Attorney Blog

New Developments in Environmental Law

Mcgregor Legere & Stevens Proudly Represents the Friends of the Prouty Garden

Written by / Published Friday, 20 January 2017 15:05

Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) has had a world-class healing garden. It was built and endowed over 60 years ago by popular author Olive Higgins Prouty of Brookline, MA in memory of her two daughters who died in childhood.

McGregor co-chairs National Environmental Law, Land Use, Energy and Litigation Seminar January 2017

Written by / Published Friday, 20 January 2017 14:20

An annual National CLE Conference hosted by the Colorado Bar Association CLE program brings together hundreds of attorneys from all over the US for current developments and professional networking. Mr. McGregor has presented and co-chaired the environmental law seminar at the conference, most recently January 8-10, 2017 at Aspen Snowmass.

Fact Sheet Re: Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) DoN Application #4-3C47

/ Published Sunday, 15 January 2017 15:51

This list of important facts regarding the Boston Children's Hospital DofN Application was prepared by the Anne Gamble Ten Taxpayer group and The Friends of Prouty Garden.

New Law Means Less Control for Municipalities

Written by / Published Tuesday, 11 October 2016 14:21

On August 10, 2016 Governor Baker signed HB 4569 into law. It is titled, “An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development,” and appears as Chapter 219 of the Acts of 2016. Despite declining to approve two sections of the Bill, Governor Baker approved Section 48, which will have confusing implications for environmental regulation in municipalities, and likely lead to a slew of doubt, disputes, and even lawsuits.

McGregor and Legere Presented Their Environmental Law Update to Municipal Attorneys

/ Published Thursday, 15 September 2016 14:08

Our firm is active with the Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association (MMLA). We have been honored to present at the MMLA annual meeting a review of the year’s developments in environmental law and related land use, energy law, and litigation.

Municipal Modernization Act a Smorgasbord of Changes on Environment and Land Use

Written by / Published Thursday, 25 August 2016 15:10

On August 9, 2016 Governor Baker approved HB 4565, “An Act Modernizing Municipal Finance and Government,” signing into law what is now Chapter 218 of the Acts of 2016. This newly enacted legislation tweaks, modifies, and streamlines several existing statutes governing cities and towns.

Neighbor's Claim to Own the Shoreline of a Filled Tidal Pond Rejected by Land Court

Written by / Published Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:45

Following a two day trial, Hon. Robert Foster of the Land Court recently rejected an abutter’s claim to the portion of a Falmouth family’s lot where they plan to build an addition to their seasonal cottage. The Court found that the presumption of land ownership to low water, derived by the Colonial Ordinances, did not apply. The Court invoked the doctrine of adverse possession by color of title to find for the Falmouth family on an alternative claim.

Busy End of Supreme Court Term Produces Important Land Use Cases

Written by / Published Wednesday, 02 September 2015 15:31

On three days in June, the U.S. Supreme Court decided cases making new law on signs and free speech, fair housing litigation, and air pollution regulation, and. We look at them in turn, in brief.

Municipal Environmental Law in Massachusetts

Written by / Published Friday, 03 April 2015 15:23

Environmental law at the local level is surprisingly well established and comprehensive. It deals with the universe of environmental problems, needs and opportunities that have come before Town Meetings and City Councils over the years, leading to legislation enacted in the form of bylaws and ordinances. In addition, innumerable municipal boards and officials have long list of policies, rules and regulations they have promulgated within their statutory or charter powers. Then there are property law principles and constitutional provisions imposing limits or conferring rights of an environmental nature. In summary, these local environmental laws and principles can range from “A to Z” (namely Air Pollution to Zoning). Every community has the basics on the books. Most have tailored them to their needs. Some are being artful and creative. None have taken full advantage of the legal powers that are available to protect the environment.

Appeals Court Reaffirms Conservation Commissions’ Dual Authority

Written by / Published Monday, 26 January 2015 13:02

The Appeals Court in Parkview Electronics Trust, LLC v. Conservation Commission of Winchester, 88 Mass. App. Ct. 833 (2016), recently rejected a challenge to the well-established principle that a conservation commission can have regulatory authority under a local wetlands bylaw or ordinance that is independent from, and in addition to, its authority under the state Wetlands Protection Act (“Act”). This is so as long as a commission relies on a provision of its local wetlands law that is more stringent than the Act and complies with the timeframes set forth in the Act. Otherwise a commission risks having its decisions under both state and local laws superseded by MassDEP in an appeal under the Act.

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