Archives: Environmental

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EPA (Finally) Finalizes Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Rule

On December 15, 2022, EPA took final action to amend the All Appropriate Inquiries Rule to reference ASTM International’s E1527-21 “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process” and allow for its use to satisfy the requirements for conducting all appropriate inquiries under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, … Continue Reading

FTC Seeks Public Input on Update to Green Guides for Environmental Claims

The Federal Trade Commission announced last Wednesday that it is seeking public comment on updates and changes to the Green Guides for the Use of Environmental Claims. In an era when charges of greenwashing and green hushing are proliferating across social media while at the same time governments are mandating ESG including environmental disclosures by businesses, … Continue Reading

Selling the Sun: Sale of a House with Solar Panels is Fraught with Peril

  There are more than 3 Million houses in the U.S. with solar panels installed on the roof.  The Inflation Protection Act of 2022 extended the 30% federal tax credit for residential solar panels through 2034 which is predicted to more than triple that number of solar installations. And as those houses are each year … Continue Reading

EPA Proposes Designating PFAS as Hazardous

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to designate two of the most widely used per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as the “Superfund” law. The proposal applies to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), including their salts and structural isomers, actually, a group of … Continue Reading

New Maryland Regulation all but Shuts Down Phase ll Environmental Site Assessments

The Maryland Department of the Environment has adopted regulations for the first time requiring the person conducting an environmental assessment, even when they are not the owner of the property (e.g., possibly a prospective contract purchaser of land or a consultant engaged in a lending transaction) to report suspected oil to MDE immediately, but not … Continue Reading

Phase 1 Standard for All Appropriate Inquiries in Limbo

It is hugely significant that the Phase l Environmental Site Assessment standard is in limbo because that assessment is conducted in the vast majority of the 5.6 million commercial real estate transactions each year in the United States (i.e., including for a real estate purchaser to avoid liability under the Superfund law). The U.S. Environmental … Continue Reading

Top 10 ESG Blog Posts of 2021

As we look back in this ‘year in review’ at our most read blog posts in 2021, at a time when most of us have accepted that we will never go back to exactly the way things were, we are no doubt collectively ready for a new year. And we are incredibly excited about the … Continue Reading

Water is the Most Important ESG Factor

I am excited to be presenting a fast paced and fun one hour virtual program, “ESG an Emergent and Fast Growing Area of the Law” for the Maryland State Bar Association, and Not just for lawyers, on December 14, 2021 at noon. Register today for the live virtual program. Potable water use reduction may be … Continue Reading

Updated Phase l Environmental Site Assessment is Published But ..

EPA final action on ASTM International’s E1527-21 “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is currently in limbo. On March 14, 2022, after this blog post, EPA took direct final action to amend the Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries to reference ASTM International’s E1527-21. The rule was to have … Continue Reading

A Sea Change in SEC Climate Change Disclosure

I am pleased to be speaking on “Environmental Social Governance (ESG) an Emergent and Fast Growing Area of the Law” at the Maryland State Bar Association 2021 Legal Excellence Week, Corporate Council Institute on November 16, 2021. You can register to attend in person or online. While there is much speculation about what the federal … Continue Reading

Brand Reputation is Number One Reason Businesses Engage in ESG

ESG has become such a large component of my law practice that I am now collaborating with a fabulous group attorneys in ESG Legal Solutions, LLC, a new non-law consulting firm. Nancy Hudes and I are now publishing a new blog at www.ESGLegalSolutions.com (.. yes, this blog will continue). This post originally appeared in that blog. … Continue Reading
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