Here's what's on our mind.
Oregon Rethinks the Future of Recycling
Even though Oregon is considered the third greenest state in the United States, and a national leader when it comes to recycling, Oregon’s waste-management programs are not actually recovering all of the state’s recyclable wastes. The cause of this…
Efforts Continue to Address Toxic PFAS in the Pacific Northwest
In February 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released a comprehensive action plan to address toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”). In February 2020, EPA released a program update discussing its progress.
Three Overlooked Ways to Reduce Development Costs
A recent study evaluated three overlooked steps that developers can take that will often result in surprising savings in development costs. The study focused on the development of wind energy generation facilities, but the lessons offered seem…
Supplemental Environmental Projects Have Been Eliminated, Local Communities to Feel the Pain
On March 12, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) ended its Environment and Natural Resources Division’s long-standing policy of allowing the use of supplemental environmental projects (“SEPs”) to offset monetary penalties assessed to private…
The Battle Continues Between Residential Landowners and Industrial Polluters
In April, the U.S. Supreme Court published their opinion in Atlantic Richfield v. Christian, further tangling the rules of engagement in the fight between residential property owners and industrial polluters.
More Proof that Environmental Site Assessments Are Critically Important in CERCLA Cases
In 1980, Congress enacted the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), frequently referred to as Superfund. This legislation was passed in response to mounting concerns regarding releases or threatened…
Due Diligence for Messy Commercial Property Purchases
As we continue our look at the legal environment for Oregon Real Estate we’re going to get a little messy and explore the due diligence recommended for buying property that may have environmental contamination. In the Sale and Purchase section of the…
The List You Don't Want to Be On
Everybody loves lists—at least when the list ranks something positive. We can celebrate that Oregon ranks second for the most craft breweries per capita (Vermont eked out the top spot). And that Bend topped a list of best ski towns, while Portland…
There Really Is Enough Sunshine to Go Around, People
Crops need sun. Solar panels need sun. One would think there is enough sunshine, even in rainy Oregon, for everyone. But at the urging of some strict farmland preservationists, the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission recently adopted…
Green Infrastructure: Is There an App for That?
Portland is a leader in managing stormwater runoff with green infrastructure. Nearly 20 years ago, the City began a serious effort to adopt green infrastructure – such as pervious surfaces, bioswales, vegetated infiltration galleries, and other…
Nation's Largest Living Building Is Coming to Portland
A team of Portland's heavy hitters has proposed a new five-story structure in Skidmore/Old Town that could be certified as Portland's first living building. The project team for the PAE Living Building include Gerding Edlen, Walsh Construction…
Thoughtful and Controlled Pollution: Oregon Likely Next in Line for Carbon Cap-and-Trade Program
This year, Oregon lawmakers will likely pass an economy-wide cap-and-trade system to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, introduced as House Bill 2020, which would make Oregon the second state after California to adopt such a sweeping law.
Daimler Portland Takes Lead in Automated Trucking
Daimler Trucks North America, headquartered in Portland, recently added 200 jobs to its Automated Truck Research and Development Center here in Rip City. Daimler announced the job growth while unveiling its new Freightliner Cascadia automated truck…
A Fresh View of Sichuan's Air Pollution Solutions
I recently had my ear to the ground in and around Chengdu, the capital of southwestern China's Sichuan province. Two things struck me about the air quality in the city. First, the air seemed far cleaner than during my last visit in 2007 despite a…
The “Wet” is Returning to the Oaks Bottom Wetlands
After almost completely drying out this summer, water has begun to return to the 140-acre Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge in southeast Portland, as work wraps up on an extensive wetlands rehabilitation project. Oaks Bottom is the largest remaining…
Urban Onion: The City of Beaverton Seeks Livable Core
The latest efforts to transform the City of Beaverton into…well, Portland, apparently shape the city into an onion, made up of distinct layers. The outer layer, formed from offices and residential developments, encloses the inner core areas of the…
The Skyscrapers of the Future Will Be Made of Wood
On August 8, the Oregon Building Codes Division approved a new state building code called a Statewide Alternate Method. The new code authorizes the construction of wood buildings taller than six stories, which was the previous limit. Taller wood…