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While climate change legislation was mired in Congress, several units in the Obama administration had used their existing statutory authority to adopt rules or guidance requiring extensive disclosure about greenhouse gases in a wide variety of contexts. Every registered public company, the operators of many industrial facilities, and those involved in significant federal actions are now or will soon be covered by one or more of these requirements. In this article, the author explains different disclosure requirements, including the GHG reporting rule, securities disclosure, and lastly, the National Environmental Policy Act.
In 2010, Jonathan Cannon, Michael Vandenbergh, and Michael B. Gerrard planned the conference entitled "Implementing Climate Change Policy" which was aimed at discussing the implementation challenges posed by several pathways to climate regulation. In preparation for this conference, Michael B. Gerrard outlines various implementation strategies for comprehensive climate change policy. In doing so, Gerrard points to four different paths forward for climate change regulation in the United States: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule-making; legislation; state and regional regulation; and litigation. Lastly, Gerrard point to the potential success of climate change policy if these four different pathways are combined and completed together.
The high point of congressional support for comprehensive climate change legislation came on June 26, 2009, when the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy Security Act by a vote of 219 to 212. For several years the proponents of climate regulation have pinned their hopes on Congress. Now, the principal action is shifting to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the courts and the states, though important questions will still be faced by Congress. This column surveys what is likely to happen with climate regulation without any congressional action. The author highlights the topics of renewable electricity, EPA action, state and regional action, litigation, and international agreements.
The State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the statute that requires the preparation of environmental impact statements for discretionary actions by state and local governments, has long been the most generative source of environmental litigation in New York. The following column discusses the downward trend of litigations under SEQRA in addition to the continuous rise of exemptions from SEQRA. Specifically, the author delves into recent exemptions from SEQRA, standings of SEQRA plaintiffs, SEQRA suits by applicants, safety issues under SEQRA, irregularities under SEQRA, and lastly, SEQRA state and city handbooks.
In 2009, the residential and commercial building sector was responsible for more than 50 percent of total annual U.S. energy consumption, 74 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption, and 39 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. There has been a growing movement to encourage "green buildings"- those that generally use water, energy and materials more efficiently than conventional buildings, and utilize design, construction and siting features to reduce their negative environmental impacts. In an effort to address these energy problems, Columbia Law School's Center for Climate Change Law has undertaken an effort to draft a model municipal ordinance on green buildings. This article explains their proposed model together with detailed commentaries on its features, the rationale behind the choices it embodies, the associated legal issues, and various optional add-ons that municipalities may wish to consider.
This legal guide provides a synopsis of U.S. Environmental law in 2010 oriented towards the international business community. It discusses a number of topics including, but not limited to, environmental policy and enforcement, environmental permits, waste, liabilities, and contaminated land.
This ordinance extends the registration requirements for non-owner-occupied dwelling units to encompass vacant structures; modifies the information required for registration statements; modifies the fees for registration; modifies or repeals certain registration fee exceptions; modifies the civil penalty for violation of these registration requirements; repeals the license fee for multiple-family dwellings and rooming houses; creates provisions relating to the registration of non-owner- occupied dwellings and vacant structures and to the licensing of multiple-family dwellings and rooming houses.
The Local Jobs for America Act invests large amount of money into providing jobs . The report gives an overview of this act to examine how local government finances can be improved by Local Jobs for Ameica Act.
This bill requires owners of non-residential buildings of 10,000 square feet or larger and of residential buildings of five units or more to submit reports of their building's energy performance using the US Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Portfolio Manager Tool. The reporting requirement is phased in over a two year period, with larger buildings subject to these requirements by January 1, 2011 and remaining buildings by January 1, 2012. Upon authorization by the building owner, utilities providing energy service in Seattle will be responsible for providing customer billing data in a format compatible with the Portfolio Manager database maintained nationally by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Upon request, building owners will be required to disclose the energy performance of their building to current or prospective tenants, lenders, and buyers. The Department of Planning and Development will be responsible for developing and maintaining a database of all reporting buildings in the city, and for enforcement of the legislation.
This ordinance provides for the enforcement of the Property Maintenance Code by establishing a system of rental licenses for all accommodations in the city that are rented to tenants. The ordinance requires that when a licensee wishes to obtain a new license or renewal of a current license, he or she must submit an inspection report of the property concerning its compliance to the Property Maintenance Code. The inspection must be completed by a qualified-city licensed contractor. This ordinance is one of the three 'SmartRegs' policies that passed in Boulder to improve energy efficiency requirements in rental housing. The other two ordinances are 2010 Boulder Ordinance 7724 and 2010 Boulder Ordinance 7726.