Real Estate Advisor Law Blog

Real Estate Advisor Law Blog

Category Archives: Environmental Issues

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Clean Ohio Fund Brownfield Program Update

Posted in Development, Environmental Issues
The Clean Ohio Fund, Ohio’s brownfield redevelopment program is still alive and being administered by the JobsOhio .  According to the JobsOhio website, the Clean Ohio Fund is accepting applications for the redevelopment of Ohio brownfield sites. See below for a summary.   Clean Ohio funding requests are now being accepted by JobsOhio and the JobsOhio Network. … Continue Reading

Financing Renewable Energy: Protect the Planet, Boost your ROI

Posted in Green Energy Issues
Protecting this planet’s natural resources for future generations is a moral obligation; unfortunately, moral obligations do not pay the bills.  Coal is a nonrenewable resource that causes pollution. But it’s cheap. Renewable energy is often a more expensive alternative to using coal, oil, or natural gas to produce energy. Recognizing that renewable energy must be financially viable for individuals … Continue Reading

Green Leasing Unveiled – Part II

Posted in Environmental Issues, Green Energy Issues, Leasing Issues
In Part I of our series on the particulars of Green Leasing, we discussed Lease Term and Operating Expenses. Now we turn to a robust area for implementing sustainable processes between Landlords and Tenants: Interior Alterations and Repairs   A typical commercial lease will have two separate sections, one on maintenance and repairs, and one on … Continue Reading

Value of Walkability

Posted in Commuting, Development Issues, Environmental Issues, New Urbanism
According to walkscore.com a walkable neighborhood has: 1)  A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it’s a main street or a public space. 2)  People:  Enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently 3)  Mixed income, mixed use:  Affordable housing located near businesses. 4)  Parks and public space:  Plenty of … Continue Reading

Green Leasing Unveiled – Part 1

Posted in Environmental Issues, Leasing Issues
As the movement to increase energy efficiency and create sustainable operations has swept across the real estate industry, more and more commercial tenants and property owners are expressing interest in “green leasing.” What, exactly, is a “green lease?”    To be sure there is no form green lease; rather the term describes the evolution from … Continue Reading

USGBC AND ITS FOUNDERS SUED OVER THE LEED™ GREEN BUILDING RATINGS SYSTEM

Posted in Green Energy Issues
A federal lawsuit in New York that involves Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO") claims is one of the latest developments in the United States Green Building Council’s ("USGBC") development and administration of the LEED™ building ratings system.  The lawsuit appears highly contentious to say the least.  Plaintiffs Henry Gifford and Gifford Fuel Saving, Inc. initiated a class … Continue Reading

Chinese Drywall Developments

Posted in Construction Related Issues, Environmental Issues
To follow up on a series of prior posts, the Internal Revenue Service will now allow taxpayers with defective drywall to deduct the cost of repairs and replacement of damaged appliances in the year in which the loss occurred.  In Revenue Procedure 2010-36, the IRS has, however, imposed certain restrictions which include that the losses … Continue Reading

Contractors, Landlords, and Property Managers Must Take Care to Comply with New Lead Paint Regulations

Posted in Development Issues, Environmental Issues
Pursuant to a new rule passed by the Environmental Protection Agency, all contractors, landlords, and property managers performing or hiring for painting projects that disturb lead-based paint must now become "lead-safe" certified before performing work on houses built before 1978.  The new requirement also applies to weatherization projects, and to schools, day care facilities, or other commercial properties occupied by children.  … Continue Reading

Get Informed: Green Building is Here to Stay

Posted in Construction Related Issues, Environmental Issues, Green Energy Issues, Real Estate Tools
Green building is quickly becoming the "norm" across America, and those who are not familiar with it could be missing important opportunities in today’s construction climate.  The United States Green Building Council ("USGBC") is a non-profit community of leaders working to make green buildings available to everyone.   USGBC developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules Beach Additions Not Compensable Takings

