Constitutional Rights vs. Climate Change: Inside the Juliana Case Dismissal
Green Building Law Update
by Stuart Kaplow
4d ago
The environmental climate change case that has attracted the most attention, Juliana v. United States has come to an unceremonious end and all Americans should be concerned. On May 1, 2024, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered, “The district court is instructed to dismiss the case forthwith for lack of Article III standing, without leave to amend.” Without regard to one’s perspective on the merits of the claims, the dismissal of this case after nearly a decade but before even the first witness was called, which was requested with apparent equal vigor by the Obama, Trump, and now Biden ad ..read more
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Does Federal EPCA Trump Colorado Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS)?
Green Building Law Update
by Stuart Kaplow
1w ago
Two Colorado Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) laws were challenged last week in a much anticipated lawsuit commenced in the United States District Court for Colorado. The lawsuit mirrors a successful ‘substantially similar’ federal court ruling last year that voided a natural gas ban in Berkely, California when this suit challenges Colorado’s Regulation 28 and the Energize Denver Ordinance, averring that they are preempted by the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). This lawsuit is a big deal at a time when emergent BEPS laws appear to be de rigueur among the environm ..read more
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New Environmental Laws in Maryland: 2024 Brings Opportunities for Businesses
Green Building Law Update
by Stuart Kaplow
2w ago
The 446th session of the Maryland General Assembly concluded on April 8, 2024. With 1,052 bills and one resolution passed by the legislature, the governor has already signed 120 bills into law and has until May 28 to sign or veto the remainder of the legislation. It was a busy 2024 session with more than 3,480 bills introduced. This post is a compilation of the environmental and sustainability legislation enacted in this session, including links to each bill. As the author, I determine what is an environmental bill. Time and space do not allow recitation of the more than 300 failed bills we tr ..read more
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EPA Takes Action: PFOA and PFOS Now Hazardous Substances Under Superfund Law
Green Building Law Update
by Stuart Kaplow
3w ago
In a landmark regulatory move, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has taken decisive action to designate perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as the Superfund law. This final rule, issued just last Friday, marks a significant change in government response to these “forever chemicals.” This action is separate and distinct from the April 10 PFAS drinking water standard final rule, this having dramatically larger impact. PFOA and ..read more
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Shedding Light on the Future: The Evolution of Lightbulbs in the Wake of New Energy Efficiency Standards
Green Building Law Update
by Stuart Kaplow
1M ago
One hundred and forty three years after Thomas Edison received his patent for the incandescent lamp, the most important invention in history, illuminating the way for the universal use of electric light, last Friday the U.S. Department of Energy finalized new energy efficiency standards for general service lamps, which include the most common types of residential and commercial lightbulbs, having the practical effect of phasing out compact fluorescent light bulbs and what remnants of incandescent bulbs still remain, replacing them with more energy efficient LEDs. It is not just the phenomenon ..read more
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2024 IECC is Final After Addressing Preemption Issues 
Green Building Law Update
by Stuart Kaplow
1M ago
On March 18, 2024, the International Code Council Board of Directors voted to affirm in part and reject in part nine appeals filed by five appellants to a draft of the commercial and residential editions of the 2024 International Energy Conservation Code. The Board expressly addressed concerns that aspects of the draft 2024 IECC codes were preempted by the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.   Of course, it is 2024 so there were the usual cast of climate change doomsayers who took to social media, to deride the vote by the ICC as ..read more
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Settlement Portends Broad Failure in Attempts to Ban Natural Gas
Green Building Law Update
by Stuart Kaplow
1M ago
The City of Berkeley is going to repeal its regulation that prohibits the installation of natural gas piping within newly constructed buildings. Last week the California Restaurant Association announced that the group and the City of Berkeley entered into a settlement agreement immediately halting enforcement of the City’s ‘first in the nation’ ban on natural gas piping as the City Council takes steps to repeal the 2019 ordinance after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit refused to reconsider its 2023 ruling that the ban is “without effect” as preempted by Federal law under the Supre ..read more
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SEC Climate Disclosure Rule Stay Dissolved and Venue Now in the 8th Circuit
Green Building Law Update
by Stuart Kaplow
1M ago
Much has transpired since Wednesday, March 6, 2024, when the Securities and Exchange Commission, by a 3 to 2 vote, adopted its long awaited rules to enhance and standardize climate related disclosures, including for the first time requiring greenhouse gas emission disclosures by public companies and in public offerings. We blogged about the substantive provisions of The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors Final Rule, but before it was even published in The Federal Register, the first legal challenge was filed by ten states in federal court. On Friday, M ..read more
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EV Charger Data Apocalypse
Green Building Law Update
by Stuart Kaplow
2M ago
Last week the House of Representatives passed a measure to effectively ban TikTok in the U.S. to protect Americans’ sensitive personal data from exploitation by the People’s Republic of China on national security grounds. The week before President Biden issued an Executive Order establishing protections for Americans’ sensitive personal data from sale to countries of concern. But neither of those actions protects Americans’ personal and sensitive information, including geolocation data, financial data, and other personally identifiable information, available from electric vehicle (EV) cha ..read more
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SEC Final Rule on Climate Change and GHG Disclosure
Green Building Law Update
by Stuart Kaplow
2M ago
Last Wednesday by a 3 to 2 vote the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted long awaited rules to enhance and standardize climate related disclosures, including for the first time requiring greenhouse gas emission disclosures by public companies and in public offerings. The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors Final Rule is different from the proposal released two years ago and it is more than that the proposed rule was 510 pages in length and this Final Rule is 886 pages. With the benefit of having watched the more than 2 hour live streamed SEC publi ..read more
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