In pursuit of New York City’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 (a goal known as “80×50”), the City Council is considering multiple bills this session that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from city buildings. Buildings—through their electricity use, heating, and cooling—account for at least two thirds of all greenhouse … Read Post


On February 7-8, 2019, SPR principals Daniel Riesel and Pamela Esterman will co-chair the 49th annual ALI CLE Environmental Law Course in Washington, DC. The course, which is co-sponsored by ALI CLE and the Environmental Law Institute, will feature advanced-level presentations by senior public officials, distinguished law professors, seasoned private practitioners, and experienced public interest … Read Post


In a decision dated January 7, 2019, the New York Supreme Court, Dutchess County, dismissed a lawsuit challenging the Town of East Fishkill’s 2012 zoning code amendment allowing for remediation and redevelopment of former gas station properties in accordance with the bulk conditions that previously existed on the properties, without need for a special permit … Read Post


In recent years, the unpredictability of the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”), administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) has given rise to increasing uncertainty and frustration for coastal and waterfront markets located within Special Flood Hazard Areas. The NFIP program, which provides flood insurance for approximately 5 million residential and commercial properties, requires … Read Post


In a decision dated December 10, 2018, Hon. Lynn Kotler of the New York Supreme Court, New York County, dismissed in its entirety litigation challenging the legality of the American Museum of Natural History’s  Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation for failure to comply with New York City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure … Read Post


The Sixth Circuit’s recent decisions in Kentucky Waterways Alliance et al v. Kentucky Utilities Co., (“Kentucky Utilities”) No. 18-5115 (6th Cir. Sept. 24, 2018), and Tennessee Clean Water Network v. Tennessee Valley Authority (“TVA”) No. 17-6155 (6th Cir. Sept. 24, 2018), have further widened an existing circuit split regarding EPA’s Clean Water Act (the “Act”) … Read Post


On November 8, 2018, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”) issued its first request for proposals (“RFP”) for offshore wind renewable energy credits (“ORECs”) associated with 800 MW of offshore wind energy capacity. The State’s first OREC RFP is a significant step toward achieving Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal of generating … Read Post


The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently dismissed an Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) litigation filed by the Fisheries Survival Fund and other commercial fishing interests related to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Management’s (“BOEM’s”) first lease auction for a wind energy area offshore of New York State. The Plaintiffs alleged that BOEM’s … Read Post


On August 16, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division, issued a nationwide injunction to the Trump administration’s so-called “Suspension Rule,” which called for the delayed effective date of the Obama-era “waters of the United States rule” (or “WOTUS Rule”). Thus, the struggle to delineate the federal government’s jurisdiction … Read Post


On July 23rd, 2018, the Second Circuit rejected multiple challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) final rule setting technological standards to prevent aquatic organism deaths in the cooling systems of power plants and manufacturing facilities  (the “Cooling Water Intake Rule” or “Rule”). The 2014 Cooling Water Intake Rule, the culmination of 40 years of previous … Read Post