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2013 saw a dramatic increase in the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC’s”) enforcement of truth-in-advertising laws for environmental marketing. Deceptive environmental marketing practices, sometimes referred to as “greenwashing,” were the target of 14 FTC enforcement actions this year, up from 5 in 2012, 3 in 2011, and 2 in 2010. This year’s actions have included some … Read Post


On December 10, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument on two challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, commonly known as the “Transport Rule” or “CSAPR.” Under its so-called “good neighbor” provision, Section 110 of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) requires states to prohibit the emission within their borders … Read Post


On November 11, 2013, in a unanimous decision, the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the dismissal of an Article 78 Special Proceeding which had challenged the approvals for Tuxedo Reserve, a large scale mixed-use development of more than 1,000 residential units and in excess of 100,000 square feet of non-residential … Read Post


Last week, the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (“GAHP”) released a report examining laws governing the remediation of contaminated properties in seven Latin America countries, as well as the United States, and identifying best practices.  The report, entitled “Regulatory Best Practices for Remediation of Legacy Toxic Contamination,” was produced by the Cyrus R. Vance … Read Post


On November 13, 2013, a New York State appellate court ordered the reinstatement of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (“DEC’s”) general permit covering municipal separate storm sewer systems (“MS4s”), almost two years after a lower court rejected the general permit as an “impermissible self-regulatory system.”  The latest decision will allow  “small MS4s” (covering … Read Post


The Division of Environmental Remediation of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released its 2012-2013 Annual Report, noting key developments of the past State Fiscal Year (April 1, 2012 – March 31, 2013). As reflected in the Annual Report, DEC’s environmental remediation programs affect many businesses across the state. For example, … Read Post


On November 6, 2013, ASTM released its updated E1527-13 Standard for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process, a standard that EPA has identified in a proposed rule as a means of satisfying the definition of “all appropriate inquiries” (AAI) under CERCLA, as needed to establish certain defenses to liability.  According to ASTM, … Read Post


On October 24, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced the availability of a new annotated table of Permissible Exposure Limits (“PELs”) for chemicals in the workplace, along with alternative standards that “may serve to better protect workers” than the existing federal limits.  OSHA has, in the past, issued regulations establishing mandatory PELs … Read Post


In a recent Advisory Opinion, the State Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) opined that a taxpayer may not claim tax credits under the site preparation credit component of the Brownfield Redevelopment Tax Credit more than five years after the site received a Certificate of Completion (COC) under the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP). This interpretation … Read Post


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”) announced last week that the agency has finalized its new Environmental Audit Incentive Policy. This policy, which was proposed last March, will reward businesses that implement good environmental self-management by, under certain circumstances, waiving some civil penalties for violations that are discovered while self-auditing. It will … Read Post