Environmental and Land Use Law

Updates on Environmental and Land Use Law in New England and the US from Anderson & Kreiger LLP

Recent Posts

Posted In: Administrative Law, Water

By Allowing Immediate Judicial Review in Clean Water Act Case, Supreme Court May Hamper Agencies’ Ability to Advise Regulated Communities

Before the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes, landowners had to endure the expensive and time consuming Clean Water Act (CWA) permitting process before they could…

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Posted In: Zoning

Challenging a Zoning Decision Requires Zoning-Related Harm

Reaffirming the limits on neighbors’ ability to challenge local zoning decisions, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) recently held that an abutter lacked standing. The case is Picard v. ZBA of Westminster….

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Posted In: Air Pollution, DEP

SJC Agrees that Massachusetts Has Failed to Implement a Key Piece of the Global Warming Solutions Act

The SJC ruled unanimously that the state has not done enough to comply with the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act, which requires Massachusetts to cut its greenhouse gasses by 25%…

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Posted In: Renewable Energy, Solar Energy

Emergency SREC Regulation Takes Effect, as DOER Begins Work on New Solar Incentive Program

To alleviate the backlog of solar projects that have recently submitted SREC II applications in excess of the program’s cap – as well as to address larger “market uncertainty” –…

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Posted In: Renewable Energy, Solar Energy

New Law Raises Massachusetts Net Metering Caps – Updated

The recently enacted H.4173 raises net metering caps by 3%, while reducing compensation for large private solar projects – a blow, said the solar industry, which nonetheless urged passage. Public installations will continue to receive…

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Posted In: Uncategorized

Should a Contractor Who Cut Trees at a Federal Official’s Direction Be Liable If the Official Was Wrong?

March 3, 2016 – A contractor who cuts trees based on a federal official’s mistaken instructions can be liable for damages, under a hyper-technical Massachusetts Appeals Court decision about the…

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Posted In: Telecom

Fourth Circuit Upholds FCC’s Section 6409(a) Order Preempting State and Local Regulation of Eligible Facilities Requests

Soon after the FCC issued its Order implementing Section 6409(a) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which preempts traditional local zoning authority over eligible…

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Posted In: Hazardous Materials/Chapter 21E

A Cautionary Chapter 21E Tale: Overly Aggressive Demands for Cleanup Contribution Will Backfire

Nov. 23, 2015 – A company whose insurance paid for its entire $300,000 cleanup (incurred after an employee caused a massive oil spill) wanted more: a windfall. Predictably, things didn’t end…

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Posted In: Insurance

Time-on-the-Risk Allocation Does Not Apply to Defense Costs, Says First Circuit

In a victory for policyholders, the First Circuit has rejected an insurer’s argument that defense costs should be allocated pro rata when claims involve multiple years of continuing or progressive…

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Posted In: Water

Final EPA/Corps “Waters of the US” Rule Increases Predictability, But Also Scope of Jurisdiction

On May 27, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers released a final rule defining “waters of the US” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act. The rule determines the geographic…

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