NY Green Roof Law Updated

New York enacted legislation (A.B. 7058) December 18 to increase the New York City green roof property tax abatement, expand it, and extend the application deadline. Individuals who install green roofs within the city are now eligible of a tax abatement of $5.23/square foot so long as the abatement does not exceed the lesser of $200,00 or the building’s annual tax liability. The application deadline has been extended from last March 15 to March 15, 2019.

VA to Examine Fracking Regs

The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy announced January 6 that it would seek comment on a plan to require companies to disclose the chemicals they use in fracking. The notice of intended regulatory activity said that while fracking has been used safely in the state since the 1960’s, the recent rapid increase in its use warrants a new look at the issue.

NY Energy Plan Released

New York released its energy plan January 8, calling for more renewable energy and touting efforts to keep utility bills low. The plan does not mention allowing fracking for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale; the sate has had a moratorium on fracking since 2008, and Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) said last year that a decision on the practice was forthcoming. It also includes a $1 billion Green Bank, already underway; a 50 percent reduction in energy sector carbon emissions by 2030; more efficient building codes; and funding for solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal, and hydrokinetic energy sources. Following a 60-day public comment period, the plan is expected to be approved this spring.

ME Aqua Ventus Faces PUC Vote

The Maine Public Utilities Commission will vote January 14 on whether to grant initial approval for a state contract to the University of Maine and its partner companies to build a two-turbine, 12MW offshore wind pilot project off the coast of Monhegan Island. The commission’s decision is significant for project financing as well as for helping it to receive a $50 million federal energy grant.

IA Ethanol Hearing

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will hold a hearing in Des Moines January 23 to consider an Environmental Protection Agency proposal that would reduce the amount of ethanol that must be blended with gasoline in 2014.