Municipal Law

Inflation Reduction Act: Recent Guidance and the Path Forward in 2024

On February 20 and February 21, 2024, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) held a public hearing on proposed regulations concerning the definition of energy property and rules applicable to obtaining tax credits pursuant to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA). The IRA allows taxpayers to deduct a…

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NYSDEC Seeks Input on Regulations Implementing Major Expansion of State’s Freshwater Wetlands Jurisdiction

On January 3, 2024, NYSDEC announced an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making  for potential revisions to its freshwater wetlands regulations, accompanied by a complete pre-proposal draft of revised 6 NYCRR Part 664 regulations. NYSDEC is accepting public comments on its draft regulations through February 20, 2024. Background: 2022 Statutory Changes to the Freshwater Wetlands…

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Vineyard Wind 1 Comes Online; Still Faces Lawsuits

On January 2, 2024, the Vineyard Wind 1 project started producing power for the United States grid, becoming the second commercial-scale offshore wind project to do so after South Fork Wind came online in December 2023. This significant milestone comes as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit considers appeals in several lawsuits…

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Covered New Jersey Buildings Must Meet New Benchmarking Requirement By December 31

December 31, 2023 marks the final deadline for compliance with the first year of New Jersey’s building energy and water benchmarking law. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) issued an order in compliance with the New Jersey Clean Energy Act of 2018 requiring the owners and operators of commercial and certain multi-family residential…

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Challenge to Rye City Planning Commission Approval of Wainwright House’s Special Permit Dismissed

On November 9, 2023, Acting Justice Robert J. Prisco of the New York State Supreme Court, Westchester County, dismissed an Article 78 petition brought by neighbors of the Wainwright House in Rye, New York. The petitioners had sought to annul the special permit renewal issued by the City of Rye Planning Commission (CPC) in 2021,…

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NYSDEC Publishes Proposed Guidance Incorporating Environmental Justice Considerations into Existing Permit Processes

On September 27, 2023, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) published a draft policy aimed at implementing Section 7(3) of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which seeks to prevent disadvantaged communities from being disproportionately affected by greenhouse gas (GHG) or co-pollutant emissions. The draft policy lays out a procedure…

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2023 Update on Federal and New York City Lead-Based Paint Laws

This year has seen notable changes and clarifications to Federal and New York City lead-based paint standards for residential properties. These provisions relate to lead paint investigations, testing, remediation, and penalties that may impact compliance planning for building owners and managers. Because these legal changes were adopted after SPR’s May 4, 2023 webinar on the…

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EPA Publishes Proposed Rule Banning TCE

On October 31, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed rule to ban all manufacturing and use of trichloroethylene (TCE) under Section 6(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) (15 U.S.C. 2605(a)). TCE is a highly toxic and carcinogenic chemical that has historically been used in numerous industrial, commercial and consumer applications,…

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New York Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge to Local Law 97

On October 30, 2023, the New York Supreme Court, New York County dismissed a significant legal challenge to New York City’s building emissions law, Local Law 97 of 2019. The decision provides clarity to the NYC real estate community that Local Law 97 is valid, enforceable, and constitutional. The law’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caps…

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Biden Administration Proposes “Phase 2” Revisions to NEPA Regulations

On July 31, 2023, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for its second phase of revisions to the 2020 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) amendments. As a brief primer, NEPA imposes procedural requirements on all federal agencies to consider the effect of a project or action on the…

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