Environmental Review

New Model High-Performance Lease Helps Unlock NYC’s Ambitious Climate Goals

In August 2021, the Institute for Market Transformation, with pro bono assistance from SPR, released a model high-performance lease that will provide critical assistance for commercial building owners and tenants seeking to advance building decarbonization and comply with NYC Local Law 97. A “high-performance lease” is a commercial lease that contains provisions that mandate compliance…

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Major Milestones Reached for Important Port Authority Projects

SPR has advised the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) with respect to the environmental impact review of two recently authorized major infrastructure projects. Both projects will play a critical part in the economic recovery and continued vitality of New York City. On May 28, 2021, the Federal Railroad Administration issued a long-awaited…

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Appellate Division Dismisses SEQRA Challenge to Capital Region Multi-Use Development, Unanimously Reversing Lower Court

In a unanimous reversal of a decision that stalled a multi-family residential development and proposed Costco outlet in Guilderland, New York, on the border of Albany, the Appellate Division, Third Department reversed in all respects the Albany County Supreme Court’s holding that the Town of Guilderland Planning Board’s Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) was deficient. Peter…

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U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Scope of CERCLA Contribution Claims by Settling Parties

On May 24, 2021, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Territory of Guam v. United States that a party’s claim for contribution under Section 113(f)(3)(B) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), 42 U.S.C. § 9613(f)(3)(B), and therefore the commencement of the limitations period for such a claim, requires resolution specifically of…

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NYC Department of Buildings Issues New Guidance on Local Law 97 Adjustment Applications

On Friday April 9, the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) issued its first Local Law 97 Adjustments Application Filing Guide. DOB began accepting adjustment applications on April 12, 2021 via its DOB NOW: Safety website. Local Law 97 of 2019 (LL97) requires most New York City buildings over 25,000 square feet to meet…

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CERCLA Claims and Statute of Limitation Issues: An Analysis

The remediation of decades-old hazardous waste sites has increasingly prompted defendants in CERCLA cases to assert the statute of limitations as a defense, revealing two inflection points that the CERCLA practitioner must navigate.  The first is whether a party has asserted a cost-recovery claim under CERCLA Section 107(a) or a contribution claim under Section 113(f). …

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ORES Issues Final Regulations for Streamlining Siting, Permitting, and Development of Large-Scale Renewables

On March 3, 2021, New York State’s newly formed Office of Renewable Energy Siting (“ORES”) issued final regulations for streamlining the siting, permitting, and development of large-scale renewable energy projects in the State.  The regulations were promulgated pursuant to the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act and reflect the goals of the Climate Leadership…

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NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson Introduces Proposal to Transform Land Use Planning

At the New York City Council’s last meeting of 2020, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson introduced proposed legislation that would, if passed, overhaul New York City’s land use planning framework.  The legislation, accompanied by a report entitled Planning Together: A New Comprehensive Planning Framework for New York City, would create a ten-year comprehensive planning cycle…

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Army Corps Reissues Nationwide Permits, Dividing NWP 12 Into Three

On January 13, 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) published a final rule reissuing and modifying twelve existing 2017 nationwide permits (“NWPs”) and creating four new NWPs.  The rule goes into effect on March 15, 2021. Nationwide permits provide a streamlined process for the Corps to authorize activities under Section 404 of the…

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Equinor Becomes Leading U.S. Offshore Wind Developer with 2,500 Megawatt Award from New York State

In his January 13, 2021 State of the State address, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York will contract with Equinor Wind US LLC (Equinor) for 2,490 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind energy, the largest combined procurement of offshore wind energy by a state in U.S. history. Governor Cuomo also announced plans to make…

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