oil spills

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 news articles in such publications  as E&E News, The Hill , the AP, and  the New York Times suggesting that the policy provides a blanket waiver …

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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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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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Court Dismisses Action Against DEC For Breach of VCA

A 20-year old voluntary cleanup agreement (VCA) was the subject of the dispute before the New York Court of Claims in Alaskan Oil, Inc., v. State of New York, Claim No. 116072 Motion No. CM-81863 (Ct. Claims 7/25/16). In this case, claimant Alaskan Oil Inc. acquired approximately 40 properties owned by Parrish Energy Fuels, Inc., …

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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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OER Grants Available for Petroleum Assessments But Need to Move Quickly

The NYC Office of Environmental Remediation just announced that it has a little over $100K to award for petroleum assessments this summer. The source  of the grant money is the brownfield revolving loan fund that was awarded by EPA to OER under section 104(k) of CERCLA. The federally-funded grant may be used for phase 1 or …

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NY Senate Introduces It Own BCP Reform Package

[Updated] A month after Governor Cuomo proposed sweeping reforms to the Brownfield Cleanup Program, the New York State Senate proposed its own BCP amendments. The bill (S. 6359—C) is available at here. The legislation includes a number of the changes proposed by the Governor’s bill including extending the BCP tax credits to 2025, extending the hazardous …

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NY Governor Sends Revised BCP Reform Bill to Legislature

Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo sent his sweeping BCP reforms to the State Legislature. Under the state Constitution, the Governor has 30 days to make technical amendments to his budget legislation without involving the legislature. Despite vociferous complaints by brownfield developers, environmental lawyers and affordable housing advocates about the severe curtailments to the categories of projects …

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New York’s Quirky Rules for Heating Oil Storage Tanks

Storage tanks used for the storage of heating oil for on-site consumptive use are excluded from federal underground storage tank (UST) program.  However, a number states including New York regulate heating oil tanks. There are approximately 3 million residential heating oil tanks in New York State. While home heating oil tanks for single family homes …

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NYSDEC Proposes Changes to Petroleum and Hazardous Substance Storage Tank Regs

During the summer, NYSDEC issued draft revised regulations to its Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS), the Major Oil Storage Facility (MOSF) program and the Chemical Bulk Storage (CBS) program. The revisions are intended to make the PBS and CBS regulations consistent with the federal underground storage (UST) regulations codified at 40 CFR Part 280 so that …

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