Real Property & Environmental Law Alert

Real Property & Environmental Law Alert

Transactional Real Estate, Development/Redevelopment & Environmental Law

Monthly Archives: June 2011

Supreme Court Closes Door on Global Warming Suits Based on Federal Common Law

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
Reversing the Second Circuit, the Supreme Court on June 20, 2011 held, in American Electric Power Company v. Connecticut, that the Clean Air Act, along with EPA regulatory action that it authorizes, displaces any federal common-law right to seek abatement of emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from power plants. The Court's decision means that for the foreseeable future, the debate over the proper scope of federal GHG regulation will take place in the executive and legislative branches and not the courts. It also leaves unanswered the question whether traditional state common-law remedies still have a role to play in GHG regulation… Continue Reading

EPA to Announce the Possibility of Adding Vapor Intrusion as a Component to the Hazard Ranking System

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues
On Monday, January 3, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency published in the Federal Register, 76 Fed. Reg. 5,370 (Jan. 31, 2011), a Notice of Opportunity for Public Input on the Potential Addition of Vapor Intrusion Component to the Hazard Ranking System (the "HRS"). Should this proposal become a rule it would add another contamination pathway to analyze in connection with listing sites on the National Priorities List (the "NPL")… Continue Reading

Six New Jersey Communities Will Share $3.4 Million in EPA Brownfield Grants

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
The EPA has announced that six different New Jersey communities will receive a total of $3.4 million under the agency's brownfield grant program in FY 2011. The grants will fund assessment and cleanup efforts at contaminated sites so that the sites can be returned to productive use. The grant program, part of EPA's larger brownfield efforts, will award some $76 million in grants this year, and has awarded over $800 million since its inception. New Jersey's grants will fund activities at thirteen sites or areas in Newark, Jersey City, Trenton, Elizabeth, Mantua Township, and Maurice River Township… Continue Reading

Release of New Jersey’s Draft 2011 Energy Master Plan – Solar Incentives Will Survive — But With Changes

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
On Tuesday, June 7, the Christie Administration released the State's draft 2011 Energy Master Plan (Master Plan). The Master Plan provides the Administration's strategic vision of energy in New Jersey. In particular, the "use, management and development of energy in New Jersey over the next decade," and includes in-depth discussion of New Jersey's electricity sources, uses, regulations, challenges, and incentives across all users of electricity in the State: residential, commercial, and governmental. These links provide access to the official State of New Jersey Governor's Release of Tuesday, June 7th, and the full Draft… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court to Montana: “Stay Thirsty, My Friend.”

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
The Supreme Court in Montana v. Wyoming --U.S.--, 131 S.Ct. 1765 (2011), rejected Montana's claim that Wyoming's usage of water depleted the amount of water available to it under the Yellowstone River Compact between Montana and Wyoming. Montana contended that Wyoming breached Article V(A) of the Compact which provided that "appropriative rights to the beneficial uses of the water of the Yellowstone River System existing in each signatory State as of January 1, 1950, shall continue to be enjoyed in accordance with the laws governing the acquisition and use of water under the doctrine of appropriation."… Continue Reading

New Jersey Program to Fund Brownfield Clean Ups Closed Temporarily

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues
The Brownfield Reimbursement Program (the "Program"), a New Jersey State initiative designed to reimburse developers up to 75% of costs incurred to remediate a brownfield site, has run out of money and is temporarily shut down. This development arrives on the heels of a recent New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection ("NJDEP") announcement that, effective May 3, 2011, applications to the Underground Storage Tank Fund, a similar initiative to help homeowners remove USTs, will not be reviewed or processed due to insufficient funds… Continue Reading

David A. Brooks to Moderate Panel at 2011 New Jersey Environmental Law Forum

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
On Friday, June 24, 2011, David A. Brooks, Counsel to the Gibbons Real Property and Environmental Department, will moderate a panel, "Vapor Intrusion: Old Problems - New Rules" at the 2011 Environmental Law Section Forum Weekend presented by the New Jersey State Bar Association and the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education and co-sponsored by the New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association. This full weekend program presents an annual update on environmental law in New Jersey and will also include panels discussing funding for remediation projects, New Jersey's licensed site remediation professional program, litigation related to the remediation of urban river systems, the role of non-governmental organizations, renewable energy and climate change, and ethical issues… Continue Reading

N.J. Appellate Court Extends Time Limit for Bringing Strict-Liability Claim for Natural Resource Damages

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
Thanks to a special "extension statute" enacted in 2001, the statute of limitations that requires the State of New Jersey to commence a civil action within ten years of its accrual does not apply to an action for natural resource damages (NRDs) that is brought "pursuant to the State's environmental laws." The Appellate Division recently held that the Legislature intended "the State's environmental laws" to include the common law -- or at least the common law of strict liability -- and revived a claim that otherwise would have been time-barred… Continue Reading
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