Appellate Court Restricts NYSDEC Ability to Spend Superfund Money

A legal maxim is that  bad facts often make bad law. It appears that complex facts may have confused an Appellate Division court in In the Matter of FMC Corporation vs New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 2016 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6785 (App. Div.-Third Dept. 10/20/16) where the three judge-panel appeared to rule …

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NYSDEC Adopts Final Definition of “Underutilized” for NYC Brownfield Sites

Over a year after the 2015 amendments to the state Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) went into effect and eight months after the legislative deadline, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) announced it was adopting amendments to its Part 375 regulations defining what constitutes  “underutilized” and “affordable housing”.  The definitions are important because …

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NYSDEC Proposes Revised Brownfield “Underutilized” Definition

The NYSDEC’s much awaited revised definition of underutilized that was required as part of the 2015 Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) reforms will be published in the March 9, 2016 New York State Register (NYR). The proposed definition is currently available on the NYSDEC website As previously  discussed, the 2015 BCP amendments replaced the ‘as of …

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Searchable BCP Tax Credit Database Show Who Has Received Tax Credits and How Much

Because of the changes and controversy surrounding the  NYSDEC Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP), there has been some skepticism in the real estate community about the amount of  tax credits that the Department of Taxation and Finance actually approves and if those amounts are near what is supposed to be available under the BCP. The following …

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Biblical Origins of Environmental Ethics Presentation

I gave a presentation titled “Biblical Origins of Environmental Ethics” at the 35th annual meeting of the Environmental Law Section of the New York State Bar Association on January 29th. One might ask what could a 3000-year old religious document that was developed for an agrarian society could conceivably have to say about modern 21st …

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NY Court of Appeals Finds PRP Letter Triggers Contractual Indemnification

The New York State Court of Appeals held that a PRP letter issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) was sufficient to trigger an indemnity obligation under a purchase and sale agreement. While lower courts have found PRP letters to constitute “suits” within the meaning of  a Comprehensive General Liability policy …

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NYSDEC Adopts Revised Petroleum and Hazardous Substance Bulk Storage Regulations

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has made extensive changes to its regulations pertaining to the handling and storage of petroleum and hazardous substances. Specificially, the revisions were made to the Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) regulations (6 NYCRR Parts 612-614), the Chemical Bulk Storage regulations (6 NYCRR Parts 596-599), the Used Oil …

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Principal New York State Environmental Laws Impacting Commercial Leasing Transactions

Parties to commercial leasing transactions frequently overlook environmental issues because they believe that tenants who do not use large quantities of hazardous chemicals will not be exposed to significant environmental liability. Consequently, the parties may do little to no environmental due diligence and use obsolete or boilerplate lease provision that do not specifically allocate environmental …

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OER’s Suite of Tools To Facilitate Brownfield Development

Back in mid-November, the New York City Office of Environmental Remediation (OER) participated in a brownfield conference sponsored by the Environmental Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.  In a series of presentations, OER provided an update on the various initiatives it has created to help facilitate the redevelopment of contaminated properties in …

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