Wetlands and Stormwater

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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New Proposed Local Law 97 Regulations Include Penalty Mitigation, Electrification, and Enforcement Provisions

On September 12, 2023, the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) issued proposed regulations to implement Local Law 97 of 2019 (LL97). LL97 requires most large buildings in NYC to meet increasingly stringent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions limits starting in 2024. The proposed regulations establish penalty mitigation pathways, create incentives for electrification, and clarify…

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Rooftop Solar Systems Required by NYC Local Laws May Qualify for IRA’s Renewable Energy Tax Credits

New York City local law requires new roofs (with some exceptions) to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generating and/or green roof system. While these requirements became effective in 2019, given the pace of construction in New York City, many of the roofs covered by the law have only recently been, or will soon be,…

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EPA Broadens Efforts to Address PFAS Contamination in Water Bodies

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s efforts to address contamination by per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) continue to rapidly evolve. Although federal efforts were initially focused on PFAS in drinking water, EPA has recently begun to address PFAS in a wider variety of sources, including wastewater and stormwater. In April of this year, EPA brought its…

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DEC Publishes Final Revisions to Solid Waste Management Regulations

Almost five years after publishing the first substantial revisions to its solid waste management regulations, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) published a new set of final revisions to the regulations, which became effective on July 22, 2023. DEC’s solid waste management regulations (the Part 360 Regulations) govern the management of solid…

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City Planning to Hold Public Hearing on the City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality Proposal

On July 26, 2023, the New York City Planning Commission (CPC) will hold a public hearing on the proposed zoning text amendment known as the City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality (COYCN). The proposed amendment aims to modernize the City’s Zoning Resolution to facilitate renewable energy development, building decarbonization, and electric vehicle (EV) charging deployment….

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Recent Debt Ceiling Legislation Includes Several Significant Changes to NEPA

On June 3, 2023, President Biden signed a legislative package lifting the federal debt ceiling that includes the first statutory amendments to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) since 1982.  While the legislation modified certain aspects of NEPA practice, many of the changes codify (i.e., enact into a statute) existing regulations or executive orders, preventing…

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Supreme Court Significantly Curtails Federal Jurisdiction over Wetlands in Sackett v. EPA

On May 25, 2023, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Sackett v. EPA, ruling that federal jurisdiction over wetlands under the Clean Water Act (CWA or the Act), which prohibits discharging pollutants into “the waters of the United States” (WOTUS), extends to only those wetlands with a continuous surface connection to WOTUS. The Sackett…

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Energy Community Guidance for Brownfields under the Inflation Reduction Act

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Treasury Department released guidance last month on the bonus credit available for certain production and investment tax credits issued to qualified projects located in “energy communities” pursuant to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA). The IRA allows taxpayers to deduct a percentage of the cost of eligible…

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