EnviroStructure

Where Environmental Law and Infrastructure Meet

On March 21, 2019, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) adopted amendments to California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (known as Proposition 65 or Prop 65) that add sections on safe harbor warnings for exposures to listed chemicals at residential rental properties. The purpose of the new regulations is to provide more specificity regarding the content of safe harbor warnings for exposures to listed chemicals that may occur at…
As of August 30, 2018, businesses will are now required to provide revised “clear and reasonable” warnings under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (known as Proposition 65 or Prop 65) if they would like to avail themselves of the safe harbor provided by the implementing regulations of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA or the Agency). Retailers and manufacturers/distributors alike should ensure that they are in compliance with…
One of my happiest marital duties is being a guest speaker for my wife’s AP Government classes.  As part of her students’ preparation for the annual AP exam, she asks me to give a presentation focused on the role of the executive branch in relation to the other two main branches of government.  “The kids love stories to explain how the theory of checks and balances really works,” she reminds me each year.  With that…
Fred Wagner was quoted on April 3, 2018, in Inside EPA in an article about how the Trump administration could begin a review and rewrite of the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) rules. Such an effort would allow the administration to implement a series of reforms to how NEPA is implemented given the unlikelihood that Congress will adopt legislative reforms the Trump administration and many GOP lawmakers and industry officials favor to…
With all the recent focus on controversies involving federal environmental regulatory action, we often forget that states continue to play a leading role in environmental and natural resources policy.  State activity often flies under the radar, but can have a tremendous impact on development projects, large and small.  The Maryland legislature is currently engaged in debate over one such potentially significant proposal. A bill that would amend the Maryland Forest Conservation Act (FCA) to require…
For over 60 years, the concept of a “federally assisted, state run” program was the underlying premise for our nation’s transportation infrastructure system.  The federal “assistance” came largely in the form of money, providing the majority share of funds for capital projects across the country.  The central government also offered states and its other grantees a framework for engineering and safety considerations.  In exchange for federal financial support, Congress required grantees to advance substantial policy…
In advance of the State of the Union address, leaked copies of the administration’s infrastructure legislative outline appeared in the media.  While this outline failed to address key questions facing both the White House and Congress concerning how to pay for an infrastructure initiative, it described dozens of reforms to permitting requirements for federal decisions impacting virtually every major environmental program. Many of these proposals are not new.  They appear in previous legislation, such as…
The Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) v. Dept. of Defense, et al., on Monday, January 22, 2018 will make the already long, drawn-out battle over the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule even longer and more convoluted.  The Court’s decision did not address the perennial question of the substance of the WOTUS Rule (i.e., the definition of “waters of the United States”), but rather decided whether district courts or…
As workplace technology and space needs continue to change, traditional office tenants are increasingly harder to come by.  At the same time, people who have opted out of commuting from the suburbs to enjoy a more urban existence closer to central business districts are finding affordable housing choices ever more challenging.  These forces, among many others, are leading owners of older office buildings to look at ways to adapt their properties to residential and other…
2017 ended with a bang, well, more like a “pop.” I’m writing this with my leg comfortably elevated, recovering from a torn Achilles tendon and subsequent surgery. This mandatory rest period has provided the opportunity to watch all those year-end cable news shows where the so-called experts look back on forecasts they made a year before. You soon realize that the prediction business is doing quite poorly. In today’s topsy-turvy world, things that once seemed…