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New Developments in Environmental Law

Massachusetts Announces Waste Site Clean Up as well as Drinking Water Standards for Six PFAS “Forever” Chemical Compounds

Written by / Published Friday, 13 December 2019 10:36

On December 13, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (“MassDEP”) announced final as well as proposed regulations to address Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances or “PFAS”, a family of man-made chemicals known as the “forever chemicals” due to their persistence in the environment. Only a handful of other states are regulating PFAS.

Federal District Court Rejects Argument That Discharges To Groundwater Require Permits Under The Clean Water Act

Written by / Published Thursday, 12 December 2019 16:51

The federal Clean Water Act (CWA) does not require a permit for the discharge of pollutants to groundwater that is hydrologically connected to navigable waters of the United States. That is the upshot of the federal District Court’s recent ruling upholding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) interpretation of the CWA as conferring no authority to regulate discharges to groundwater, regardless whether pollutants therein reach navigable waters of the United States. Judge William G. Young determined this to be a “permissible construction” of the statute.

Municipal Governments Cope with Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency Using Local Regulations

Written by / Published Monday, 01 April 2019 14:27

Coastal as well as inland communities in Massachusetts increasingly are looking to their local wetland permitting laws and regulations as one place to help build climate change resilience.

Appeals Court Overturns $640,000 Jury Verdict for Regulatory Taking

Written by / Published Friday, 22 March 2019 13:44

In an important case on an often-raised issue, Smyth v. Conservation Commission of Falmouth, Case No. 17-P-1189, the Massachusetts Appeals Court on February 19, 2019 reversed a Superior Court jury verdict of $640,000.00 on a claim that the Falmouth Wetland Bylaw, as applied, created a “regulatory taking” of plaintiff’s property. This decision has been long-awaited by land use and real estate practitioners.

Court Decision Reminds Us Who Can Enforce The Public Trust Doctrine and Reserved Public Rights in Tidelands

Written by / Published Monday, 04 February 2019 15:00

Only the Commonwealth may enforce public trust rights in Commonwealth tidelands. Property owners lack legal authority to use private litigation for enforcement of public trust rights. That important principle was reinforced in the Massachusetts Appeals Court’s July 10, 2018 decision in the case of Commercial Wharf East Condominium Assoc. v. Boston Boat Basin, LLC, 93 Mass. App. Ct. 523 (2018).

Partner Luke Legere Presents on Article 97 Protection for Public Lands

Written by / Published Thursday, 13 December 2018 15:31

Luke Legere spoke on Article 97 protection for public lands at the 2018 Essex County Open Space Conference hosted by Essex County Greenbelt at the HC Media Studio in Haverhill on December 1, 2018. His co-presenter was Kathleen O'€™Donnell, who is expert on real estate aspects of ensuring protection for open space. Together they presented the latest on law, policy, politics, practical tips, and recent important court decisions. Law suits are prevalent between residents and municipalities challenging applicability of Article 97, which is important for land trusts, environmental organizations, and municipal officials and boards to know about. Download Mr. Legere'€™s PowerPoint presentation title: Article 97 Protection After Smith v. City of Westfield, from our Slideshow/Powerpoint section in our Reading Room.

Gregor McGregor Co-Chair of Jan 2019 National Environmental Law Seminar at Snowmass, Colorado

Written by / Published Friday, 23 November 2018 16:10

Gregor I. McGregor of McGregor & Legere, PC will once again co-chair the 2019 Environmental, Land Use and Energy Law Seminar taking place at Snowmass, CO on January 2-6, 2019 at the National CLE & Ski Conference.

Miramar Beach Dredged Spoils Case: SJC Elaborates Role of Regulatory Performance Standards

Written by / Published Thursday, 04 October 2018 16:44

On August 20, 2018 the Supreme Judicial Court issued a decision in Miramar Park Association, Inc. & Others, v. Town of Dennis, considering whether the Town of Dennis violated state environmental regulations by not depositing the spoils from a river-dredging project on a private beach. Yes, it’s as convoluted as it sounds.

Updated Version of "Tips and Techniques for Buying and Selling Dirty Property" to be Presented at the Fall Conference for REBA

Written by / Published Friday, 14 September 2018 15:53

The firm's principal, Gregor I. McGregor, has updated his popular article on Buying and Selling Dirty Property, including a new section with example clauses as suggested wording for the many types of real estate contracts.

Appeals Court Limits Private Enforcement of Waterfront and Tidelands Public Trust Rules

Written by / Published Tuesday, 07 August 2018 11:14

Property owners lack legal authority to use private litigation to enforce their public trust rights. Only the Commonwealth may enforce public trust rights in Commonwealth tidelands and other waterfront areas. That important principle was reinforced in the Massachusetts Appeals Court’s July 10, 2018 decision in the case of Commercial Wharf East Condominium Assoc. v. Boston Boat Basin, LLC, 93 Mass. App. Ct. 523 (2018).

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