Massachusetts Environmental and

Land Use Alert

Massachusetts Environmental Developments

Massachusetts Permitting Goes Online

Finally catching up with many states that have made it possible to apply for and review permits online, Massachusetts’ Energy and Environmental Information Public Access System went online last month, promising to usher in a new era of improved accessibility to the permitting process, while still exhibiting growing pains and limitations.

EPA Region 1 Increasingly Targeting Ammonia Refrigeration Processes for RMP and General Duty Clause Enforcement

Over the course of 2017, U.S. EPA Region 1 has settled several significant enforcement matters arising under the risk management provisions of the Clean Air Act, Section 112(r).  The risk management requirements are intended to minimize accidental releases of hazardous substances to the air and to reduce the severity of releases that do occur. 

The Science and Controversy of Offshore Wind: BOEM Embarks on New Research Efforts While Fishing Groups Take Aim at An Offshore Wind Lease In New  York

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is embarking on several studies to better understand offshore resources and species.  At the same time, fishing interests have sued BOEM to block an offshore wind lease, challenging not only the lease itself but the process that BOEM uses to award leases and conduct its environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Will Massachusetts Enact a Carbon Tax?

Massachusetts could be the first state in the U.S. to enact an economy-wide carbon tax.  In January 2017, two bills were proposed in the Massachusetts legislature that would establish a tax on fossil fuels in Massachusetts with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while returning most or all of the proceeds to consumers and businesses. 

Massachusetts Land Use Developments

Superior Court Decision Raises the Bar For Municipalities Seeking to Challenge Special Permits And Other Zoning Actions Taken By Neighboring Municipalities

The Massachusetts Superior Court has ruled that a municipality lacks standing to challenge a special permit issued by a neighboring town when the alleged harm is “too speculative and remote to qualify them as ‘aggrieved parties’ with standing to pursue an appeal under M.G.L. c. 40A, § 17.”

Zoning-Immune Government Building Retains Its Protected Status Upon Transfer to Private Party

The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently clarified whether formerly zoning-immune government buildings continue to considered lawfully noncompliant with local zoning when that immunity is terminated. 

Conservation Commission Retains Authority to Regulate under Stricter Local Law Despite MassDEP Superseding Order of Conditions

The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently held that a Superseding Order of Conditions issued by the MassDEP under the Wetlands Protection Act does not divest a municipal Conservation Commission from all authority to regulate activity on the land subject to the Superseding Order of Conditions.

Playground Permanently Dedicated and Used As a Public Park Earns Massachusetts Constitutional Protections of Article 97

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has reinterpreted the test for determining whether municipal parklands are protected by article 97 of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution. This decision means that more properties will now be restricted from development under the state constitution. 

National Developments

New Presidential and Interior Orders Target Environmental Permitting, NEPA Reviews, and Flood Risk Standards for Infrastructure and Energy Projects

The current Administration, like its predecessors, has pursued means to expedite project permitting decisions largely by focusing on perceived time, cost, and paperwork inefficiencies associated with environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  

The TSCA Inventory Reset Begins

Virtually all manufacturers and importers of chemicals for the past 11 years are now subject to a new TSCA reporting requirement known informally as the TSCA Inventory Reset. Reports are due by February 7, 2018.  All processors of chemicals have an opportunity and an incentive to report as well, and may do so by October 5, 2018. 

CERCLA Task Force Issues Recommendations

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has announced a set of Task Force recommendations that are aimed at improving the Superfund program.  The Agency’s adoption of these recommendations is another indication that demonstrable change to CERCLA implementation is of interest to the Trump administration.  It follows the EPA Administrator’s May 9 retraction of certain remedy selection authority from regional offices. 

TCFD Report Will Shape Future Expectations for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures

The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures released its Final Report providing recommendations on voluntary climate-related financial disclosures.  The recommendations, developed by an industry-led task force of both users and preparers of disclosures, are intended to support the production of more consistent and clear financial disclosure of climate-related risks across sectors for use by investors, lenders, and insurers. 

D.C. Circuit Invalidates Part of the RCRA Definition of “Solid Waste,” Altering the Regulatory Framework for Recycling of Hazardous Secondary Materials

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a decision invalidating two key elements of the regulatory definition of solid waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, as amended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2015, and rejecting efforts to impose additional conditions on existing exclusions in the hazardous waste program.

Firm News & Events

Beveridge & Diamond Expands to Seattle

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., announced the opening in Seattle, WA, of its eighth office, formed by the addition of five lawyers formerly of the Riddell Williams, P.S. firm (now Fox Rothschild). 

Beveridge & Diamond Achieves LFSN Sustainability Recognition

Beveridge & Diamond has received the American Legal Industry Sustainability Standards Silver certification from the Law Firm Sustainability Network in recognition of the measures the firm has taken to promote the environmental sustainability of its operations.

National Law Journal Names Benjamin F. Wilson a Lifetime Achiever

Beveridge & Diamond is pleased to announce that the National Law Journal has recognized firm Chairman Benjamin F. Wilson as a Lifetime Achiever in its 2017 Professional Excellence Awards.  

Beveridge & Diamond Files Amicus Brief in Support of Maryland’s Purple Line Transit Project

Beveridge & Diamond Principal Jamie Auslander and Of Counsel Gus Bauman filed, on behalf of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, an amicus brief in support of Maryland’s proposed light-rail Purple Line. 

Nineteen Beveridge & Diamond Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America for 2018

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. is proud to announce that 19 of its attorneys have been named to the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America , the "oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession." 

Beveridge & Diamond Expands International Environmental Law Practice with Arrival of Of Counsel Weiwei Luo

Weiwei Luo joined the Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.  Washington, D.C. office as Of Counsel on July 17, 2017. Her practice focuses on sustainability, environment, health, safety, data privacy, energy, and government regulatory issues in China, the U.S, and other countries. 

Authors

Marc J. Goldstein

Principal

(781) 416-5715 mgoldstein@bdlaw.com

Jeanine L.G. Grachuk

Principal

(781) 416-5713 jgrachuk@bdlaw.com

Heidi P. Knight

Principal

(410) 230-1344
hknight@bdlaw.com

Brian C. Levey

Principal

(781) 416-5733 blevey@bdlaw.com

Stephen M. Richmond

Principal

(781) 416-5710 srichmond@bdlaw.com

Brook J. Detterman

Associate

(781) 416-5745 bdetterman@bdlaw.com

Virginie K. Roveillo

Associate

(781) 416-5726 vroveillo@bdlaw.com

Dylan J. King

Law Clerk

(781) 416-5755 Send E-Mail

Beveridge & Diamond has over 100 lawyers in eight U.S. offices who focus on environmental, project development, and natural resource law, litigation and alternative dispute resolution. We help clients around the world resolve critical environmental and sustainability issues relating to their products, facilities, and operations.

Our Massachusetts team helps clients manage their environmental issues and provides land use, environmental, and all related litigation services to development projects for industrial, commercial and residential clients. We offer focused expertise and personalized, efficient service from lawyers who know the landscape for business in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Office
15 Walnut Street, Suite 400
Wellesley, MA 02481
(781) 416-5700

Learn more at www.bdlaw.com .

View Site in Mobile | Classic
Share by: