Indian Law

EPA Proposes Updates to Clean Water Act’s Water Quality Certification Requirements

On August 8, 2019, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) published a set of proposed amendments (the “Proposed Rule”) to the regulations governing the issuance of Water Quality Certifications by states pursuant to Section 401 (“Section 401 Water Quality Certification”) of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). Under the Section 401 Water Quality Certification process,…

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New York State Passes the Most Ambitious Climate Change Legislation in the Nation and Advances Offshore Wind Energy Development with Inaugural Procurement of Offshore Renewable Energy Credits

On July 18, 2019, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law the New York Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (“CLCPA”), the most ambitious climate change legislation in the country. The CLCPA, among other things, codifies the State’s goals of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, including an 85% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by…

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Where Can Dredge Spoil Find a Home? Connecticut Seeks Dismissal of New York Challenge to Designated Ocean Dumping Site.

By Michael S. Bogin and SPR Summer Associate Aaron Aber  Connecticut and New York will file final briefs this summer in an ongoing dispute before the Eastern District of New York, regarding the legality of the U.S. EPA’s decision to designate a site in the Long Island Sound for disposal of navigational dredge material. The…

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Clean Water Act Update: The Latest Twists and Turns on the Path to Defining the Statute’s Jurisdiction

Debates over the reach of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) have been ongoing for decades. At stake is whether a discharge of a pollutant from a point source to a “navigable water,” defined as “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”), requires the discharger to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit. The first…

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NEPA Review of Pipeline Project Upheld by D.C. Circuit – With Asterisk

On June 4, the D.C. Circuit issued a decision in Birckhead, et al. v. FERC, in which the petitioners challenged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC”) environmental review of a natural gas pipeline project.[1] Although the court ultimately rejected the challenge, the court suggested in dicta that FERC should do more to obtain information on…

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EPA Issues New Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals

Earlier this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency promulgated new management standards for generators of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). These new streamlined requirements for the accumulation, storage, and ultimate disposal of pharmaceuticals that are subject to RCRA, are meant to provide clarity and consistency regarding how generators…

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Appellate Division Confirms That Brooklyn Heights Library Redevelopment May Proceed

On May 8, 2019, the Appellate Division, Second Department unanimously affirmed a lower court ruling dismissing a petition challenging the sale and redevelopment of the Brooklyn Public Library’s (“BPL”) Brooklyn Heights Branch. This ruling clears the way for a proposal by the developer Cadman Associates LLC (an affiliate of The Hudson Companies) to construct a…

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Mayor de Blasio Announces Suite of Historic Buildings Emissions Reduction Laws

To commemorate Earth Day on April 22, 2019, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced  a groundbreaking suite of laws enacted by the New York City Council to require and facilitate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from a significant number of buildings in NYC.  Taken together, the laws represent the most ambitious carbon…

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Appellate Division Affirms Dismissal of Challenge to the American Museum of Natural History’s Gilder Center Project

In a decision dated April 18, 2019, the Appellate Division, First Department unanimously and emphatically affirmed a lower court ruling dismissing the lawsuit challenging the legality of the American Museum of Natural History’s Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. The Gilder Center will, inter alia, expand and modernize the Museum’s educational facilities, create…

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SPR Solidifies Its Position at the Forefront of Efforts to Bring Offshore Wind Energy to New York State

In February 2019, SPR closed a deal in which port developer Atlantic Offshore Terminals LLC acquired the future epicenter of offshore wind development in New York State. The offshore wind energy industry is emerging rapidly in the northeastern United States, and a critical component of its success is the establishment of a port facility where…

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