Emerging Issues

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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Clarity Or Confusion: The Ever Evolving Guidance Concerning Permissible Essential Construction In New York

On April 9, Empire State Development issued updated guidance that appears to expand the definition of what is considered “essential construction” for the purposes of exemption from the work-at-home requirements under Executive Order 202.6.  E.O. 202.6 bans all construction in the State except for projects deemed “essential,” which the State says includes “roads, bridges, transit…

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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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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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EPA Announces “Action Plan” for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

On February 14th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced its PFAS Action Plan to better understand PFAS chemicals and the extent of existing contamination, prevent future contamination, and more effectively communicate with the public regarding PFAS and associated health and environmental risks. PFAS, a group of chemicals created in the 1940s, exist in a…

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