Wetlands and Stormwater

NY’s Governor Cuomo Signs Law Introducing One-Stop Shop for Renewable Energy Project Permitting

On April 3, 2020, with the passage of the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act, New York adopted sweeping changes to the siting of large-scale renewable energy projects.[1] The new law will streamline and accelerate the permitting and construction of renewable energy projects, and is intended to help New York achieve the Climate…

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Clarity Begins to Emerge Concerning Permissible Essential Construction In New York

A number of state and local agencies have issued guidance on the ban on non-essential construction that was announced by Governor Cuomo on March 27, 2020.  Friday’s amendment to the guidance regarding work-at-home requirements under Executive Order 202.6 bans all construction in the State except for projects deemed “essential,” which the State says includes “roads,…

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Renewables Developers: The Latest Stimulus Could Help You

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was enacted on March 27.  It contains provisions that could provide relief to a wide variety of small businesses, including developers of renewable energy projects. Paycheck Protection Program The CARES Act implements a variety of programs to support small businesses, defined as businesses (including the self-employed,…

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EPA Releases Enforcement Discretion Guidance in Response to COVID-19

These days, it seems as though COVID-19 is leaving no aspect of government untouched, and federal environmental regulation is no exception. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a memorandum on Thursday, March 26th outlining “COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program.” This temporary guidance explains how EPA plans to exercise enforcement discretion…

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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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