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New Developments in Environmental Law

Housing Choice Act of 2020 Promotes Multi-Family in Massachusetts Zoning Act and 40R

Written by / Published Wednesday, 29 December 2021 14:23

Governor Baker signed the Housing Choice Act of 2020, Chapter 358 of the Acts of 2020 (the “Housing Choice Act”) on January 14, 2021, as an emergency law, which made it effective immediately. It made significant procedural and substantive changes to the Massachusetts Zoning Act (Chapter 40A) and Smart Growth Districts (Chapter 40R), largely to facilitate multi-family housing near transportation facilities.

Nathaniel Stevens, Esq. Named Partner of The Firm Featured

/ Published Tuesday, 30 November 2021 14:01

McGregor Legere & Stevens, PC is very pleased to announce that Nathaniel Stevens, Esq. has been named Partner of the firm.. We have elected to retain a shorter version of our firm name, McGregor Legere & Stevens, PC for the sake of simplicity. Thank you Nathaniel for your many years of excellent work!

Revisiting the Leading Massachusetts Cases on Article 97 Park and Open Space Protection: Mahajan and Westfield

Written by / Published Monday, 29 November 2021 16:13

We remind ourselves of the seminal decision in Mahajan v. DEP, 464 Mass. 604 (2013) – in which the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) reversed and remanded a Superior Court decision that Article 97 applied to Long Wharf in Boston – in light of the SJC’s more recent ruling in Smith v. City of Westfield, 478 Mass. 49 (2017).

US Supreme Court Decides Interstate Aquifer Rights

/ Published Monday, 29 November 2021 15:33

On November 22, 2021, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling on whether Tennessee is liable for damages and other relief related to the pumping of groundwater by the City of Memphis from the Middle Claiborne Aquifer which lies beneath eight states. The Supreme Court ruled in a precedent setting opinion that the waters of the Middle Claiborne Aquifer are subject to the judicial remedy of equitable apportionment and that Mississippi’s complaint is dismissed without leave to amend.

U.S. Supreme Court Rules CERCLA Does Not Preclude State Law Claims For Contaminated Sites: Superfund and EPA Are Not The Only Game In Town

Written by / Published Monday, 15 November 2021 10:37

In a recent decision with far-reaching implications for owners of contaminated property, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, often referred to as the federal Superfund law) does not preclude claims under state laws for further cleanup of contaminated sites.

Mcgregor Legere & Stevens Obtains $1.35 Million for Client for City’s Illegal Blockage of House Construction

Written by / Published Tuesday, 03 August 2021 13:38

In 2015 we won on behalf of client Scotty Thyng a million-dollar verdict in Norfolk Superior Court (Civil Action No. 2010-01449) against officials of the City of Quincy.

22nd Annual MCLE Environmental, Land Use & Energy Law Conference (Virtual) on March 4, 2021: Best Practices For Emerging Issues Featured

Written by / Published Wednesday, 24 February 2021 14:34

There was no shortage of important 2020 developments in federal, state and local environmental law, despite Covid-19. This MCLE annual offering, co-chaired by firm founder Gregor McGregor, Esq. and former MassDEP counsel Pamela Harvey, Esq, features well-known speakers.

McGregor Presents "Environmental Law 2019-2020: Legal Developments in Wetlands and Water Law For Conservation Commissions"

Written by / Published Wednesday, 24 February 2021 13:51

The Firm’s newest PowerPoint updating wetlands and water law for those who are involved with applications, plans, permits and enforcement by Conservation Commissions is available to readers of this site. Gregor McGregor presented it to the Massachusetts Society of Municipal Conservation Professionals in a luncheon webcast January 27, 2021.

Appeals Court Summary Decisions In 2020 Involving Municipal Boards Give Insights On Email Settlements, Constructive Approvals, and Permit Extensions

Written by / Published Friday, 05 February 2021 10:06

Three selected 2020 summary decisions of the Massachusetts Appeals Court illustrate, in short and sweet opinions, the implications of settlement negotiations by emails, tactical moves while challenging a local board’s decision, the ins and outs of getting permit extensions, what happens in court review of a tribunal’s decision, and how a well-maintained document record, well-run deliberation, and well-written decision can determine who wins or loses and why.

Appeals Court Rules Conservation Restrictions are Enforceable Against Violators for Monetary Damages, Not Just Equitable Relief Like Restoration and Replanting

Written by / Published Wednesday, 25 November 2020 14:36

In its August 10, 2020, decision in the case of Wellesley Conservation Council, Inc. v. Pereira (AC 19-P-753), the Massachusetts Appeals Court addressed the scope of enforcement options available to the holder of a Conservation Restriction (CR), in particular whether injunctive relief (like restoration and replanting) is the holder’s sole remedy for violations of the CR’s terms, or does it include money damages, too. The answer is yes to damages.

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