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Welcome to Kramer Levin's Green Law Blog, GreenEsq


July 10, 2014 | Posted by Toni Finger 7/10/2014 | Permalink
Last week, the New York Court of Appeals held that a town may ban oil and gas exploration and production activities, including hydraulic fracking, within its municipal boundaries through the adoption of local zoning laws. The Court held that the supersession clause in New York’s Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law, set forth in section 23-0303(2) of the Environmental Conservation Law, does not pre-empt the “home rule authority” that is vested in municipalities to regulate land use. read more
June 30, 2014 | Posted by Karen L. Mintzer 6/30/2014 | Permalink

Governor Cuomo is expected to sign a bill passed by the New York State Legislature last week that
extends the sunset of the state's Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) from December 31, 2015 until
March 31, 2017. This bill does not include any modifications to the tax credits that are currently
available to any taxpayer that has remediated a site under the BCP. The bill also authorizes the
issuance of bonds to refinance the New York State Superfund Program through March 31, 2017, and
appropriates $100 million to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for the
program.

read more
May 7, 2014 | Posted by Karen Mintzer 5/7/2014 | Permalink
Under the Clean Air Act, states are required to adopt State Implementation Plans that comply with the “Good Neighbor Provision” of the Clean Air Act, by including adequate provisions that prohibit in-state emission sources from emitting air pollutants in amounts that contribute significantly to nonattainment of national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) in neighboring states. On April 29, 2014, the United States Supreme Court upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule implementing the Good Neighbor Provision. This rule, also known as the Transport Rule, requires states to reduce nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions if they are contributing significantly to exceedences of NAAQS in downwind states and allows EPA to promulgate a Federal Implementation Plan setting emissions limits for states whose SIPs have been deemed inadequate because they do not satisfy the Good Neighbor Provision. read more
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