Posted in Environmental Issues, General Legal Issues, Litigation Issues, Retail Industry Issues
Truckloads of sand will begin cascading across hurricane-battered beaches along the Destin and Walton County shorelines, thanks to a recent 8-0 decision by the Supreme Court. Coastal homeowners originally sued Florida arguing that the Beach Erosion Control Program (BECP) would cause the value of their homes to decline, turning their “oceanfront” property into “ocean view” … Continue Reading

ODOD Announces Start of “Making Efficiency Work” Funding

Posted in Green Energy Issues, Legislative Update
The Ohio Department of Development has announced the availability of $8,000,000 in grant funding for qualifying energy efficiency projects undertaken at existing multi-family, commercial, and institutional buildings. The goal of the program is to encourage the installation of energy efficiency equipment that will measurably improve the energy efficiency of existing multi-family, commercial, and institutional buildings. The program … Continue Reading

A Fuel Cell for the Rest of US

Posted in Environmental Issues, Green Energy Issues, Property Management Issues
Recently, 60 Minutes aired a story about Bloom Energy, a Silicon Valley  alternative energy start-up, which has developed fuel cell technology capable of taking us off of the electrical grid.  The video speaks for itself so watch it below.  As you watch it, think about how technology such as this will transform the real estate industry.  Besides … Continue Reading

New “Green” Landscape Ratings Established

Posted in Construction Related Issues, Development, Environmental Issues, Retail Industry Issues
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council is a certification program for the design, construction and operation of commercial and residential “green” buildings. Although the LEED certification program includes a neighborhood design component, one area not specifically addressed by LEED is landscape design. In an effort to establish a … Continue Reading

Developing an EXIT (Sign) Strategy

Posted in Construction Related Issues, Environmental Issues
That EXIT sign illuminating over the door could contain a radioactive gas called tritium, subjecting it to regulation by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) or one of the Agreement States. The Agreement States have assumed limited regulatory jurisdiction over the use of radioactive materials.   NRC estimates that more than 2 million tritium EXIT signs … Continue Reading

Chinese Drywall Has Damaged Their Homes and Health, Some U.S. Homeowners Claim, but Can They Make the Chinese Manufacturers Pay?

Posted in Construction Related Issues, Environmental Issues, Legislative Update, Retail Industry Issues
We have been following the continuing saga of the homeowners affected by Chinese drywall used mainly throughout Florida, Louisiana and Virginia when U.S. supplies ran low. According to affected homeowners, the Chinese drywall emits a gas that causes health problems such as headaches and nosebleeds, erodes metal and electrical fixtures, and leaves a foul rotten egg … Continue Reading

Proposed Revisions to Ohio’s Oil and Gas Law

Posted in Environmental Issues, Legislative Update
Currently pending before the Ohio General Assembly is Senate Bill 165, which would significantly revise Ohio’s regulation of oil and gas drilling. Senator Tom Niehaus introduced the bill to increase the safety and regulation of drilling in Ohio, including concerns related to drilling in urbanized areas. To address these concerns, SB 165 requires, among other things, compliance … Continue Reading

Environmental Check-Up

Posted in Environmental Issues, Leasing Issues
When it comes to taking care of our own health, all too often we rely upon reactive maintenance. For example, you ignore your doctor’s warnings and continue to eat fast food and fail to exercise on a semi-regular basis. You had the chance to help control the situation with some basic preventive maintenance, but you … Continue Reading

The Lake Erie Shoreline, Landowner Rights, and the Public Trust – Round 2

Posted in Environmental Issues, Legislative Update, Litigation Issues
In December 2007, a Lake County Common Pleas Court judge issued a landmark decision holding, among other things, that an owner of real estate that touches Lake Erie owns title extending as far as the water’s edge. State ex rel. Merrill v. Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (2007), Lake County Common Pleas Case No. 04CV001080. Lake County … Continue Reading

Another ASTM Standard Satisfies All Appropriate Inquiries under CERCLA

Posted in Construction Related Issues, Environmental Issues, Legislative Update
US EPA has amended the Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries (“AAI”) to acknowledge another ASTM standard can be used to satisfy the AAI requirement for the landowner defenses to liability under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) – innocent landowners, bona fide prospective purchasers, and continuous property owners. In addition to ASTM … Continue Reading
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