Real Property & Environmental Law Alert

Real Property & Environmental Law Alert

Transactional Real Estate, Development/Redevelopment & Environmental Law

Tag Archives: Brownfields

New York Legislators PASS Extension of State Brownfield TAX CREDITS

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
In the waning hours of this year's legislative session, the New York State Assembly and Senate have passed identical bills extending the sunset date for tax credits under the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program from December 31, 2015 to March 31, 2017. To qualify for such credits, sites must obtain their Certificates of Completion from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) by the sunset date… Continue Reading

Susanne Peticolas Authors Section on Bankruptcy for NJ Environmental Law Handbook

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues
Susanne Peticolas, a Director in the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department, contributed a section on environmental issues in bankruptcy to the 8th edition of the New Jersey Environmental Law Handbook. Her section discusses the issues created by the conflicting policies underlying bankruptcy law, focusing on a fresh start for the debtor, as well as environmental law, which focuses on making the polluter pay. The section covers a wide range of relevant topics, including which environmental claims are bankruptcy “claims,” how environmental claims are impacted by the automatic stay, the identity of the claim holder, and the relief that is being sought… Continue Reading

New York City Brownfield Partnership Releases NYU Study on New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
The New York City Brownfield Partnership, a non-profit public-private partnership promoting the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites in New York City, has just released a study analyzing the impact of the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) on the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites in New York State. The study was directed by Barry F. Hersh, Clinical Associate Professor at New York University's Schack Institute of Real Estate, with financial support from the Partnership. The study provides timely and valuable information to the debate over proposed changes to the program… Continue Reading

Cuomo Budget Proposals Seek to Revise NY State Brownfield Cleanup Program

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed major revisions to the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) in the budget he submitted to the state legislature last week. These changes, if enacted, will have a major impact on the types of projects that will be attracted to and accepted into the Program, and the extent to which they are eligible for tax credits… Continue Reading

Consensus Developing for Changes to New York State’s Brownfield Cleanup Program

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
A remarkable consensus is emerging regarding proposed changes to New York State's Brownfield Cleanup Program. That consensus is reflected in recommendations made over the past several weeks by groups with membership and interests as diverse as the Environmental Justice Alliance, the Real Estate Board of New York, and the Environmental Law Section of the New York State Bar Association… Continue Reading

“Removal vs. Remedial Action? – That is the Question” Second Circuit Answers “Removal” and Vacates District Court’s Grant of Dismissal on CERCLA Statute of Limitations Grounds in State of New York v. Next Millenium Realty, LLC

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
Environmental attorneys have long wrestled with the issue of whether particular clean-up activities under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) fall under the statute of limitations for remedial actions, considered to be permanent responsive action, or for removals, considered to be interim remedial measures to address immediate threats to public health. In a governmental cost recovery action, guessing wrong can deprive a federal or state governmental entity of its ability to recover its clean up costs from Potentially Responsible Parties. In State of New York v. Next Millenium Realty, LLC, the Second Circuit vacated the District Court's determination, holding that once an activity is instituted as a removal, it remains a removal until completion, even if it is incorporated into the final permanent remedy… Continue Reading

New York State Comptroller Sets Forth Options for Revitalizing State’s Brownfield Cleanup Programs

Posted in Development/Redevelopment
Late last month, New York State's Comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, issued a report reviewing options for modifying the way the state incentivizes and administers cleanups of its thousands of remaining brownfield sites. The Report has special significance in light of Mr. DiNapoli's expertise in this area: he is a former Chair of the State Assembly's Environmental Conservation Committee and one of the architects of the state's Brownfield Cleanup Act, passed in … Continue Reading

New Report Considers Options For Tweaking Brownfields Programs in NY

Posted in Development/Redevelopment
New York State was among the first to enact programs aimed at remediation and redevelopment of contaminated sites. The goal of such programs is both to promote economic revitalization and to encourage private entities to remediate the state's contaminated sites. Three such programs, the Voluntary Cleanup Program ("VCP"), the Environmental Restoration Program (ERP), and the Brownfield Cleanup Program ("BCP"), have achieved considerable success, with over 400 sites having been remediated in the past two decades. Nevertheless, policy makers continue to search for ways to make these programs better and more cost efficient. Prompted by the impending expiration of key provisions of the BCP, a report released by the New York State Comptroller's office in April 2013, provides an assessment of these programs, as well as some options for improvement going forward… Continue Reading

Vapor Intrusion Guidance Continues to Take Form With the Release of EPA’s Final Draft Guidance

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
The United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") recently released its long-awaited final vapor intrusion draft guidance ("Final VI Guidance"). The nearly 200-page document establishes a complex framework for assessing vapor intrusion from analyzing key factors; making risk management decisions; and implementing, monitoring and terminating mitigation strategies and is intended to be used at any site that is being evaluated under CERCLA, RCRA, EPA's brownfield grantees, or state agencies with delegated authority. The Final VI Guidance supercedes all prior EPA guidance documents addressing vapor intrusion assessment and mitigation including the 2002 Draft Vapor Intrusion Guidance, but takes into account the public comments submitted from 2002 through 2012 and the recommendations of the Office of Inspector General (OIG)… Continue Reading

Gibbons Director David Freeman Reelected President of the New York City Brownfield Partnership

