Larry Schnapf

EPA Issues Enforcement Discretion Memo for Routine Civil Violations Arising from COVID-19 Pandemic

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has issued a Memo announcing that it will temporarily exercise enforcement discretion for certain civil violations where the non-compliance was a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Contrary to many news reports, EPA is not providing a sweeping opportunity for business to pollute at will. Instead, the policy is a targeted …

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NYSDEC Determines Remedial Activities Are “Essential Services” Under Governor’s Executive Order

On Saturday, March 21, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a new Executive Order No. 202.8 (EO 202.8) “Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency ” requiring all businesses and not-for-profit entities to require 100%  of  workers to work from home effective at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 22, 2020.Businesses …

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EPA Proposes to Regulate PFOAs and PFOS in Drinking Water

On February 20th, EPA Announced  it will make a regulatory determination (RD) for two emerging contaminants-perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)- under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) as part of its fourth Contaminant Candidate List. This is the first step in determining whether PFOA and PFOS should be regulated under the SDWA. EPA is …

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NYSDEC Issues Revised Guidance for PFAS Sampling and Analysis

Earlier this month, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) just released its new “Guidance for Sampling and Analysis of PFAS Under NYSDEC’s Part 375 Remedial Programs January 2020” (“PFAS Guidance”).  The purpose of the PFAS Guidance is to establish procedures for sampling PFAS and for determining if PFAS is a contaminant of concern for …

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New DEC Interactive Map Expedites Environmental Due Diligence

Performing environmental due diligence has become easier with the launch of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation DECInfo Locator. Until the launch of this website, consultants and attorneys seeking information about contaminated sites had to file requests under the state Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). The limited NYSDEC FOIL staff usually took weeks …

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Final Opportunity Zone Regulations Include Brownfield Redevelopment

Christmas arrived early for brownfield developers when the United States Treasury Department (“Treasury”) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)  released the final set of Opportunity Zone (OZ) regulations on December 19th . The final rules confirm that developers of brownfield sites will be eligible for the favorable tax treatment available under the OZ program.  The …

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NY Legislature Passes Bill that would require prevailing wage at brownfield sites.

The New York States Senate and Assembly have passed bills that would require developers to use prevailing wages on projects using state financial assistance. Since the bill would apply to projects that receive tax credits, it could apply to projects enrolled in the brownfield cleanup program (BCP). If signed into law, this bill could have …

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EPA PFAS Action Plan will bring back the fun in Superfund

Last month, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued its Action Plan  to address concerns about perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) which have increasingly being detected in drinking water systems. The action plan has the potential to significantly increase liability for manfacturers and users of products containing or treated with these compounds.. …

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Opportunity Zones and Brownfields

The New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) has demonstrated how tax incentives can stimulate the development of contaminated properties. Now that the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has designated over 8,700 Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs), contaminated sites in low-income areas across the United States may be able to benefit from this new federal tax …

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Consultants in Bank Lawsuit Saved by the (Statute of Limitations) Bell

Christmas arrived early for two environmental consulting firms when a federal district court ruled in Bank United, N.A. v. Merritt Environmental Consulting Corp, 2018 U.S. Dist. Lexis 214448 (S.D.N.Y. 12/20/2018) that a lender had waited too long to file a complaint against the consultants for failing to identify radioactive contamination in a phase 1 environmental …

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