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May 2011 Archives

May 6, 2011

Report Finds that Carbon Emissions in RGGI States Increased by 11% in 2010; Still 27% Below Cap


On May 2, 2011, Environment Northeast released a report finding that carbon dioxide emissions from power plants in the 10 Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative states increased by 11% in 2010 but remained well below the cap established by RGGI.

The report found that carbon dioxide emissions totaled 137 million tons in 2010, 27% below the RGGI cap of 188 million tons. The report attributed the increase from 2009 to 2010 to a hotter summer and higher electricity demand for air conditioning. The 10 RGGI states are laying the groundwork for a comprehensive review of the program, including the possibility of lowering the emissions cap. RGGI originally planned to keep the emissions cap at 188 tons through 2014 and then lower it by 2.5% per year over the next four years.

May 13, 2011

New York City Enacts Three More Laws to Green Its Building Code


In April 2011, the New York City Council passed three bills concerning rooftops that had been recommended by the Green Codes Task Force. These bills were recently signed into law by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and now become part of the New York City building code. The three laws are as follows:

Intro. No. 347-A: This law requires that builders use roofing materials that are more reflective, absorbing less heat in the summer, on at least 75% of the roof area. A "cool roof" transfers less heat to the building below so that the building stays cooler and more comfortable during the summer, resulting in the use of less energy for cooling. On a citywide level, this law will help mitigate the "urban heat island effect." The law exempts ballasted roofs (under certain conditions), roofs used as playgrounds, areas under mechanical equipment or other rooftop structures, and portions of roofs covered with decking materials. It also exempts green roofs and clarifies that green roofs include agricultural plantings.

Intro. No. 341-A: Previously, the building code required that the amount of rooftop that can be covered by mechanical equipment be limited to 1/3 of the roof. Otherwise, it is counted as another floor of the building. This law exempts solar equipment from this calculation, meaning that this equipment can cover as much of the roof as is permitted by other codes, such as the Fire Code.

Intro No. 358-A: This law adds combined heat and power systems to the list of allowable rooftop structures and, like Intro. No. 341-A, exempts this equipment from the 1/3 limit on rooftop mechanical equipment.

May 27, 2011

Long Island Business News Names Miriam E. Villani One of Long Island's Top 50 Women for 2011

UNIONDALE, NY - May 26 - Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker is pleased to announce that Miriam E. Villani, a highly accomplished and respected attorney in the field of environmental law, has been selected as a member of the 2011 class of Long Island's Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business, which recognizes the significant contributions of women professionals to the region's economy and communities. Ms. Villani and the 49 other influential women were honored at a special awards gala on May 19, 2011, at The Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, NY.

Ms. Villani, a resident of Merrick, is a leading environmental lawyer who has made the education and professional development of fellow environmental lawyers one of her top priorities. She is also a tireless champion of the importance of dealing with the threats to the environment, both locally and globally.

She is Editor-in-Chief of The New York Environmental Lawyer, a quarterly journal published by the New York State Bar Association. The journal features substantive articles on developing issues in environmental law, and columns covering ethics issues, EPA and DEC updates, as well as recent administrative and judicial case updates.

In 2005, Ms. Villani was appointed to serve as Chair of the Environmental Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The Section brings together members of the Association who seek to further an effective and fair legal framework for protecting the human and natural environment. The Section is dedicated to educating members of the bar and the public about environmental law, policy, and administration and it initiates and promotes environmental law reform. In addition to the New York State Bar Association, she is a member of the Nassau County Bar Association.
Ms. Villani has been published in several legal journals and books, and regularly teaches and speaks on environmental issues and the law. Currently, Ms. Villani is co-authoring a chapter on the law pertaining to hazardous waste management for the definitive treatise on environmental law in New York State, Environmental Law and Regulation in New York (West's New York Practice Series). She has contributed to the chapter on pesticides and herbicides in previous editions.

She has been honored by her alma mater, St. John's University School of Law, for her achievements in the field of environmental law. Ms. Villani is a former co-chair of the Environmental Law Alumni Committee of St. John's School of Law Alumni Association.

As a partner with Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, Ms. Villani's practice focuses on all aspects of environmental law, including litigation, transactional matters, permitting, and regulatory and compliance proceedings. She represents and advises developers, corporations, municipalities, buyers, sellers, and lenders in transactions involving brownfields and other contaminated properties. She also represents clients in environmental litigation in both federal and state courts and before administrative agencies. Ms. Villani's extensive experience with and knowledge of environmental law includes the New York State Environmental Conservation Law, the New York State Navigation Law, the Wetlands Acts, RCRA, TSCA, and CERCLA.

Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, PLLC is a full service law firm concentrating in the areas of zoning and land use planning; real estate law and transactions; civil litigation in federal and state trial and appellate courts; corporate/business law and commercial transactions; telecommunications law; environmental law; municipal law and legislative practice; labor and employment; real estate tax certiorari and condemnation; and estate planning and administration. Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker is located at 333 Earle Ovington Boulevard, Suite 601, Uniondale, New York (516-228-1300), and online at www.swcblaw.com.

About May 2011

This page contains all entries posted to Envirosphere in May 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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