Municipal Law

EPA Cooling Water Intake Rule Upheld in Second Circuit

By: Nathaniel Eisen 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…

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Clean Power Plan Repeal and Replacement Proposed By EPA

By: Jonathan Kalmuss-Katz On August 18, 2018, the Trump administration proposed sweeping changes to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) regulations of power plant greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, which would replace the Clean Power Plan regulations promulgated by the Obama administration in 2015.  According to EPA’s projections, the proposed changes would result in increased emissions of…

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SPR attorneys recognized in wind energy Top 100 Legal Power List and Best Lawyers in America®

Sive, Paget & Riesel principal Dan Chorost has been ranked in the 2018 edition of A Word About Wind’s Top 100 Legal Power List, which profiles “the most important influential legal professionals currently working within the global wind power market.” The rankings were based on opinions from across the industry and independent research by A…

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New York Moves Closer to Offshore Wind Energy Procurement

On July 12, 2018, the New York State Public Service Commission (“PSC”) issued an Order directing the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”) to begin soliciting bids for approximately 800 MW of offshore wind capacity in the fourth quarter of 2018, taking the State closer to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal of…

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New York Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge to CEQR Technical Manual and Bedford Union Armory Redevelopment

In a decision dated July 11, 2018, Hon. Carmen Victoria St. George of the New York Supreme Court, New York County, dismissed in its entirety litigation challenging the legality of the City Environmental Quality Review (“CEQR”) Technical Manual and the environmental review of the Bedford Union Armory Redevelopment project (the “Project”).[1]  The CEQR Technical Manual,…

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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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NYSDEC Adopts Amended State Environmental Quality Review Act Regulations

By: Nathaniel Eisen On June 27, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”) adopted the first major revisions to its regulations implementing the State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”) in over 20 years. The amendments, which are the culmination of more than six years of outreach, drafting, and revisions, will take effect January…

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Federal Agencies Begin Rulemaking to Weaken Fuel Economy Standards

By: Nathaniel Eisen As one of numerous attempts by the Trump Administration to roll back Obama-era rules, in the coming weeks, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are expected to announce a proposed rule that would weaken the agencies’ 2012 national standards for vehicular greenhouse gas emissions and fuel…

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White House Invites Public Comment on Possible Changes to NEPA Procedures

By: Eric Stern On June 20, 2018, the Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) published a (the “Notice”) that it is considering updates to the regulations governing environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). The Notice does not propose any specific changes.  Rather, it broadly solicits comments from the public on “potential revisions to…

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