On May 13, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and New York State officials broke ground on a clean water infrastructure project at Plant 6 of the Hicksville Water District, located in Nassau County.  This groundbreaking step represents just the initial phase of a comprehensive effort to implement a $9 million treatment system to remove a number of hazardous

Continue Reading Navigating the Waters: A Long Island Community’s Response to the EPA’s PFAS Directive

The 2022/2023 State budget included watershed (no pun intended) amendments to the regulations governing New York’s Freshwater Wetlands. It has been published that the changes to the Freshwater Wetlands Act are expected to capture approximately one million acres (1,560 square miles) of previously unregulated freshwater wetlands – the equivalent in landmass of 1/10th the state of Rhode Island.  As part of the move, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC” or “Department”) is seeking information from stakeholders as it considers the revisions to the regulations and develops criteria to implement the Act. Continue Reading DEC Seeks Feedback by February 17th as it Considers Revamped Freshwater Wetland Regulations

On July 28, 2023, in response to three separate fires at Battery Energy Storage System (“BESS”) locations in New York, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the creation of an inter-agency fire safety working group.  The Fire Safety Working Group, to be comprised of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Fire Prevention and Control, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Public Service, and the Department of State.Continue Reading Fires at New York Battery Energy Storage System Facilities Ignite State Response

The New York Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (“CLCPA”) established ambitious targets to transform New York’s energy generation and efficiency. The CLCPA was signed into law in 2019 with goals to achieve 100% zero-emission electric generation by 2040 and greenhouse gas emission reduction to 85% below 1990 levels by 2050, among others.  The clean energy investments contemplated by the CLCPA include $35 billion in large-scale renewable and transmission projects, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $1.8 billion for solar and more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives. Continue Reading Green for Green: New York’s Climate Justice Working Group Identifies Qualified Disadvantaged Communities for Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Investments

Last month, the State’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, upheld the Appellate Division’s decision annulling the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issuance of permits to Sand Land Corporation (“Sandland”) for renewal and expansion of sand mining operations at a 50-acre site in Southampton, New York and remanded the matter back to the DEC. The site, owned by Sandland, is a pre-existing sand mining site.Continue Reading NYSDEC Mining Law Appears Further Undermined by the Court of Appeals

            The Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (“ESA”) is the quintessential environmental diligence tool for transactions involving real property.  A Phase I ESA includes a site inspection and review of current and past uses and ownership, among other things, to evaluate actual and potential environmental conditions.  If performed in accordance with the All Appropriate Inquiry Rule (“AAI Rule”), a Phase

Continue Reading It’s Official! ASTM E1527-21 is the New Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard

In November 2015, the northern long-eared bat was listed as a threatened species due to the devastating impact of white-nose syndrome.  White-nose syndrome is a disease caused by a fungus that affects hibernating bats and is decimating the bat population.  As a result of continued population decline, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) announced a final rule to reclassify

Continue Reading U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lights the Bat Signal, Designating the Northern Long-Eared Bat as Endangered

For the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC” or “Department”), discretion has been the better part of valor when considering enforcement of certain provisions of the Revised Part 360 Solid Waste Regulation Series (“Regulations”). 

In September 2017, NYSDEC announced a comprehensive overhaul of the then existing regulations governing Solid Waste Management Facilities.  The Regulations became effective on November

Continue Reading Nearly 5 Years After Historic Update, New York’s Part 360 Solid Waste Regulation Series Remains a Work in Progress

When New York Governor Kathy Hochul executed the 2022-2023 State Budget, it included a 10-year extension to the State’s Brownfield Cleanup Program (“BCP” or “Program).  The State’s voluntary, incentive-laced, BCP was set to expire on December 31, 2022.  The Program’s extension generally reinforces the State’s commitment to incentivize the remediation and re-use of environmentally-compromised and economically-blighted property.

Applicants can now
Continue Reading 10 More Years – New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program Extended

When it comes to pre-acquisition environmental due diligence, a properly prepared Phase I ESA is the ounce of prevention that is worth a pound of cure.  Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (“Phase I ESA”) are a routine due diligence requirement of any commercial transaction involving real estate.  A Phase I ESA generally consists of four main components, including a site
Continue Reading ASTM Adopts New Phase I ESA Standard – Impact to Environmental Diligence and CERCLA Affirmative Defenses