Municipal Law

The Gray Area: When Is Work Essential and When Is It Not?

Day to day and hour to hour, the rules keep changing—what was deemed essential, and therefore exempt from work-at-home requirements under Executive Order 202.6 yesterday may not be considered essential today.  As of yesterday, State guidance permitted all construction work to proceed under the Executive Order. This morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared that…

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Environmental Insurance Coverage and COVID-19

As many businesses face closures pursuant to governmental directives designed to combat the spread of COVID-19, such closures may trigger claims under property and comprehensive general liability policies.   Companies that have purchased pollution legal liability (PLL) insurance also should examine whether their PLL policies provide coverage for business interruption and other losses arising from COVID-19. …

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Essential Services Exempt From Covid-19 Workplace “Pause”

Governor Cuomo’s “New York on Pause” Executive Order No. 202.8 (requiring all workplaces to maintain a 0% in-person workforce) exempts “Essential Services.”  At the direction of the Governor, Empire State Development (ESD) has published Guidance on which services constitute Essential Services.  ESD has also created a process through which businesses may request designation as an…

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Coronavirus and Construction Project Delays

The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus is, at least within the last century, an unprecedented event.  Few segments of the economy have been spared the impact that the pandemic has had and will continue to have on business and productivity.  The impact will likely be the most profound for those industries that cannot count…

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NYSERDA Requests PSC Authorization to Procure at Least 1,000 MW of Offshore Wind Capacity in 2020

On January 28, 2020, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”) submitted a petition to the New York State Public Service Commission (“PSC”) seeking authorization to issue a solicitation to procure between 1,000 and 2,500 megawatts (“MW”) of additional offshore wind capacity this summer. This procurement, which Governor Andrew M. Cuomo directed…

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Meet Katie Ghilain, Who Was Recently Promoted From Associate to Principal at SPR

Katie has always had a passion for the environment. Throughout her studies at Vassar College and NYU Law, she focused on how her varied areas of interest — law, public policy, scientific inquiry and economics — all intersect in the search for creative solutions to environmental problems. The interests that Katie discovered and honed during…

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NYC Local Law 97 Advisory Board Established, With Expert Working Groups Coming Soon

Implementation of New York City’s groundbreaking Building Emissions Law (Local Law 97 of 2019) is underway. On December 19, 2019, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced the appointment of 15 Advisory Board members who will assess and report on over 20 aspects of the Law, with the help of expert…

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Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Maui Injection Wells Case

The federal Clean Water Act (CWA or Act) requires a permit for “any addition of any pollutant to navigable waters from any point source.” 33 U.S.C. 1362 (12) (A). On November 6, 2019, the US Supreme Court (Supreme Court) heard oral argument in County of Maui v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, No. 18-260. The question before…

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Clean Water Act Update: EPA Repeals WOTUS Rule in Favor of Pre-2015 Rule

On September 12, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the “Corps”) (together, the “Agencies”)  announced a final rule (the “Repeal Rule”) rescinding the 2015 Clean Water Rule (the “2015 Rule”) that defined “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). This Repeal Rule is…

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EPA Proposes Updates to Clean Water Act’s Water Quality Certification Requirements

On August 8, 2019, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) published a set of proposed amendments (the “Proposed Rule”) to the regulations governing the issuance of Water Quality Certifications by states pursuant to Section 401 (“Section 401 Water Quality Certification”) of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). Under the Section 401 Water Quality Certification process,…

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