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues
David J. Freeman, a Director in the Real Property & Environmental Department of Gibbons P.C., has been unanimously reelected to a second term as president of the New York City Brownfield Partnership, a public/private nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields in New York City… Continue Reading

New York Court of Appeals Clarifies Relationship Between SEQRA and Brownfield Cleanup Act

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues
On October 23, 2012, the New York Court of Appeals handed down its decision in Bronx Committee for Toxic Free Schools v. New York City School Construction Authority. In it, the Court held that the public notice procedures that the School Construction Authority followed under the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Act (BCA) did not satisfy the related, but distinct public notice and comment obligations under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA)… Continue Reading

Environmental Issues a Growing Concern for Companies

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
As companies in the northeast region take advantage of an improving real estate market, in the face of aggressive agency enforcement, and complex environmental programs and policies, the need for environmental counsel to assist with transactions, navigate potential pitfalls, and mitigate future liability, has become essential. In a recent article published by The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, three new Gibbons Directors - William Hatfield, Camille Otero, and David Freeman - discuss the firm's strategic decision to expand the practice group, the growth of the environmental law market, and how their experience can assist clients in this expanding field… Continue Reading

Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Team Members Contribute Chapter in Brownfields Publication

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
David A. Brooks and Paul M. Hauge, both members of the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department, contributed a chapter in Implementing Institutional Controls at Brownfields and Other Contaminated Sites. Edward F. McTiernan, Deputy Counsel with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, co-authored the chapter with Mr. Brooks and Mr. Hauge… Continue Reading

NY Court Denies Summary Judgment in Seemingly Clear-Cut Case Under NY Navigation Law

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
An upstate Supreme Court Justice has denied summary judgment on liability under Section 181 of the state's Navigation Law against a company whose predecessor owned and operated a petroleum refinery on the site for almost 60 years. The decision in One Flint Street LLC v. Exxon Mobil Corp, et al., Index No. 2011/4470 (July 18, 2012, Monroe Co. Sup. Ct.) establishes a high bar for obtaining summary judgment in Nav Law cases… Continue Reading

USEPA Grants Technical Assistance to Coopers Ferry Partnership to Study SMART Initiative in Camden, N.J.

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
On July 19, 2012, Coopers Ferry Partnership was one of 17 community partners selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") to receive technical assistance as part of its 2011 strategic agenda to renew support for green infrastructure and promote its effective implementation. The Coopers Ferry Partnership will receive $70,000 to advance projects aimed at reducing water pollution in Camden, New Jersey… Continue Reading

Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department Adds David Freeman to the New York Office

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues
David J. Freeman, formerly head of the Environmental Practice Group at the New York City office of Paul Hastings, has joined Gibbons P.C.'s New York office as a Director in the Real Property & Environmental Department. Mr. Freeman represents the buyers, sellers, and developers of properties in all environmental law areas including brownfields, due diligence, hazardous waste cleanups, and sustainability. He also litigates matters related to remediation, cost recovery, property damage, and exposure to toxic substances… Continue Reading

NJDEP Proposes New Rules for Site Cleanups

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues
On August 15, 2011, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) issued proposed Final Rules to implement the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) adopted in May 2009. These rules are intended to be the final implementation step in the phased transition of New Jersey's site remediation process from NJDEP command and control to private oversight by Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs). Instead of NJDEP overseeing every step of a cleanup, the LSRP, licensed by a 13-member Licensed Site Remediation Professional Board with investigative and disciplinary powers, is responsible for making day-to-day decisions about a clean-up. Certain categories of cleanups remain under NJDEP oversight, such as where the responsible party has a history of non-compliance or has failed to meet mandatory deadlines. The rule proposal appeared in the New Jersey Register on August 15, 2011 and can be viewed online. Comments can be submitted until October 14, … Continue Reading

NJICLE Holds its Annual Environmental Law Section Forum

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues
On the weekend of June 24-26, 2011, the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education ("NJICLE") in cooperation with the New Jersey State Bar Association ("NJSBA"), and New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association, held its annual Environmental Law Section Forum Weekend ("the Forum"). Taking place in Avalon, New Jersey, the Forum featured three days of seminars covering various hot-button environmental topics including, Funding for Remediating Sites, Vapor Intrusion, the LSRP Program, Non-Governmental Organizations' Perspectives on Issues and Resolutions, the well-known NJDEP v. Occidental case also referred to as the Lower Passaic River litigation, Climate Change, and rounded out the weekend with two programs on Ethical Issues including Alternative Fee Arrangements and Multi-Party Settlements… Continue Reading

National Association of Women Lawyers Confers Outstanding Member Award on Nancy Lottinville

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
On Thursday, July 21, 2011, Nancy A. Lottinville, Esq., Counsel to Gibbons P.C.'s Newark based Real Property & Environmental Department was awarded the Virginia S. Mueller Outstanding Member Award by the National Association of Women Lawyers, the first national bar association for women established in 1899. Ms. Lottinville, along with six other attorneys chosen from NAWL's nationwide membership, accepted the award at NAWL's Annual Meeting held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. NAWL presents the Outstanding Member Award to NAWL members for exemplary contributions to NAWL. Ms. Lottinville's contributions include several years of service on multiple committees including the 2011 Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting Logistics Committee, as well as Program Committee member for the 2010 New Jersey NAWL Night of Giving and the 2011 New Jersey Supreme Court Appellate Advocacy Program… Continue Reading
Lexblog