements, for solar and wind energy development...more

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Releases "Evaluation of Risk-Based Decision Making" With Public...

On August 29, 2014, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) released “Evaluation of Risk-based Decision Making,” a report prepared by CDM Smith under contract to the state. DEEP has now...more

New York’s Plan for a Self-Sustaining Solar Industry

Governor Cuomo recently announced that New York’s multiple solar programs are transitioning into the single, statewide NY-Sun Incentive Program. The decision is intended to support the $1 billion NY-Sun initiative and help...more

The Wait Is Over: Liable Parties Can Now Seek Early Contribution Claims Without New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection...

The recent Supreme Court of New Jersey ruling in Magic Petroleum v. Exxon Mobil demonstrates a trial court’s ability to allocate liability to “dischargers” while maintaining the role of the state’s Department of...more

Other 2014 Environmental and Land Use Legislation: Fracking, Brownfields, State Land Conservation, Private Easements, Wood Burning...

The General Assembly passed noteworthy bills on six diverse environmental and land use subjects. Hydraulic Fracturing Waste - A deceptively simple bill concerning hydraulic fracturing waste, PA 14-200, emerged...more

Boon Island lighthouse auction

The U.S. federal government is auctioning off Maine's tallest lighthouse, located on Boon Island near one of the state's designated offshore wind test sites. ...more

Boost for Solar Energy in Illinois

Governor Pat Quinn recently signed into law amendments to The Illinois Power Agency Act aimed at promoting solar power in Illinois. Utilizing deposits in the Illinois Power Agency Renewable Energy Resources Fund, these...more

Does The EPA Have A Thing Against Building Energy Codes?

What if there was a technology that had a 20 year track record of saving 4.8 quads of energy and 41 million tons of carbon, while saving consumers more than $44 billion over the past 20 years, and was anticipated to save...more

EPA Issues Proposed Rule to Significantly Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Summer has kicked off with a regulatory push by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This alert briefly addresses two recent EPA rulemakings....more

NY Property Tax Exemption Extension for Renewable Systems

The New York legislature has passed a bill that extends a real property tax exemption for wind, solar and certain other energy systems until January 1, 2025. The bill provides that real property which includes an eligible...more

2014 Legislative Update: Environment, Growth Management and Water

CS/CS/CS/HB 325 amends statutory provisions relating to the brownfield program and modifies the procedures for establishing a brownfield area. The bill also authorizes the local government designating a brownfield area to use...more

Additional Guidance for California Energy Commission Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program

The second phase of the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program takes effect on July 1, 2014 (the first phase took effect on January 1, 2014 and applies to nonresidential...more

SB 871 Bumps Back Repeal of Solar Energy Exclusion by Eight Years

Solar Energy Systems Will Continue to Be Excluded from Full Cash Value of Real Property - A new law extending the exclusion of solar energy systems from affecting the full cash value of real property for taxation...more

IRS Creates Narrow Distributed Generation Wind Opportunity for REITs

The IRS has opened the door a crack for real estate investment trusts (REITs) to be the lessors of wind projects. To qualify as a REIT, a corporation must satisfy a series of complicated tests that require the...more

You Decide: Green Globes v. LEED

The U.S. General Services Administration recently added Green Globes as an additional third-party green building certification system for federal government construction projects. With this addition, many are now asking about...more

Financial Infeasibility of CEQA Alternatives Determined By Reasonably Prudent Person

In SPRAWLDEF et al. v. San Franscisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, et al. (“SPRAWLDEF”)(certified for publication 5/28/2014), the First Appellate District reversed the trial court’s decision and held the San...more

Minnesota Brownfields Soil Reuse Study Identifies Significant Cost-Saving and Carbon Reduction Opportunities

Stoel Rives environmental analyst Steve Heurung was among the co-authors of a Minnesota Brownfields report commissioned by Hennepin County to evaluate the potential for cost savings associated with the off-site reuse of soil...more

Treasury Proposes REIT Solar Regulations but Excludes Most Common Transactions

On the same day as President Obama’s speech championing solar, the Department of the Treasury proposed regulations defining “real estate assets” for purposes of the definition of a real estate investment trust (REIT). The...more

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