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As part of its announced effort to streamline air permitting, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass DEP) has released a number of helpful and substantive air permitting guidance documents for use by the regulated community in preparing permit applications for air emission sources.
Under the Massachusetts notification and cleanup law for releases of oil or hazardous material, Chapter 21E, Licensed Site Professionals (LSPs) are empowered to make site assessment and cleanup decisions for most sites, subject to audit by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass DEP).
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the first mandatory cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuel-fired generators, aims to cap GHG emissions from the power sector and reduce those emissions by ten percent of baseline emissions by no later than 2018.
Homeowners wishing to extend or expand their pre-existing non-conforming single- or two-family residential structures cannot be forced by a municipality to obtain anything other than a Special Permit under M.G.L. c. 40A, § 6, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled.
While confirming that an administrative appeal to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection is the correct vehicle for addressing the local Conservation Commission’s failure to issue a decision within the required 21-day period after closing the public hearing, the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled that where ambiguity continues to exist after that appeal, an action for declaratory judgment is appropriate to resolve the dispute.
The Massachusetts Land Court has held that a variance is effective even if it is recorded outside the statutory one-year period so long as there has been substantial reliance on it.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court has ruled that a subdivision approval condition requiring the dedication of open space for public use and actual conveyance of that open space to the town in exchange for certain waivers without just compensation violates the Subdivision Control Act
On September 21, 2011, U.S. EPA issued guidance to its Regional Counsel regarding the “affiliation” criterion that owners must meet in order to be considered a “bona fide prospective purchasers” (BFPP) under CERCLA.
Legislation to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act is still in play, despite the Congressional preoccupation with other issues. EPA is making considerable progress in implementing its Enhanced Chemical Management Program under TSCA, despite roadblocks set up by the Office of Management and Budget.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has released the latest version of its greenhouse gas (“GHG”) cap and trade regulation: the “California Cap on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Market-Based Compliance Mechanism.”
On September 15, 2011, Representative Slaughter (D, NY) introduced the Pharmaceutical Stewardship Act of 2011 (H.R. 2939), which would create a national, producer-funded pharmaceuticals take-back program.
Litigators from Beveridge & Diamond. P.C.’s Washington and San Francisco offices secured a unanimous decision from a Ninth Circuit panel reversing a District Court decision that Younger abstention required dismissal of a Commerce Clause challenge to a local voter initiative.
The National Law Journal has named Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. to its “2011 Midsize Hotlist.” The list, released on July 11, recognizes twenty law firms in the 50- to 150-lawyer range around the country that have “proven they can continue to thrive in this troubled economy.”
The purpose of this update is to provide you current information on Massachusetts and federal environmental and land use regulatory developments. It is not intended as, nor is it a substitute for, legal advice. You should consult with legal counsel for advice specific to your circumstances. This communication may be considered advertising under applicable laws regarding electronic communications.
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