New York State Senator Kathleen Marchione, a Republican from New York’s 43rd Senate District, introduced the “Hoosick Falls” bill ostensibly in response to her constituents’ ongoing water supply contamination concerns. This legislation, however, is not a rifle shot to address the Hoosick Falls situation. Rather, it has significant, long-term Statewide implications for many companies and potentially responsible parties (PRPs). The bill, S6824A, passed both the New York State Assembly and the Senate by wide margins, and would add Section 214-f to the New York Civil Practice Laws and Rules (CPLR.). If signed into law, this will allow people to bring a timely personal injury claim arising from claimed exposure to contaminants within three years of a site’s designation as a Superfund site or within the period authorized under CPLR Section 214-c, whichever is later.
Continue Reading

smokestacksWe previously reported on the Obama administration’s release of the final version of the Clean Power Plan (“Plan”), a set of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations designed to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric power generating plants. Under the Plan, states are responsible for developing individualized compliance policies by September 2016, with the ultimate goal of a 32% decrease from 2005 levels in carbon emissions from existing power plants by 2030.
Continue Reading

Meter_Solar_PanelThe debate over the future of net metering and the proper valuation of distributed energy resources has reached Congress. In the wake of a debacle over retroactive changes to net metering rules in his home state of Nevada, Senator Harry Reid (with Senator Angus King of Maine) recently proposed legislation on the subject. The proposal, known as Amendment 3120 would add language to Section 111(d) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 ( PURPA) aimed at protecting net metering customers from retroactive changes to net metering rules and requiring any such
Continue Reading

In support of its commitment to increase the use of renewable energy resources to 50% by the year 2030, New York is creating a $5 billion Clean Energy Fund. As reported in Fortune Magazine, New York’s commitment to spend $5 billion over 10 years on infrastructure and clean energy related projects is a significant development, with the goal of leveraging an additional $29 billion in private investment. The framework for the plan, which has been in discussion for some time, was approved by the New York Public Service Commission on January 21, 2016. The fund will operate with four major components:
Continue Reading

nys-green-eco-icons.jpgThis week New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released a number of policy proposals aimed at New York’s clean energy sector in conjunction with his annual State of the State address. Fundamentally, the Governor proposes that New York “become an international capital for clean and green energy products.” Consistent with the State’s clean energy policies, the Governor announced a plan to close or repower New York’s last two operating coal-fired power plants by 2020.
Continue Reading

CarbonDioxideEarlier this month, the Obama administration released its final Clean Power Plan (“Plan”), a comprehensive set of rules and standards geared toward decreasing carbon emissions from coal- and gas-fired power plants and combatting global warming. The Clean Power Plan focuses on the nation’s largest carbon emitter, the electricity sector, which in 2013 accounted for an estimated 31% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has expressed strong support for the Plan, stating, “The President’s Clean Power Plan is a visionary step forward for our nation, and it provides a robust and equitable approach to reducing America’s carbon pollution. Here in New York, we have embraced the challenge of climate change with a commitment to cut harmful carbon pollution by 40 percent by 2030, and I look forward to working alongside our partners in the federal government to bring about a cleaner, safer future for all.”  New York must submit a strategy to implement the Clean Power Plan to EPA by September 16, 2016.
Continue Reading

In a veto message dated December 29, 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed legislation passed by both houses of New York’s legislature earlier this summer that would have extended New York’s very successful Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) through March 31, 2017. By vetoing this legislation, the December 31, 2015, sunset for the Program remains in place, jeopardizing brownfield projects already underway and assuring very few, if any, new BCP projects will be entered into the Program.
Continue Reading

By Donald T. Ross

At the conclusion of its annual 2013-14 session, the New York State Legislature passed an extender (S. 7878) to the New York State Brownfields Cleanup Program (BCP) tax credits.

The BCP tax credits, which were first enacted into law in 2003, incentivize remediation and redevelopment of contaminated sites by providing credits against New York State personal or corporate income tax credits for expenditures related to cleanup and site preparation, new construction, job creation, and real property taxes paid on remediated sites.
Continue Reading

On Monday, New York’s Court of Appeals, its highest court, upheld the power of municipalities to prohibit hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) within their boundaries.

The case, previously discussed here, concerned efforts by two towns to ban fracking within their boundaries after several town residents signed oil and gas leases allowing for exploration and extraction on their land.
Continue Reading