New revisions to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) have been enacted as part of the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development Act of 2018 (“BUILD Act”). Key changes include extension of the Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser (“BFPP”) defense to tenants, increased funding for remediation grants and new authorizations for federal and state funding through 2023. Continue Reading CERCLA Changes Bring More Funding for Cleanups and Comfort for Tenants

Co-location of wireless antennas, as well as a handful of other actions, may be removed from the previously proposed list of Type II actions that would not be subject to New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”). These and other proposed revisions to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (“NYSDEC”) SEQRA regulations were released on April 4, 2018. Besides a reduced list of Type II actions, other notable changes include modifications to other Type II categories, lower Type I thresholds for residential development and clarifying language to require project sponsors to include late-filed comments in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (“DEIS”). Comments on these revisions and NYSDEC’s Revised Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (“R-DGEIS”) will be accepted until May 4, 2018. Continue Reading Additional Proposed Revisions to NY SEQRA Regulations Released, Removing a Number of Proposed Type II Actions from Consideration

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) is requiring owners of remediation sites across the State (including those already remediated to DEC’s satisfaction) to analyze and report on the presence of 1,4-dioxane and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (collectively “PFAS”) in groundwater. This has been triggered by concerns about these “emerging contaminants” at Hoosick Falls and other sites across the State. DEC has begun to send letters to many remediation site owners notifying them of the new statewide evaluation requirements and asking site owners to schedule sampling dates. Continue Reading DEC Undertaking Statewide PFAS Evaluation at Remediation Sites

As proffered by Governor Andrew Cuomo in his proposed 2019 budget, payment of certain business tax credits, including those under the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (“BCP”), would be deferred for three years for those claiming more than a combined $2 million in such credits. For taxpayers with more than $2 million in credits in the 2019 and 2020 tax years, deferred credits would be allowed in tax years starting in 2021 and would only provide 50 percent of the deferred credits in 2021, 75 percent of the remaining credits in 2022 and the remainder in 2023. No interest would be paid on these deferred tax credits. Continue Reading Controversial Tax Credit Deferral Not Included in NYS Budget

Real estate and other transactions often involve property that has perceived environmental concerns. There can also be parcels that have modest known environmental impacts as well, however they do not make sense for either the New York State Superfund (“Superfund”) or Brownfield Cleanup Program (“BCP”) for any number of reasons. In the past, this has often left parties (buyers, sellers, developers and lenders) in a difficult position, unable to obtain any regulatory comfort for such properties. Continue Reading DEC P Site Program Coming into View

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) recently issued an enforcement discretion letter stating that it will exercise its enforcement authority with respect to certain provisions of the recently revised Solid Waste Management Program. As we previously reported, the final version of the comprehensive revisions, codified in Title 6 of New York Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations (“6 NYCRR”), took effect in November 2017. Continue Reading DEC to Exercise Enforcement Discretion over Problematic Part 360 Provisions

The 2015 amendments to New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) made a number of substantive changes to the program, including changes to the refundable tax credits, their amount and how they are calculated. The 2015 amendments create “Generation 3” of the BCP. As it relates to sites that entered the BCP before June 23, 2008 (Generation 1 sites), the 2015 amendments required issuance of the site’s Certificate of Completion (COC) by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) on or before December 31, 2017; failure to obtain a COC by that date would allow NYSDEC to amend the Brownfield Cleanup Agreement (BCA) and migrate the site to the Generation 3 program. Among the differences between Generation 1 and Generation 3 programs are significantly different (and in many instances lower) Tangible Property tax credits. Continue Reading Old Brownfields Become “New” BCP Sites

Released in November, the Federal Government’s Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) concluded that “it is extremely likely that human activities… are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” Unsettling climate-related weather events have become increasingly common over the last few years, and according to the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), these trends are expected to continue in the coming decades. Thousands of studies have been conducted around the world that document a wide array of changes in the environment, and conclusions reached in the CSSR are based on extensive evidence. This report directly contradicts the Trump administration’s stance on the issue, as the recently released National Security Strategy did not include climate change as a major threat to the U.S. Continue Reading A Look at the CSSR and What to Expect in 2018

On Tuesday, October 10, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would effectively repeal the Clean Power Plan (CPP or “rule”). The CPP focused on reducing carbon emissions from electric-generating power plants to combat global warming. As we previously reported, the Supreme Court granted an unprecedented stay of the rule in early 2016 after several challenges by states and industry groups. Interestingly, as Oklahoma Attorney General, Administrator Pruitt was one of 27 attorney generals to challenge the rule. Continue Reading EPA Announces Repeal of Clean Power Plan; New York AG Will Sue

The much-anticipated final version of the comprehensive revisions to New York’s Solid Waste Management Program was released on September 20, 2017. Initially proposed in early 2016 after two rounds of public comments, multiple hearings, and a second round of revisions issued over the summer, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (“NYSDEC’s”) new rules are set to take effect on November 4, 2017. Besides expected changes for solid waste landfills and waste transporters, noteworthy changes include stricter Continue Reading A 360 for NY’s Part 360 Regulations: Overhauled Solid Waste Program to Take Effect November 2017