Attorney Blog

New Developments in Environmental Law

McGregor Presents Regulatory Taking Update to Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts (REBA)

Written by
/ Published Tuesday, 10 January 2023 10:56

Firm founder and senior partner Gregor I. McGregor is honored to present as a webinar open to all REBA members his updated PowerPoint on the United State Supreme Court decisions on Regulatory Takings. He also is covering the leading cases from the high courts of states in the last couple of years.

EPA Updates CERCLA Regulations to Include ASTM Phase I Standards for Due Diligence

Written by
/ Published Wednesday, 04 January 2023 15:35

Current and prospective property owners who may wish to be able to invoke certain legal defenses to liability under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) should be aware that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has amended its regulations governing such defenses.  

Supreme Judicial Court Rules When and How to Require Plaintiffs to Post Bonds in Zoning and Comprehensive Permit Appeals and on Remand the Superior Court Does So

Written by
/ Published Thursday, 29 December 2022 13:11

In January 2021, the Zoning Act, G.L. c. 40A, was amended to give the trial court judge discretion to require a plaintiff appealing a special permit, variance, or site plan decision to post a bond of up to $50,000 “to secure the payment of costs if the court finds that the harm to the defendant or to the public interest resulting from delays caused by the appeal outweighs the financial burden of the surety or cash bond on the plaintiffs.”

Caroline E. Smith, Esq. Named An Associate Attorney of The Firm

Written by
/ Published Wednesday, 30 November 2022 14:40

The law firm of McGregor Legere & Stevens, PC is very pleased to announce the addition of Caroline Smith as an Associate Attorney. Welcome to the firm, Caroline!

PFAS Update: What EPA Designation of PFAS as a Superfund Substance Under CERCLA Means

Written by
/ Published Friday, 30 September 2022 13:54

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has proposed to designate Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). This is the federal Superfund law. Collectively these chemicals are known as “PFAS.”

SJC Nixes Boston Waterfront Harbor Plan and with it the Harbor Tower Garage and the Municipal Harbor Plan Approval Process: Stay Tuned for Revamped MassDEP MHP Regulations

Written by
/ Published Friday, 30 September 2022 13:12

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) granted direct appellate review and decided on July 12, 2022, the case of Katherine Armstrong et al v. Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs et al, 490 Mass. 243 (2022), and a consolidated case brought by the Conservation Law Foundation of New England, Inc. (CLF) and others.

First Circuit Rules Federal Clean Water Act Citizen Plaintiffs Are Not Completely Trumped by Past or Pending EPA or State Agency Administrative Enforcement Against the Violator

Written by
/ Published Friday, 30 September 2022 12:28

Can citizen plaintiffs in federal court sue the same violator for the same water pollution violation against which the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or state agency is taking or has taken administrative enforcement? 

SJC Rules Regulatory Taking Claim in Casino Dispute May Proceed to Discovery and Trial (but Not Impairment of Contract Claim)

Written by
/ Published Monday, 12 September 2022 13:03

An interesting, important and relatively rare decision from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is about regulatory taking (yes, Virginia, there is a valid claim for taking) and impairment of contract (no, sorry, there is no valid claim). 

Supreme Court Strikes Down the City of Boston’s Flag-Flying Practice at City Hall Plaza as Going Over a Bright Line Between Rightful Control of Government Speech and Relaxed Regulation of Private Speech

Written by
/ Published Monday, 12 September 2022 12:52

In the case of Shurtleff v. City of Boston, 596 US ___ (May 2, 2022), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the City of Boston’s flag-raising program did not constitute government speech. Consequently, the City’s refusal to allow the petitioners to fly their flag because of its religious viewpoint violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Let’s see how this regulatory analysis works. 

Outdoor Advertising, the First Amendment, and Free Speech: The Supreme Court Refines the Case of Reed v. Gilbert by its Decision in Austin v. Reagan

Written by
/ Published Monday, 12 September 2022 12:42

The City of Austin, Texas regulates signs that advertise things not located on the same premises as the sign, and signs directing readers to offsite locations, all known as “off-premises signs.” The City’s sign code prohibited construction of new off-premises signs, but gave existing signs vested rights and treated on-premises signs liberally.

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