NY Navigation Law Alert: Appellate Division Reaffirms “Method of Delivery” is Key for Strict Liability in Oil Spill Case

In the recently-decided Scott v. Triborough Energy Corp., NY Slip Op 03126 (May 13, 2021), the First Department considered a case where the defendant—the plaintiff’s residential heating oil supplier—allegedly caused oil to leak into the plaintiff’s basement while delivering to their home. The plaintiffs sued under Navigation Law § 181(5) (NL), which permits private causes of action in strict liability against a petroleum discharger, as long as the plaintiffs have “not caused or contributed to (and thus are not ‘responsible for’) the discharge. See

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New York Becomes Second State to Ban Plastic Toiletry Bottles in Hotels—the Latest Subject of Single-Use Plastics Bans

In April, New York became the second state to pass a law prohibiting hotels from offering their guests personal care products in single-use plastic bottles. Set to go into effect on January 1, 2024 for hotels with 50 rooms or more and January 1, 2025 for hotels with less than 50 rooms, the law, which is included in New York’s Environmental Conservation Law, restricts “hotels from making available to hotel guests small plastic bottle hospitality personal care products.” The legislation defines “small plastic bottle” as …

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Offshore Wind Alert: New York Bight—The Next Major Wind Farm?

On March 29, 2021, the Biden administration announced a plan to expand offshore wind power along the East Coast. One area that may be part of such expansion is the New York Bight, which is a geological area that describes a swath of shallow waters along the Atlantic coast, spanning from the Cape May Inlet in New Jersey to Montauk Point at the eastern tip of Long Island. It is also the area subject to a potential offshore wind zone that the administration hopes can produce 30,000 megawatts (30 gigawatts) of power from wind turbines by 2030. 

To “advance domestic energy production, generate revenue, and increase …

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New York Takes Next Step in Nation-Leading Offshore Wind Efforts

The deadline for submitting proposals in response to New York’s second solicitation for offshore wind procurement recently expired, with three companies in the running to land contracts, including Vineyard Wind, Equinor Wind, and Bay State Wind (a joint venture of Ørsted A/S and Eversource Energy). Each submitted proposals in response to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s July 21, 2020, solicitation for 2,500 megawatts of offshore wind energy. These proposals followed along the heels of the state’s 2018 solicitation for 1,700 megawatts of offshore wind, which …

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Empire State Adopts MCL for 1, 4-Dioxane, PFOA, and PFOS

On July 30, 2020, New York’s Public Health and Health Planning Council voted in support of maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for PFOA and PFOS—the two most well-known per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The Council voted to set the MCLs for both chemicals at 10 parts per trillion—among the lowest levels adopted by any state, and significantly lower than the U.S. EPA’s current guidance levels of 70 ppt.

Another chemical—1, 4-Dioxane—also has an MCL of 1 part per billion now. New York announced that this regulation …

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Long Island Water Districts’ 1,4-Dioxane Lawsuits Survive Motion to Dismiss

In March 2019, we posted about the strategy behind the Long Island water districts’ 1,4-dioxane litigations against major manufacturers—and then in October 2019, we followed that post with another report on the increasing number of those suits , which became the subject of a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. These suits filed by public water suppliers seek to recover costs against major manufacturers and promoters of the chemical for the design, construction, installation, operation, and maintenance of water treatment facilities and equipment required to remove …

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Paper or Plastic: Why This Should No Longer be an Option

Across the United States, local governments and state legislatures have focused their efforts on reducing and/or eliminating the use of plastic bags at grocery stores and other businesses. Such a reduction is significant to reducing harmful impacts suffered in oceans, lakes, rivers, forests, and other natural habitats for creatures. Furthermore, the implementation of regulations and bans prohibiting the use and sale of plastic bags focuses on improvements in recycling efforts, which is aimed to increase awareness of the negative side effects of the prevalent use …

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Empire State’s Renewable Energy Project Siting Bill: A Different Kind of Regulatory Cleanup

Many efforts in environmental law aim at enacting regulations to help clean up the environment. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo submitted a bill that flips the script last week. The proposed law aims to clean up New York’s regulations about siting for and permitting  renewable energy projects.

Under the proposed law, a new office would be created within the state’s Department of Economic Development tasked with overseeing siting and permitting for renewable energy projects. Environmental reviews for such projects would also be the new office’s …

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New York Bans Products Containing 1,4-Dioxane Effective January 1, 2022

On December 9, 2019, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo approved legislation that will eliminate the sale of products containing the chemical 1,4-dioxane in New York state. The ban, which is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2022, has a broad reach and includes many household cleaning products, some cosmetics, and personal care products containing the soon to be banned chemical.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified 1,4-dioxane as a likely carcinogen. It is a man-made chemical that is commonly found in shampoos, …

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Blowin’ in the Wind: New Jersey and New York see a Gust of Activity in Clean Energy Efforts

New Jersey and New York are leading the way with respect to the ongoing development of renewable energy sources,  in particular, as it relates to the procurement of offshore wind projects expected to produce renewable power for hundreds of thousands of homes in each state. There has been recent activity in both states’ efforts to make these projects a reality with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issuing Executive Order No. 92 on November 19, 2019, which more than doubles the New Jersey’s offshore wind goal to 7,500 megawatts by 2035, and, with the October 23, 2019 announcement that the New York …

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