A Property Mechanic’s Tool Box

Holland & Hart LLP
Kevin Murray

October 1, 2016

My father was a very skilled man. A mechanic by trade, he was also a skilled carpenter, able to fix anything. As a young man, I hung around my dad a lot, and as I did he tried to share many of these skills with me. I learned my way around auto mechanics, how to weld, basic carpentry, and machinery, but one thing I learned early on was that the right tool (even if you had to make it) made the job easier and more efficient. In fact, without the right tool the job may suffer.

While I dabble whenever possible with a wrench and hammer, I spend my work life practicing environmental law, more specifically the acquisition and development of contaminated land. It has been more than thirty years since the adoption of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), which arguably had the most profound impact on the acquisition of real property in, well, the last thirty years. Even so, we still have people approach us unaware of the need to take precautions to protect themselves from environmental liabilities, in oncological fashion, coming in with problems that can only be managed and not eradicated.

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A Briefing on the EB-5 Investor Program

Greenberg Traurig LLP
Kristen W. Ng

October 21, 2016

Originally Published in the Greenberg Traurig Blog

On Oct. 14, 2016, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the EB-5 Investment Coalition, and the Real Estate Roundtable hosted a briefing on the EB-5 Investment Program on Capitol Hill, with the objective of discussing and informing House and Senate staff members on the inner workings of the program and the potential impact the Dec. 9, 2016 expiration date has on the community. Duane Desiderio, Senior Vice President and Counsel at the Real Estate Roundtable, moderated the panel, and began the discussion by describing the basic requirements to qualify for an EB-5 visa and the types of projects that utilize EB-5 investment, ranging from developments in rural areas, infrastructure projects, to charter schools.

Theresa Brown, from the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), spoke at the briefing and focused on the many joint public-private partnerships that utilize EB-5 capital to fund needed developments in cities and municipalities. The BPC published a report, “EB-5 Program: Successes, Challenges, and Opportunities for States and Localities” that showed the impact of the EB-5 program in state and local projects- a conservative calculation of EB-5’s national economic effects accounted for $11 billion in investment and 77,000 jobs created. In addition, according to the BPC, the projects are much needed in these areas, including public infrastructure, and affordable housing projects.

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“Oh The Times . . . They are A-Changing:” EPA & DOJ Follow Through on Worker Endangerment Initiative

Beveridge & Diamond PC
Peter C. Anderson and Stephen M. Richmond

October 19, 2016

On October 12, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that four Texas companies agreed to plead guilty to criminal violations of the Clean Air Act at oil and chemical processing facilities, and to collectively pay $3.5 million in fines to the government. While Clean Air Act criminal prosecutions are no longer rare events, and the total fines imposed set no new records, these cases are noteworthy for three critical reasons:

  1. they confirm DOJ’s commitment to pursue the previously-announced Worker Endangerment Initiative;
  2. they demonstrate the ability of OSHA and EPA to coordinate on significant enforcement cases; and
  3. they reveal certain threshold factors that may trigger a criminal investigative response.

    I. The Worker Endangerment Initiative

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Supreme Court Allows Early Challenges To Wetlands Jurisdictional Determinations

Poyner Spruill LLP
H. Glenn T. Dunn

October 18, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a property owner can go to court to challenge a determination by the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) that part of the property is “waters of the U.S.” or connected wetlands and therefore subject to permitting requirements under Section 404 of  the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA).

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Synergy Environmental – Exhibiting at NACS Show 2016

October 18th to the 21st

Synergy Environmental is at the National Association for Convenience Stores (NACS) in Atlanta. The NACS Show brings together convenience and fuel retailing industry professionals for four days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun—all designed to help participants grow their bottom line. As convenience and fuel retailing’s premier industry event, the NACS Show attracts more than 22,000 industry stakeholders from around the world.  NACS is  always a great way to meet new clients, connect with old & current ones and see all of the new products and technology.

If you are going, stop by and see us at Booth # 3770.