Permitting and Litigation for Private Commercial Developments

NYC Buildings Receive Their First Energy Efficiency Grades

On October 1, 2020, buildings over 25,000 square feet in New York City received their first energy efficiency grades from the City Department of Buildings (“DOB”). Buildings must post the grade “in a conspicuous location near each public entrance to such building” by October 30, 2020. Failure to do so will result in a fine…

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Council on Environmental Quality’s New NEPA Regulations: An Analysis

On September 14, 2020, the Council on Environmental Quality’s (“CEQ”) Final Rule overhauling its regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) became effective.  The Final Rule represents the first comprehensive revision of the NEPA regulations since their initial issuance in 1978, and introduces process-based and substantive changes to the NEPA regulations, codifies existing case law and…

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NY Office of Renewable Energy Siting Issues Draft Regulations to Facilitate Swift Development of Large-Scale Renewable Energy Projects

On September 16, 2020, the newly formed Office of Renewable Energy Siting (“ORES”) issued draft regulations intended to streamline permitting and development of large-scale renewable energy projects in New York State.  The draft regulations, which are now available for public comment, reflect New York’s ongoing effort to achieve the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s…

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New York State Proposes Specific Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets for 2030 and 2050

The New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019 (CLCPA) requires statewide reductions of greenhouse gas emissions of 40% by 2030 and 85% by 2050, as compared to 1990 levels, in order to help slow the rate of global climate change. The CLCPA directed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation…

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New FERC Order No. 872 Likely to Increase Regulatory Burden on Small Renewable Energy Facilities

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently issued Final Order No. 872, implementing sweeping changes to the regulations that implement the Public Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, also known as PURPA.  Although the Commission described the changes as a move to “modernize the Commission’s interpretation of PURPA,” the new regulations will likely pose significant challenges for…

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NYCDOB to Issue Local Law 97 Adjustment Guidance in January 2021  

Gina Bocra, the Chief Sustainability Officer for the New York City Department of Buildings (NYCDOB), recently announced that in January 2021, the agency expects to issue guidance on the process for obtaining an adjustment to buildings’ greenhouse gas emissions caps under Local Law 97 of 2019 (as amended through Local Law 147 of 2019). Such…

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New York State Adopts Drinking Water Standards for Three Emerging Contaminants

New York State has considered the imposition of Maximum Contaminant Levels (“MCLs”) for the emerging contaminants 1,4-dioxane, perfluorooctanoic acid (“PFOA”) and perfluorooctanoic sulfonate (“PFOS”) for almost three years, since September 2017 when the Governor announced the creation of a Drinking Water Quality Council to make recommendations.  Following the publication of proposed rules and a later…

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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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