Archives: Codes and Regulations

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Phase l Environmental Site Assessment Standard Being Revised

The Phase l Environmental Site Assessment Standard E1527-13 will sunset in late 2021, eight years from its approval on November 6, 2013. This is hugely significant because a Phase l Environmental Site Assessment is conducted in the vast majority of the 5.6 million commercial and industrial real estate transactions in the United States each year, … Continue Reading

DuPont Resolves PFAS Claims with Delaware

The State of Delaware and E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, The Chemours Company, DuPont de Nemours, Inc. and Corteva, Inc. (all “DuPont” related companies), businesses having operated in the State for more than 200 years, announced a sweeping settlement agreement last week. Under the settlement agreement, the DuPont agreed to pay $50 … Continue Reading

Fireworks Cause Air Pollution But

In a literally explosive example of the right balance between environmental protection and people’s desire to celebrate is no environmental regulation, despite that fireworks degrade air quality with particulate matter, in the United States society has decided that the pyrotechnic festivities must go, especially after many were cancelled in the pandemic last year. Fireworks have … Continue Reading

EPA and Army Announce Intent to Revise “Water of the United States” Rule

Last week the Environmental Protect Agency and Department of the Army announced the agencies’ intent to initiate new rulemaking that restores the Obama era waters of the United States rule that was in place pre-2015, and before the current Trump era rule. This proposed rule will impact large swaths of America not only those directing … Continue Reading

Revoking the Migratory Bird Treaty Act Incidental Take Rule, Once Again

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a proposed rule to restore criminal penalties for accidental killing of migratory birds, revoking the January 7, 2021, final regulation that limited the enforcement of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. “The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is a bedrock environmental law that is critical to protecting … Continue Reading

Maryland to Commit to World Economic Forum’s One Trillion Trees Initiative Tree Planting

The Maryland legislature has enacted and the Governor is expected to sign legislation that will take effect on June 1, 2021 establishing aggressive state tree planting goals and a host of other initiatives rooted in trees, all in an effort to respond to climate change. While other significant climate change legislation failed to pass in … Continue Reading

Two Creeks, a Marsh and Two Lakes Sue a Florida Real Estate Developer

Two creeks, a marsh and two lakes are plaintiffs in a first of its kind complaint filed last month against a real estate developer and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Wilde Cypress Branch, Boggy Branch, Crosby Island Marsh, Lake Hart and Lake Mary Jane, tributaries of the Kissimmee River are seeking declaratory and injunctive … Continue Reading

Covid Pandemic Exposes More Children to Toxic Lead

Covid-19 school closures and lockdowns resulted in thousands of children having increased blood lead levels. In a study of this consequence of Covid-19, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to describe blood lead level testing among young children during the Covid-19 pandemic, the CDC analyzed data reported from 34 state and local … Continue Reading

SEC to Update Required Climate Related Disclosures

On February 24, acting chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Allison Herren Lee, offered insight into the future direction of mandatory climate change disclosures and new ESG regulation, when she directed the Division of Corporation Finance to enhance its focus on climate related disclosure in public company filings. The Commission provided guidance in … Continue Reading

EPA 2020 Enforcement Offers Insight

The Environmental Protection Agency’s has released the results of its 2020 enforcement and compliance efforts and those results offer significant insight that business can benefit from. In the first 5 months of fiscal year 2020, EPA was on track to significantly exceed traditional numeric metrics in many categories with more compliance monitoring activities in the … Continue Reading

PFAS in a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment?

The question de riguer in commercial real estate transactions is if PFAS is included in a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment? As made clear by the January 14, 2021 EPA action, the response is “no” that the standard practice for environmental site assessments in the vast majority of places does not consider PFAS, however, .. … Continue Reading

Former Public Officials Indicted on Criminal Charges in Flint Water Crisis

Michigan prosecutors last Thursday announced that 9 individuals have been indicted on a total of 42 counts related to a series of alleged actions and inactions that created the Flint water crisis. Interestingly, the Chief Judge of the Seventh Circuit in Genesee County appointed Judge David Newblatt to act as a one-man grand jury to … Continue Reading

45L Energy Efficient Home Tax Credit Extended for 2021 by Covid Relief Bill

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, H.R. 133, signed into law by President Trump on December 27th, extended the 45L energy efficient home $2,000 tax credit, which had been scheduled to expire last year, to cover qualified new energy efficient homes sold or leased through 2021. And yes, regular readers of this blog will notice that … Continue Reading

179D Tax Deduction Made Permanent by Covid Relief Bill

On page 4,872 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, H.R. 133, which passed both houses of Congress on December 21st and was signed into law by President Trump on December 27th, the 179D energy efficient commercial buildings federal tax deduction, which had been scheduled to expire at year end, was instead made permanent. At a … Continue Reading

The Birds: Migratory Bird Treaty Act redux without Tippi Hedren

Three weeks ago the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a regulation to finally resolve and codify the legal principal that an incidental bird take resulting from an otherwise lawful activity, for example a sparrows flies into a solar panel, is not prohibited under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Fish and Wildlife Service is … Continue Reading

Carbon Tax Proposed in Portland will be First in the Nation

The City of Portland is proposing a carbon tax that would be the first of its kind anywhere in the country. Given the increased emphasis on climate change by the incoming Biden Administration the proposed ordinance should be on your required reading list. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions are changing the climate. Energy … Continue Reading

HREC in a Phase l is Not a Recognized Environmental Condition

Among the most misunderstood term in a Phase I environmental site assessment is the Historical Recognized Environmental Condition. The environmental professionals who perform these assessments by and large do not take heed of Eduardo Galeano’s quote, “History never really says goodbye. History says, ‘see you later.’” By way of background, a Phase I environmental site … Continue Reading
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