On Feb. 7, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation regulating the presence of toxic chemicals in children’s products and apparel. The governor agreed to the legislation – the
Continue Reading New York’s ‘Toxic Toys’ Law: Governor Signs Legislation Regulating Chemicals in Children’s Products, But Changes to the Law Are Already Coming

In his annual budget address on Jan. 21, 2020, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo proposed a complete overhaul to New York’s siting of renewable energy projects. Noting that siting a project under the current Article 10 process takes 5-10 years to begin construction, the governor found that the current process simply does not work. In a reference to the renewable energy generation goals set forth in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), the governor called setting goals without the means to achieve them “baloney” and went on to propose “flip[ping] the whole model” of renewable siting by having the state acquire potential sites for renewable energy generation, permitting the projects, and delivering shovel-ready sites to developers.

Article 10, signed by Governor Cuomo in 2011, was intended to streamline the siting of large-scale renewable and other major energy generating facilities of 25 megawatts or more. The original generation siting law had a higher threshold that omitted most renewable projects from its scope. Article 10 was meant to be a one-stop shop for environmental, health, and public safety reviews and permitting, allowing for an override of local laws that would unnecessarily impede siting and providing a strong mechanism to counterbalance knee-jerk NIMBYism, thereby allowing siting of needed electrical generation to help ensure safe and reliable service to ratepayers. It established a Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment, commonly referred to as the “siting board,” to accomplish that goal, and provided for the appointment of ad hoc members of the municipality where a project is proposed to be sited, giving a voice to residents.

Continue Reading New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Proposes Radical Reshaping of Siting Process for Renewable Projects

With the recent passage of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which calls for a carbon free electricity market by 2040, New York became the sixth state
Continue Reading An uncertain path to a cleaner future: Zero carbon electricity legislation in New York and California

New York City recently enacted the most ambitious large-scale greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan in the country, requiring a 40 percent drop in GHG emissions by 2030 and an 80
Continue Reading A Building-Emissions Overhaul: How NYC’s LL97 Impacts Owners and Prospective Buyers Moving Forward

New York courts have long held that the “public trust” doctrine precludes the use of dedicated parkland for non-park uses. The New York Court of Appeals showed just how strictly that doctrine is applied when, after many years of planning and litigation, it enjoined development of a retail entertainment complex known as Willets West in the Citi Field parking lot, the baseball stadium that is home to the New York Mets. The June 6 opinion showed that the public trust doctrine is alive and well in New York State and can create havoc for development projects on land that is located within a state or municipal park, regardless of its current use.
Continue Reading Beware the Public Trust: New York’s Highest Court Stops Retail Expansion On Citi Field’s Parking Lot Under Public Trust Doctrine