Here at Green Building Law Update, sometimes we wonder if we are just talking to our parents and significant other.  Then we get a comment or a great email from one of our readers and we realize someone is actually paying attention.  With that said, what happened this past week in the green building industry astounded and amazed Green Building Law Update.  

Earlier in the week, your humble author presented a seminar “Green Building Law from a Surety’s Perspective” to a client.  Just prior to the seminar, an article was published in the Washington Business Journal that highlighted the D.C. Green Building Act of 2006 performance bond requirement.  The first few paragraphs were sent to me but I didn’t have time to review the full article before the presentation. 

You may recall that this performance bond requirement drew the ire of the Surety and Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) and the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) and Green Building Law Update.  When I first read the performance bond requirement, I literally gasped out loud and realized the green building industry may have some serious legal problems in the very near future.  Basically, the D.C. Council was demanding an insurance instrument that didn’t exist.

During the presentation to the surety client this past week, I highlighted the D.C. Green Building Act performance bond requirement as an enforcement regulation that was going to cause the surety industry problems.  After the presentation, I returned to my office and attempted to unbury myself from hundreds of emails.  With time on my hands, I opened the full version of the Washington Business Journal article and, once again, gasped out loud when I read the following paragraph:

Both trade groups, as well as the Surety and Fidelity Association of America, have met with D.C. officials to air their concerns, one of the first challenges to legislation that is among the first of its kind nationwide.

Alan Heymann, a spokesman for the D.C. Department of the Environment, said his agency has formed a working group with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to address the surety industry’s concerns. Both agencies are tasked with implementing parts of the act.

Green Building Law Update is not taking credit for the D.C. Council’s reconsideration of the green building performance bond requirement.  But after writing numerous articles, posts and having discussions with the D.C. Council, I would like to think I played some small part in effecting change. 

Congratulations to the D.C. Council for taking steps to remedy what could have been a problematic regulation.  Congratulations to the SFAA and NASBP for pointing out this problematic provision.  Congratulations to the green building attorneys writing about these issues and helping the green building industry avoid legal problems. 

Of course, there are going to be more green building legal problems.  Green Building Law Update is excited about discussing these issues in 2009 and, hopefully, effecting more change.  

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