Environmental Impact Review/Permitting

Governor Hochul Approves Changes to Environmental Justice Amendments

On March 3, 2023, Governor Hochul approved the New York State Legislature’s “chapter amendment” (S01317/A01286) to the environmental justice law that was enacted in December 2022 (S8830/A2103-D). The original legislation amended the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) permit approval process to expressly incorporate…

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Waters in Flux: EPA and Army Corps Revise the Definition of “Waters of the United States”

On January 18, 2023, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) published a new final rule revising the definition of “waters of the United States” (the Rule) found in regulations implementing the Clean Water Act (CWA or the Act). The new Rule will become effective on March 20, 2023 (pending the outcomes of…

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Governor Hochul Approves Environmental Justice Amendments to SEQRA

On December 30, 2022, Governor Hochul approved a bill passed by the New York State Legislature (S8830/A2103-D), which incorporates environmental justice concerns into the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) review process and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) state permit approval process. Governor Hochul’s approval of the law is subject to…

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Challenge to Landmarks Preservation Commission Approval of Brooklyn Development Dismissed

On January 12, 2023, Justice Ingrid Joseph, New York State Supreme Court, Kings County, dismissed a petition seeking to halt a residential development in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. In Sterling Place BK-NY Block Association Inc., et al. v. City of New York, et al. (Kings County Index No. 510458/2022), petitioners—neighbors of the development—challenged the New York…

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EPA Phases Out ASTM E1527-13 Standard for “All Appropriate Inquiries” Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule on December 15, 2022, allowing for the use of ASTM International’s E1527-21 standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) to satisfy the requirements of the All Appropriate Inquiries Rule (AAI Rule). The final rule will go into effect on February 13, 2023.  The notice accompanying…

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Incidental Eagle Take General Permits for Wind-Energy Projects

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recently proposed to develop a general permit under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (the Eagle Act) for the incidental take of eagles associated with qualifying wind-energy projects and power lines, as well as disturbance take and nest take. This blog post provides a discussion of…

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Gov. Hochul Announces M-Corps Program to Bring Climate Technology to New York State

On November 9, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that more than $3.7 million would be allocated to bring innovative climate technology, manufacturing and products to New York State. According to the Governor’s press release, this initiative, known as the M-Corps Program, “will connect startups scaling goods that lower greenhouse gases or reduce energy consumption with…

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NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation Proposes New Enforcement Rules

In September 2022, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation (OER) published draft rules proposing to establish OER’s authority to commence enforcement actions against parties who fail to comply with OER-approved Site Management Plans (SMPs). The proposed rules would enable OER to issue summonses returnable before the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, and seek…

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NYC Department of Buildings Releases Proposed Local Law 97 Regulations

On October 6, 2022, the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) issued proposed regulations to implement Local Law 97 of 2019 (LL97).  LL97 requires most large buildings in NYC to meet increasingly stringent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions limits starting in 2024. The proposed regulations include three key components and numerous other clarifications to the…

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PFAS Litigation Update: Court Denies Summary Judgment to AFFF Manufacturers

On September 16, 2022, Judge Richard M. Gergel of the U.S. District Court of South Carolina denied aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) manufacturers’ motion for summary judgment based on the government contractor indemnity defense in a multi-district litigation (MDL) currently pending against 3M Company, Tyco Fire Products LP, Chemguard Inc., National Foam, Inc., Buckeye Fire…

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