Brownfields Redevelopment

Building-Generated Greenhouse Gas Emissions Addressed in Multiple New York City Council Bills This Session

In pursuit of New York City’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 (a goal known as “80×50”), the City Council is considering multiple bills this session that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from city buildings. Buildings—through their electricity use, heating, and cooling—account for at least two thirds of all greenhouse…

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Town of East Fishkill Defeats Zoning Challenge

In a decision dated January 7, 2019, the New York Supreme Court, Dutchess County, dismissed a lawsuit challenging the Town of East Fishkill’s 2012 zoning code amendment allowing for remediation and redevelopment of former gas station properties in accordance with the bulk conditions that previously existed on the properties, without need for a special permit…

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National Flood Insurance Program Temporarily Reauthorized until December 21, 2018

In recent years, the unpredictability of the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”), administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) has given rise to increasing uncertainty and frustration for coastal and waterfront markets located within Special Flood Hazard Areas. The NFIP program, which provides flood insurance for approximately 5 million residential and commercial properties, requires…

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NY Supreme Court Dismisses ULURP/SEQR Challenge to American Museum of Natural History’s Gilder Center Project

In a decision dated December 10, 2018, Hon. Lynn Kotler of the New York Supreme Court, New York County, dismissed in its entirety litigation challenging the legality of the American Museum of Natural History’s  Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation for failure to comply with New York City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure…

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Sixth Circuit rules in two cases that discharges to groundwater from coal ash ponds do not require a Clean Water Act Permit

The Sixth Circuit’s recent decisions in Kentucky Waterways Alliance et al v. Kentucky Utilities Co., (“Kentucky Utilities”) No. 18-5115 (6th Cir. Sept. 24, 2018), and Tennessee Clean Water Network v. Tennessee Valley Authority (“TVA”) No. 17-6155 (6th Cir. Sept. 24, 2018), have further widened an existing circuit split regarding EPA’s Clean Water Act (the “Act”)…

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NYSERDA Issues New York’s First Offshore Wind Energy Solicitation

On November 8, 2018, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”) issued its first request for proposals (“RFP”) for offshore wind renewable energy credits (“ORECs”) associated with 800 MW of offshore wind energy capacity. The State’s first OREC RFP is a significant step toward achieving Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal of generating…

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Federal Court Dismisses NEPA Challenge to Offshore Wind Lease

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently dismissed an Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) litigation filed by the Fisheries Survival Fund and other commercial fishing interests related to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Management’s (“BOEM’s”) first lease auction for a wind energy area offshore of New York State. The Plaintiffs alleged that BOEM’s…

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WOTUS Rule Reinstated in 26 States through Nationwide Injunction of Trump Administration “Suspension Rule”

On August 16, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division, issued a nationwide injunction to the Trump administration’s so-called “Suspension Rule,” which called for the delayed effective date of the Obama-era “waters of the United States rule” (or “WOTUS Rule”). Thus, the struggle to delineate the federal government’s jurisdiction…

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EPA Cooling Water Intake Rule Upheld in Second Circuit

By: Nathaniel Eisen On July 23rd, 2018, the Second Circuit rejected multiple challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) final rule setting technological standards to prevent aquatic organism deaths in the cooling systems of power plants and manufacturing facilities  (the “Cooling Water Intake Rule” or “Rule”). The 2014 Cooling Water Intake Rule, the culmination of 40…

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Clean Power Plan Repeal and Replacement Proposed By EPA

By: Jonathan Kalmuss-Katz On August 18, 2018, the Trump administration proposed sweeping changes to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) regulations of power plant greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, which would replace the Clean Power Plan regulations promulgated by the Obama administration in 2015.  According to EPA’s projections, the proposed changes would result in increased emissions of…

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