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March 20, 2014 | Posted by Karen Mintzer 3/20/2014 | Permalink
New York City has begun efforts to establish a wetlands mitigation bank in Staten Island. The bank would provide an opportunity for off-site mitigation of impacts to water resources, including wetlands, related to development activities requiring New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and United States Army Corps permits. The ability to offer off-site compensation for wetland and other aquatic resource impacts associated with waterfront developments would facilitate the improvement and protection of coastal resources on the bank site and serve as an important mitigation tool for development projects that currently is unavailable in New York City. read more
February 11, 2014 | Posted by Toni Finger 2/11/2014 | Permalink
In November 2013, the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) revised their “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process” standards for conducting Phase Is. The new standards, which are set forth in ASTM E1527-13, and update the 2005 standards set forth in ASTM E1527-05, apply to all Phase I environmental site assessment performed after November 1, 2013. The updated standard contains several key revisions and have been recognized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) as satisfying the “All Appropriate Inquiries” (“AAI”) requirement to qualify for the innocent landowner, contiguous property owner, or bona fide prospective purchaser limitations on liability under Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”). read more
January 28, 2014 | Posted by Karen Mintzer 1/28/2014 | Permalink
Governor Cuomo has proposed amendments to the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) that would extend the program for ten years, through December 31, 2025, and make it easier to get into the BCP, but would reduce eligibility for certain tax credits that are currently available to any taxpayer that has remediated a site under the BCP. Currently, the program is scheduled to terminate on December 31, 2015. The amendments also would expand an exemption from various fees and assessments associated with the removal of contaminated soil or wastewater during construction activities that currently applies to BCP sites only. read more
October 31, 2013 | Posted by Karen L. Mintzer 10/31/2013 | Permalink
The New York City Department of City Planning has begun a rulemaking for proposed new rules that would supplement the list of “Type II” actions set forth in the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”) regulations with a list of citywide-specific Type II actions. Type II actions are actions taken by governmental agencies, including discretionary approvals, that have been deemed not to have a significant adverse environmental impact and are thus exempt from the environmental review requirements of SEQRA. SEQRA permits municipalities to designate a supplemental list of actions as Type II. read more
October 9, 2013 | Posted by Karen L. Mintzer 10/9/2013 | Permalink
On September 30, 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a record of decision documenting its final selection of a remedy for cleanup of the Gowanus Canal Superfund Site in Brooklyn. The cleanup addresses contaminated sediments in the canal and continuing sources of contamination outside the canal, including overflows from the New York City combined sewer system that result in the discharge into the canal of untreated domestic sewage and contaminated stormwater. EPA estimates that it will take another three years to complete design of the remedy and six years after that to implement the cleanup. read more