Residential Real Estate Environmental Energy & Utilities

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Mainebiz Real Estate Insider – A Field of Dreams: Imagining a Solar System in the Back Forty

In April 2014, the Maine legislature passed The Maine Solar Energy Act, finding that solar energy development in Maine would help protect and improve the well-being of its residents, as well as provide greenhouse gas...more

Fracking Hearings Set to Begin in North Carolina

This Wednesday in Raleigh will see the first of four upcoming public hearings in North Carolina over the state’s proposed fracking rules. The hearings are part of the final phase of rule making, coming after two years of...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

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

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

The Complexity Associated with Setting Non-cancer Indoor Air Remediation Goals for Trichloroethylene Based on Short-term Exposure...

Over the last few years, there has been increasing consideration of vapor intrusion in groundwater investigations, groundwater remedy selection, periodic reviews of the continued safety of already implemented groundwater...more

Insurer Sues Municipalities Over Claims Stemming from Climate Change

Farmers Insurance has filed a series of class action lawsuits against several Chicago area municipalities for allegedly failing to address climate change in their storm water runoff plan. Farmers claims that this led to...more

Take That! Second District Court of Appeal Clears Major Hurdles for Newhall Ranch Project, Provides Guidance on California’s...

California’s Second District Court of Appeal, Division Five, issued a decision on March 20 in Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish & Wildlife (Case No. BS131347), overturning the trial court’s decision...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

2 and 1/2 Strikes and the NGOs May Be Out: EPA Refuses to Exercise Residual Designation Authority

Stormwater regulation is a thorny issue. There is widespread agreement that nutrient run-off can be a significant problem, but little agreement on what to do about it, since stormwater infrastructure is normally managed by...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

New York Landowners Sue Governor Cuomo Over Fracking Review

A large group of New York property owners have filed suit against Governor Andrew Cuomo, demanding that the state concludes its five-year-long assessment of whether to allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing. The group, called...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 Opens the Door to Expanded Use of Residential Section 25D Credit in Offsite Solar and Other Renewables Projects

The IRS has released new guidance (Notice 2013-70) (the “Guidance”) in the form of a Q-and-A interpreting tax credits available to individual taxpayers under IRC Section 25D (Residential Energy Efficient Property) (the “25D...more

Court Holds Groundwater Augmentation Charge is Not Subject to Voter Approval Requirements of Proposition 218

Notice of a Public Hearing for a Property-related Fee or Charge Must Only be Mailed to the Record Owners of Each Affected Parcel - A California court of appeal recently held that a groundwater management agency’s...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

Spotlight on Louisiana: Louisiana Legislature Reduces its Tax Credit for Wind and Solar Energy Systems

With the passage of Act No. 428 in the 2013 Regular Session (Act 428), the Louisiana Legislature made significant changes to the wind and solar energy systems income tax credits allowed by Louisiana Revised Statutes 47:6030...more

Do Wind Turbines Hurt Property Values?

As I last discussed in June, during the past few years, proximate property owners have increasingly raised complaints about the siting and operation of wind turbines in Massachusetts. This phenomenon is hardly unique to...more

Most Favored Nations Clause: Something To Consider

A recent Texas appellate court decision outlines the mechanics of a "most favored nations clause" in an oil and gas lease. These clauses require that a mineral lessor treat the lessee as well as any other lessee in a defined...more

New Study Posits Correlation between Extraction/Injection Wells and Seismic Events in Eagle Ford Shale

A new study assesses potential correlations between small-magnitude seismic events with fluid extraction and injection in the area of the Eagle Ford Shale of south-central Texas....more

Adopting Thresholds of Significance Under CEQA Not Subject to CEQA Review

In California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (CBIA) (Case No. A135335 (Cal. Ct. App. 1st, August 13, 2013)), the First District Court of Appeal overturned the trial court and held...more

When Can You Sue the State Without Naming the State?

I'll give you a hint, this is a bit of a trick question. Give up? Okay. Whenever you name a State agency, of course. In Lavine v. State of California (pdf), a property owner filed a lawsuit after the Regional Water...more

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