Environmental Zoning, Planning & Land Use Construction

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
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Practical questions persist on zonal planning proposal

This month's Fixing the Foundations 'productivity plan' commits the government to 'an urban planning revolution on brownfield sites'. Ministers have already pledged to create a register of brownfield land suitable for...more

Seeing Green: New York’s Reformed Brownfields Cleanup Program Creates Opportunities for Redevelopment to Generate Refundable Tax...

Now is the time to begin brownfield redevelopment projects in the State of New York. Reauthorization of and reforms to New York’s Brownfields Cleanup Program, which provides tax credits to redevelop contaminated properties,...more

Environmental Notes - July 2015

Clean Water Rule Opens Litigation Floodgates - With much fanfare, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) recently issued a final rule clarifying which bodies of water are “waters of the United States” protected...more

Owners and Developers Should Review Permits Now Before Time Runs Out

At the end of June, Governor Raimondo signed into law legislation that suspends the running and expiration of all development permits until June 30, 2016. This suspension further expands a permit toll that has been in place,...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Critical Habitat Designations Not Subject to Cost-Benefit Analysis

In Building Industry Association of the Bay Area v. U.S. Department of Commerce, a decision with significant implications for property owners, the building industry, and the development community at large, the U.S. Court of...more

Developer Tips: Top 11 Misperceptions about Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act - Even experienced project proponents can get caught off guard by common misunderstandings about cultural resources protection laws. One of the most misunderstood...more

Fourth District Holds Losing CEQA Plaintiff’s Mooted Appeal Was Not “Catalyst” To City’s Revocation Of Project Entitlements After...

In an opinion filed June 8, and ordered published on July 6, 2015, the Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a CEQA plaintiff’s motion for attorneys’ fees under CCP § 1021.5,...more

Addressing Environmental Issues in Real Estate Development

Dealmakers sometimes overlook environmental issues when negotiating transactions, leaving important business and legal issues unaddressed until they inevitably pop up shortly before closing and send everyone scrambling. This...more

Guidance on Guidance: The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Interim Final Policy for Development and...

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection routinely issues technical guidance documents (“TGDs”), which help to illustrate how it interprets and applies the statutes and regulations that it administers. Like...more

SHE Matters - Summer 2015

In This Issue: - Changes to Comah Regulations - Make Sure You Are Prepared - Strengthening of Enforcement Powers Under the Environmental Permitting Regine and Tackling Waste Crime - Will You Be Affected? - The...more

Public-Private Partnerships Offer Alternative Model for Water Infrastructure Projects

In February 2012, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts completed a study of the state’s drinking, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure needs that identified a funding gap of at least $39 billion over the next 20 years. The...more

In Suing Commonwealth of PA, Clean Air Council Takes A Stand For Up-To-Date Building Codes

There is a war on building codes across the United States, and Pennsylvania is ground zero. After years of regular building code updates, a law was passed in 2011 (Act 1) at the urging of the Pennsylvania Builders...more

EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Finalize Rule Expanding Federal Jurisdiction Over Waters and Wetlands - June 2015

On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Army Corps of Engineers released a final rule expanding federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The rule expands on existing law...more

CEQA Categorical Exemption Case Opinion Ordered Slightly Modified By Supreme Court; Berkeley Hillside Preservation Judgment Is...

On May 27, 2015, the California Supreme Court filed a 4-page order modifying portions of the majority and concurring opinions previously filed March 2, 2015, in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley (2015) 60...more

A Watershed Moment for Business, Industry, and Agriculture: EPA Releases Final Clean Water Rule

On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") and Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a final rule clarifying what bodies of water are subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water...more

DC Circuit Holds Groups Lack Standing to Challenge Two Controversial U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Settlement Agreements

On Tuesday, May 26, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the National Association of Home Builders’ and three other associations’ (collectively, NAHB) challenge to separate settlements...more

Governor Signs Legislation Ending the Development of Regional Impact Program for New Development

On Thursday, May 14, 2015, Governor Scott signed into law CS/CS Senate Bill 1216, now Chapter 2015-30, Laws of Florida. This historic piece of legislation eliminates the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) process...more

Northern Long-Eared Bat Listed as Threatened Species – Development Projects in Northern New England Could Be Affected

On April 2, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Fish & Wildlife) issued a final rule listing the Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This listing took effect...more

Bill to Streamline Federal Permitting for Major Energy and Infrastructure Projects Advances in the US Senate

On May 6, 2015, the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs voted 12-1 in favor of a bill designed to streamline the Federal permitting process for major energy and infrastructure projects. The bill,...more

B.C. Court Allows Environmental Approvals Delay Claim to Proceed

In Carhoun & Sons Enterprises Ltd. v. Canada (Attorney General), the British Columbia Court of Appeal allowed a lawsuit to proceed against the federal government by a private developer for losses caused by delays in the...more

Maine DEP Revises Universal Waste Rules, Adds Regulations for Architectural Paint

In March, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) revised the state’s hazardous waste and universal waste regulations, based on a fall 2014 proposal.  There are several particularly important changes to the...more

Climate Change Adaptation: Massachusetts Releases New Policies to Address

In one of our prior posts, we reported on efforts by Boston and New York City, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, to undertake comprehensive climate change preparedness planning to review the vulnerabilities of each city’s built...more

Texas small hydro project loses exemption

What happens to a proposed hydroelectric project takes longer than anticipated to be built, due to difficulties with project financing and severe flooding? As the developer of a proposed project in Texas recently found out,...more

Federal Government Takes First Steps to Impose Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing on Public Lands

On March 20, 2015, the Interior Department announced the issuance of a final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on Federal and American Indian lands. The rule was initially proposed by the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”)...more

What’s a Significant Nexus? The Answer, My Friend, Is Flowin’ Through the Ditch.

Even assuming that the “significant nexus” test from Justice Kennedy’s concurring opinion in Rapanos defines waters of the United States subject to Clean Water Act jurisdiction, the question remains what establishes a...more

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