Environmental Issues in Business and Real Estate Transactions

ASTM Publishes New Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard

In November 2021, ASTM International published the new Phase I environmental site assessment standard, denominated E1527-21, to replace to prior E1527-13 standard that has been in use for the past eight years. The new standard provides clarity and guidance on the best practices for preparing Phase I reports, which identify environmental conditions on properties with…

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New Model High-Performance Lease Helps Unlock NYC’s Ambitious Climate Goals

In August 2021, the Institute for Market Transformation, with pro bono assistance from SPR, released a model high-performance lease that will provide critical assistance for commercial building owners and tenants seeking to advance building decarbonization and comply with NYC Local Law 97. A “high-performance lease” is a commercial lease that contains provisions that mandate compliance…

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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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Emerging Contaminants Update:  New Federal Report Highlights PFAS Risks as New York State Court Certifies Class Action for PFAS Groundwater Contamination

By Jonathan Kalmuss-Katz For decades, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) have been widely used in industrial processes and consumer products, including non-stick cookware, strain resistant fabrics, and firefighting foams.  PFAS have emerged as a focus of regulatory concern only in recent years, however, as new studies have detected PFAS in groundwater and drinking water supplies…

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DEC Releases Flood Risk Management Guidance Affecting the Flood Hazard Area Applied to State Permit Applications

On June 20, 2018, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) released two draft flood risk management guidance documents intended to advise New York state agencies on how to incorporate the consideration of future climate risks, including risks of sea-level rise, storm surge, and flooding, into existing regulatory processes. The non-binding guidance is…

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Empire State Development Sells Former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility for Redevelopment as Film Studio

On August 7, 2017, Empire State Development (ESD) consummated the sale of State-owned surplus property on Staten Island formerly housing the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility to Broadway Stages, an owner and operator of film and television studios.  SPR principal Elizabeth Knauer advised ESD with respect to the environmental review of the project pursuant to the…

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