Tag Archives: Kaplow

PFOA Contamination is Found in 49 States

Two weeks ago, New York Attorney General Letitia James commenced a civil suit against the nation’s largest chemical manufacturers and several firefighting foam makers for what the complaint alleges is contamination of water supplies across the state with PFOAs, averring strict liability for public nuisance, strict products liability for defective products, strict products liability for … Continue Reading

What You Can Say about RECs is Regulated by the FTC

Businesses who generate renewable energy, say, by using solar panels, but sell the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for the renewable energy they generate shouldn’t claim they “use” renewable energy. The Federal Trade Commissions has advised that such a claim would be deceptive. The guidance from the FTC is not new, but as renewable energy becomes … Continue Reading

An HREC is Not a REC in a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment

I review a large number of Phase I environmental site assessments, and year in, year out, the largest number of questions I field are about Historical Recognized Environmental Conditions. The environmental professionals who perform those assessment generally do not take heed of Eduardo Galeano’s quote, “History never really says goodbye. History says, ‘see you later.’” … Continue Reading

FTC Finds Truly Organic is Not

By way of a federal court order that became final last month, Truly Organic Inc. and its founder will pay $1.76 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission greenwashing complaint alleging that their nationally marketed bath and beauty products are neither “certified organic” nor “vegan” as falsely claimed. According to the FTC’s complaint, in this … Continue Reading

ESG Disclosure Simplification Act Passes Committee But Will Fail

On September 20, 2019, the Financial Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4329, the ESG Disclosure Simplification Act of 2019. The bill would require all public companies to disclose “environmental, social, and governance [ESG] metrics” as material information about the company. Although there is little if any chance that the bill … Continue Reading

LEED Offers Companies a Response to Declining Bird Populations

Condor in the Cordillera Huaywuash, Peru
In response to a much publicized new study on North American bird populations that appeared in the journal Science last month, we received a significant number of inquiries from businesses about what an appropriate response might be from a responsible company? The study found “cumulative loss of nearly three billion birds since 1970, across most … Continue Reading

Cannabis Manufacturer Charged with RCRA but No CDS Violations

In a criminal case that says significantly more about the prosecution than the indictment on its face, the Federal government is prosecuting a leading cannabis industry manufacturer and distributor for criminal transportation of hazardous waste. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) was enacted in 1976 to ensure that all hazardous waste generated in the … Continue Reading

Net Zero Lawsuit Filed Against Home Builder

A lawsuit has been commenced in Maryland alleging that two net zero homes are not. The facts are gleaned from a review of the court pleadings and are instructive for everyone buying or selling a green building. The complaint alleges the defendant home builder and subcontractors represented “that their new homes would be “net zero” … Continue Reading

Brownfield Laws can Save Green Building and the Planet

It is widely accepted that the greenest building is one already built. So, why then on the 20th anniversary of many state brownfield programs, is there so little correlation between green buildings and brownfields? Green building ratings systems, standards and codes expend a great deal of verbiage on aims reducing embodied carbon, including the currently … Continue Reading

Maryland Reverting to Certifiable In Lieu of Certified Green Building

In response to an act of the Maryland legislature in 2018, the state is proposing a watershed revamp of its current mandatory green building requirements for new public school buildings. The public is being invited to comment on the proposal. Existing State Finance and Procurement Section 4-809(f) was amended adding new section (6), providing in … Continue Reading

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

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

LEED Prerequisite Now Prohibits Smoking Cannabis

The U.S. Green Building Council issued a LEED Interpretation in 2018 ruling, “smoking of cannabis is considered a form of smoking for the purposes of both the interior and exterior smoking provisions of the LEED Prerequisite Environmental Tobacco Smoke Control.” The LEED prerequisite prohibits smoking outside the building except in designated smoking areas located at … 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

2018 IgCC – A Fast Paced Deep Dive

The 2018 International Green Construction Code was released on November 8, 2018 by the U.S. Green Building Council, International Code Council, ASHRAE and the Illuminating Engineering Society. Make no mistake, the 203 page document unveiled by the coterie of trade group authors and available from the ICC for sale to the public (.. click here … Continue Reading
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