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On December 13, Governor David A. Paterson issued Executive Order No. 41, effectuating a moratorium on horizontal hydraulic fracturing drilling for natural gas (known as “fracking”) until at least July 1, 2011, but allowing vertical fracking.  Two days earlier, the Governor vetoed legislation that would have imposed a moratorium on horizontal and vertical fracking  until … Read Post

EPA can enforce its climate change regulations while litigation challenging those regulations is pending, a federal appeals court ruled last Friday.  The denial of a motion to stay the implementation of EPA’s rules removed one of the final barriers to implementation of the Agency’s first-ever stationary source greenhouse gas (“GHG”) limits, which are scheduled to … Read Post

On November 29, 2010, the New York State Assembly passed a bill imposing a state-wide moratorium on new authorizations for hydraulic fracturing.  An identical bill was passed in the New York State Senate in August. The bill, which has been sent to Governor Paterson for signing, suspends until May 15, 2011 the issuance of new … Read Post

On December 6, the Supreme Court granted review of the climate tort suit Connecticut v. American Electric Power (“AEP”), setting the stage for a major decision on the availability of common law remedies for climate-related harms. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who presided over oral arguments in the case while a judge on the Second Circuit, did … Read Post

Earlier this month, the New York State Sea Level Rise Task Force (“Task Force”) released a draft report assessing the climate-related threat to coastal communities and recommending a series of policy changes (“Draft Report”).  The state legislature commissioned the Task Force in 2007, bringing together state agency representatives, county and local government officials, and other … Read Post

On November 17, 2010, New York State and ExxonMobil entered into a settlement agreement to resolve a lawsuit concerning ExxonMobil’s liability for cleanup, remediation, and other costs associated with a massive oil spill in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  Under the terms of the consent decree, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District … Read Post

On November 9, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) subpoenaed Halliburton for its failure to answer the agency’s request for information regarding the chemical contents of its hydraulic fracturing processes, and potential human health and environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing. In conjunction with public meetings held from July to September, EPA issued information requests in … Read Post

In anticipation of new greenhouse gas (“GHG”) restrictions set to take effect on January 2, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released guidance on the GHG permitting determinations for new and modified power plants, industrial facilities, and other stationary sources. The guidance is directed at regulated entities and state agencies, which have been delegated authority … Read Post

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) recently issued CP-51/Soil Cleanup Guidance, which applies to each of the remedial programs administered by DEC’s Division of Environmental Remediation (including, inter alia, the Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site Remediation Program, the Brownfield Cleanup Program and the Spill Response Program).  The new guidance replaces Technical Administrative … Read Post

Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo released a 160-page environmental agenda for New York on Saturday, October 30, three days before he was elected to be New York’s next Governor on January 1st, 2011.  The document allows some insight into the vision and priorities of the next administration with regard to the environment. One of the most significant … Read Post