Archives: Codes and Regulations

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EPA Cancels Pesticide Registrations to Save the Bees

In a rare move, the EPA issued product cancellation orders for certain pesticides effective May 20, 2019. The pesticides contain neonicotinoids that, despite their widespread use have become controversial when laboratory studies reported a link between neonicotinoids and declining bee populations, although a link has not been replicated in field studies. Neonicotinoids are compounds in … Continue Reading

GSA Reviews more than 100 Green Building Systems and Selects 5

Section 436(h) of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires the General Services Administration’s Office of Federal High-Performance Buildings to complete a review of high performance building certification systems every 5 years. After the review, GSA recommends to the Secretary of Energy the building certification systems most likely to encourage a comprehensive approach … Continue Reading

Maryland Appellate Court Upholds Local Government Pesticide Ban

Last week the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the state’s intermediate appellate court, overturned an earlier circuit court decision, reinstating a Montgomery County ordinance significantly restricting pesticide use throughout the County. In October 2015, the Montgomery County Council enacted Bill No. 52-14 becoming the first major jurisdiction in the country to enact such a ban. … Continue Reading

St. Petersburg is Bold in Mandating Envision

The City of St. Petersburg, Florida passed a progressive ordinance last week mandating that City infrastructure projects and newly constructed and renovated City building be third party certified as green. The new Ordinance 359-H, passed by the St. Petersburg City Council on January 17, 2019 and awaiting the Mayor’s signature, supersedes the prior Executive Order … Continue Reading

Blockchain has come to U.S. Real Estate

Earlier this year a precedent setting property sale in Vermont was the first real estate transaction in the United States using blockchain, portending a new era in the sale of land and improvements. Blockchain technology is an industry disrupter on the cusp of improving transactions across all sectors and borders. It is suggested blockchain may … Continue Reading

Green Building Codes Not Eligible for Copyright Protection

A decision earlier this month by the Eleventh Circuit United States Courts Of Appeals goes further than other modern courts in describing that building codes when adopted by local government cannot be copyrighted. Ruling that “the law,” whether by statute, ordinance, regulations, or code, and even when its source is a judicial opinion, is not … Continue Reading

Mission Critical at the Department of Defense now includes Climate

On August 13 the President signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. The $716 billion H.R. 5515, authorizes appropriations for the Department of Defense for procurement of everything from aircraft, missiles, ammunition, shipbuilding and space defense to military installation construction; and is arguably the most significant environmental legislation enacted … Continue Reading

Back to the Future with “Navigable Waters of the United States”

Last week the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of the Army finalized a rule adding an applicability date to the 2015 Rule (that never went into effect) defining “waters of the United States.” But, the 2015 Rule will now not be applicable until two years following publication of the applicability date rule in the Federal Register … Continue Reading

Saint Paul Green With Envy

When the Saint Paul City Council votes this Wednesday on Ordinance 17-60 it should amend the legislation to not delete, from the existing law, Green Globes as one of the approved green building standards. The work product of an advisory committee of experts, Ord 17-60 Sustainable Building Regulation Ordinance, alters and amends the 2009 Resolution … Continue Reading

Fireworks Cause Air Pollution But

In a very good example of striking the right balance between environmental protection and celebratory festivities, despite that fireworks degrade air quality with particulate matter, in the United States we have decided that the pyrotechnic show must go on. Fireworks have a storied history in the United States best articulated in a July 3, 1776 … Continue Reading

Migratory Bird Treaty Act Reform is for the Birds

A week after this blog post, the Office of the Solicitor issued a memorandum the subject line of which was, “The Migratory Bird Treaty Act Does Not Prohibit Incidental Take.” The very first page of the Memorandum ends with the sentence, “Interpreting the MBTA to apply to incidental or accidental actions hangs the sword of … Continue Reading

EPA Ends Perverse Practice of “Sue and Settle”

“The days of regulation through litigation are over,” according to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. In fulfilling his promise to end the practice of regulation through litigation that has harmed the American public, the EPA Administrator issued an agency wide directive on October 16, 2017  designed to end “sue and settle” practices within the Agency, restoring … Continue Reading

Rhode Island goes for LEED for Neighborhood Development and SITES

The State of Rhode Island is expanding its longstanding Green Buildings Act adding built landscapes to the list of public projects that must be built to recognized green building standards. Rhode Island has since 2008 mandated the public construction projects larger than 5,000 gross square feet “shall be designed and constructed to at least the … Continue Reading

50 Shades of Green in Montgomery County

Green building will remain mandatory for new construction in Montgomery County, Maryland and effective December 1, 2017, the International Green Construction Code 2012 will be a permitted alternative. Montgomery County was among the first local jurisdictions in the country, in 2008, to adopt a mandatory green building law for private building, requiring most new construction … Continue Reading
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