Supreme Court Significantly Curtails Federal Jurisdiction over Wetlands in Sackett v. EPA

On May 25, 2023, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Sackett v. EPA, ruling that federal jurisdiction over wetlands under the Clean Water Act (CWA or the Act), which prohibits discharging pollutants into “the waters of the United States” (WOTUS), extends to only those wetlands with a continuous surface connection to WOTUS. The Sackett…

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Energy Community Guidance for Brownfields under the Inflation Reduction Act

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Treasury Department released guidance last month on the bonus credit available for certain production and investment tax credits issued to qualified projects located in “energy communities” pursuant to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA). The IRA allows taxpayers to deduct a percentage of the cost of eligible…

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New York State’s FY 2024 Budget Includes Decarbonization and Renewable Energy Investments But Lacks Gov. Hochul’s Housing Plan

On May 3, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the highlights of the approved Fiscal Year 2024 state budget, including numerous investments in decarbonization programs and renewable energy development. Notably absent from the budget are the elements of Governor Hochul’s housing plan, which included a commitment to build 800,000 new units in a decade…

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Recent Developments in PFAS Regulation

The regulation of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) continues to rapidly evolve at the New York State and federal levels. As further detailed in SPR’s prior blog post on this issue, PFAS are a family of chemical compounds with unique properties allowing them to withstand extreme temperatures, resist degradation, stains, and grease, and adopt nonstick…

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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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