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Sive Paget & Riesel is a law firm located in New York that is a leader in the field of environmental law and litigation. The firm has been a pioneer in environmental law for over forty years and continues to be an industry leader in Environmental Law, Commercial and Employment Litigation, Development & Land Use, and Municipal Law. For the past six years, SPR has been ranked the #1 Environmental Law Firm in New York by an independent ratings organization.
The SPR Environmental Law Blog contains news & updates concerning significant legal developments in the field of environmental law.
Please visit the blog here: http://blog.sprlaw.com
Ashley S. Miller
SIVE PAGET & RIESEL, P.C.
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New York Legislators Pass Bill Imposing Moratorium on Permits For Hydraulic Fracturing
December 10, 2010 10:41 AM - Vicki Shiah, Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
On November 29, 2010, the New York State Assembly passed a bill imposing a state-wide moratorium on new authorizations for hydraulic fracturing. An identical bill was passed in the New York State Senate in August. The bill, which has been sent to Governor Paterson for signing, suspends until May 15, 2011 the issuance of new permits "for the drilling of a well which utilizes the practice of hydraulic fracturing for the purpose of stimulating natural gas or oil in low permeability natural gas reservoirs, such as the Marcellus and Utica shale formations."
Supreme Court Grants Review in Key Climate Change Lawsuit
December 7, 2010 08:56 AM - Jonathan Kalmuss-Katz, Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
On December 6, the Supreme Court granted review of the climate change climate tort suit Connecticut v. American Electric Power ("AEP"), setting the stage for a major decision on the availability of common law remedies for climate-related harms. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who presided over oral arguments in the case while a judge on the Second Circuit, did not participate in the Supreme Court's consideration of the petition for review. Justice Sotomayor is expected to recuse herself when the case comes before the Court.
Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo Outlines Environmental Agenda for New York
November 10, 2010 09:22 AM - Ashley S. Miller, Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo released a 160-page environmental agenda for New York on Saturday, October 30, three days before he was elected to be New York's next Governor on January 1st, 2011. The document allows some insight into the vision and priorities of the next administration with regard to the environment.
Gov. Paterson Proposes Eliminating New York Participation in Federal Superfund Program
November 8, 2010 08:58 AM - Jonathan Kalmuss-Katz, Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
In a radio interview last week, outgoing New York Governor David Paterson announced his plans to eliminate the state's participation in the federal Superfund cleanup program. The proposal is one of several cuts designed to reduce the state's budget deficit and accommodate the proposed layoffs of an additional 898 state employees by the year's end, including 150 in the Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC").
Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act Takes Effect on September 29, 2010
September 22, 2010 09:46 AM - Jennifer Coghlan, Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
On August 31, 2010, Governor David Paterson signed into law the Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act, which is intended to address sprawl by requiring certain state agencies to approve, undertake and fund infrastructure projects in a manner that is consistent with smart growth principles. The new legislation will affect a variety of projects throughout the state. The Act is codified as new Article 6 of the Environmental Conservation Law ("ECL") and will become effective on September 29, 2010.
Banks Seek Distance from Mountaintop Removal Mining Practices
September 21, 2010 08:50 AM - Vicki Shiah, Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
According to an article published last week in the New York Times, major banks conducting business in the United States appear to be increasingly wary of financing mountaintop removal mining. This practice, a form of surface mining, involves the use of explosives to remove the tops of mountains to expose coal seams beneath. While viewed by industry as an efficient, legal, and relatively safe means of coal extraction, mountaintop removal mining has been sharply criticized by environmental advocates.
Report on Minerals Management Service’s Environmental Decisions Regarding Off-Shore Oil and Gas
September 3, 2010 09:00 AM - Jessica Steinberg, Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
On August 16, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued a report (CEQ Report) summarizing the findings of a thirty-day review of the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) Minerals Management Service's (MMS) environmental polices for oil and gas exploration and development in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). CEQ found that MMS’s reliance on the "tiering process" (where prior programmatic environmental reviews are incorporated into later site-specific analyses) was not transparent and led to confusion and concern regarding whether MMS sufficiently evaluated and disclosed environmental impacts.
EPA to Study Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water; Seeks Public Input
July 26, 2010 03:24 PM - Vicki Shiah , Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
This July and August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") is holding a series of public meetings seeking input on the design for an upcoming study to assess the effect of hydraulic fracturing on public drinking water supplies. Hydraulic fracturing uses high-pressured water, combined with chemicals, to release natural gas present underground in shale formations. Use of this process has raised concerns across the country that this process will contaminate, or has contaminated, drinking water supplies.
D.C. Circuit Upholds EPA Revisions to Air Quality Criteria and Standards for Lead
June 3, 2010 09:46 AM - Dan Mach , Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
In Coalition of Battery Recyclers Association v. EPA, 2010 WL 1929879 (May 14, 2010), the D.C. Circuit recently upheld an EPA rule revising the primary and secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for air-borne lead (Pb) pollution against challenges by industry representatives. The case arose from consolidated petitions for review under the Administrative Procedure Act filed by two industry representatives alleging that the revised standards were overprotective. The circuit panel, Judge Rogers writing, rejected the petitions, holding that the new standards were supported by substantial record evidence and were not arbitrary and capricious.
LEED System Expands to Include Neighborhood-Scale Developments
May 27, 2010 09:44 AM - Ashley S. Miller, Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
The U.S. Green Building Council ("USGBC") recently released a certification system for green neighborhood development, known as LEED-ND. LEED-ND expands the well-known LEED system for green buildings to larger-scale projects ranging in size from two buildings to multiple buildings on sites up to 320 acres. The system incorporates the principles of new urbanism, emphasizing mixed-use planning and walkable neighborhoods, and was developed in concert with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Congress of the New Urbanism. While LEED-ND is primarily designed for neighborhood-scale projects, it may also apply to campus-style developments, such as university campuses, military bases, resort developments, religious retreat centers or summer camps.