Indian Law

New York City Council Considers Amendment to Local Law 97 Affordable Housing Provisions

On May 28, 2020, New York City Councilmember Costa Constantinides, among others, introduced a bill—Int. No 1947—to significantly amend the affordable housing provisions of Local Law 97 of 2019. Local Law 97 and the technical amendments in Local Law 147 of 2019 require most new and existing buildings in New York City over 25,000 gross…

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Public Service Commission Petitioned by NYSERDA To Fund Build-Ready Program

On June 5, 2020, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) petitioned the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) for approval and funding of NYSERDA’s proposed Build-Ready Program, a program that would advance large-scale renewable energy projects by identifying sites that are consistent with New York’s standards and are made build-ready for…

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Environmental Issues in Bankruptcy Sales

The economic distress ensuing from COVID-19 will likely result in more frequent sales of business assets and real estate under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code. Section 363 sales provide an expedited process to raise revenue and are designed to enable an asset purchaser to take assets “free and clear of any interest.” However, the…

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Court Denies Motion to Dismiss $100 Million Lawsuit Against Southampton

In a precedent setting decision, DLV Quogue, LLC v. Town of Southampton (Index No. 606443/2018), New York State Supreme Court Justice Carmen Victoria St. George denied the Town of Southampton’s motion to dismiss claims brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C § 1983 challenging the constitutionality of the Town Board’s denial of a rezoning application for a…

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New York Solar Projects Face Compliance Challenges In Restarting Construction

All regions of New York State other than New York City have re-opened to construction activities, including residential and commercial solar energy projects.  While there are no specific guidelines for solar construction, the State has published detailed guidelines for all construction projects (the “Guidance”).  Projects must affirm their compliance with all State guidelines and post…

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Public Service Commission Issues Two Orders in Furtherance of Renewable Energy Growth

On May 14, 2020 the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) issued two orders designed to further State goals of rapidly expanding renewable energy development.  One, issued in Case No. 20-E-0197, is a preliminary order directing utilities and the Department of Public Service (DPS) to lay the transmission and distribution planning groundwork for achieving…

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Court Narrows Scope of NWP 12 Ruling; Corps Appeals to Ninth Circuit

Last month, we wrote about a recent decision from the US District Court for the District of Montana vacating Nationwide Permit (“NWP”) 12, the general permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) for pipelines and other utility projects. On May 11, the court narrowed the scope of the decision, vacating and enjoining the…

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EPA Issues Interim COVID-19 Guidance on Site Field Work Decisions

On April 10, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a memorandum providing interim guidance on site field work decisions due to the impacts of COVID-19 (Field  Guidance). The Field Guidance is applicable to cleanup and emergency responses  where EPA is the lead agency, or has direct oversight of or responsibility for the work being…

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Wartime Regulation Does Not Render Government an Operator Under CERCLA, Third Circuit Rules

On May 4, 2020, the Third Circuit issued a decision in PPG Industries v. United States, a case which considered whether the government’s involvement at a chromium processing plant during World War II made it an “operator” liable for cleanup costs under Section 107 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”).  The…

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New Presidential Executive Order Restricts Purchase of Bulk-Power System Equipment

On May 1st, President Trump issued an Executive Order on Securing the US Bulk-Power System.  The Executive Order prohibits certain transactions involving bulk-power system electric equipment and may have important consequences for renewable energy developers.  It also establishes a task force to address national security issues in energy-related procurement by federal agencies and in the…

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