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

Before adjudication, a court must determine whether a plaintiff has standing. Standing means that the party has a right to access the courts for a particular dispute. A petitioner bears the burden to show an actual injury and that the violated statute was meant to prevent this type of injury. In land use matters specifically, a petitioner “must show that
Continue Reading No Standing to Protect the Pine Barrens

Last week’s election had news outlets across the State and nation talking about Long Island’s rare “red wave”.  While many are now debating what the apparent sea change means for Long Islanders, at least for the next few years, equal attention should also be paid to another important and far-reaching election result of a different color: New York’s “Green Amendment”.
Continue Reading Boon or Bane? New York’s Environmental Rights Amendment

On October 5, 2021, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“Department” or “DEC”) released water quality guidance values for three emerging compounds, PFOA, PFOS and 1,4-Dioxane (collectively, “Emerging Compounds”).  The comment period for the draft guidance values runs until November 5, 2021.  Comments can be issued to the Department at 625 Broadway, 4th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-3500, ATTN:
Continue Reading Public Comment Period Open for NYSDEC Proposed Guidance Levels for PFOA, PFOS and 1,4-Dioxane in Ground and Surface Water

In May 2021, the Supreme Court ruled in Territory of Guam v. United States, 593 U.S. __ (2021), on the issue of whether a settlement resolving environmental liabilities was sufficient to establish a right of contribution for a settling-party against a non-settling responsible party pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), 42 U.S.C §9613(f)(3)(B).  The
Continue Reading US Supreme Court Rules that CERCLA-Specific Settlement is a Pre-Requisite to a CERCLA Contribution Claim

Local Law 97 of New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act (the “Act”) is the City’s aggressive greenhouse gas emission reduction plan for buildings.  The City has published figures indicating that approximately 70% of greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to the City’s building stock.  The Act sets lofty emission reduction goals for existing buildings, with emission limits that become stricter over
Continue Reading NYC Climate Mobilization Act – Relief in Sight?

On March 2, 2021 New York’s Office of Renewable Energy Siting (“ORES”) issued final regulations governing the siting of major renewable energy facilities pursuant to obligations established by the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act (the “Act”).  The regulations serve as a tool to achieve the climate change targets established by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act
Continue Reading Lightning Round – New York’s Office of Renewable Energy Siting Promulgates Streamlined Siting Regulations for Large-Scale Renewable Energy Projects

Last year, the New York County Supreme Court heard an Article 78 challenge by Preserve Our Brooklyn Neighborhoods (“POBN”), a civic organization dedicated to maintaining the unique character and historical significance of the Fort Greene area of Brooklyn, New York.  This lawsuit, which I discussed in a previous post, turned on whether a resolution passed by the New
Continue Reading First Department Affirms Dismissal of Constitutional Challenge to Zoning Resolution

In Incorporated Village of Lindenhurst v. One World Recycling, LLC, et al., the Second Department reversed the lower court’s denial of permanent injunctive relief, in large part based on the existence of prior agreements between the parties.  The appellant, Incorporated Village of Lindenhurst (the “Village”), sought to prohibit One World Recycling, LLC (“One World”) from exceeding waste processing limits
Continue Reading Prior Agreement Limiting Waste Processing Trumps DEC Renewal Permit