Adam’s Green Policy Roundup – January

January 21, 2009

Hello everyone – I took a bit of a break due to the holidays.  I will be blogging on a more regular basis on regulatory issues impacting green building in New York.  Today I want to run through a handful of interesting items from the end of 2008 covering the new administration, federal and state legislation after the jump! The New Administration The new president has made his picks (including two New Yorkers – Shaun Donovan and Adolfo Carrion) for offices related to housing and urban issues.  Analysis of his picks has already begun and will no doubt continue, but this is the start. Also, Pennsylvania elected a new US rep, Kathy Dahlkemper, a co-owner of a landscape architecture firm.  Here is a nice interview discussing her views on the federal government’s role in environmental issues and the built environment. Federal Legislation The first round of federal bailouts in October (The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (HR-1424)) included an extension on the green commercial building tax deduction through December 31, 2013. Commercial building owners can deduct as much as $1.80 per square foot for buildings that achieve a 50 percent energy savings target.  Eligible building systems include:  Interior lighting systems, Heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water systems, and building envelope systems.  The extension also continues  an existing bonding program for green buildings and sustainable design.  There is a lot of information; take a look at these three descriptions here, here, and here. LEED 2009 As you probably know, USGBC rolled out its new LEED 2009 credit system.  The notable changes include Prerequisite/Credit Alignment and Harmonization, Predictable Development Cycle, Transparent Environmental/Human Impact Credit Weighting, and Regionalization. The NY chapter of the USGBC put together a nice analysis of the regionalization impacts in the Northeast. In New York New York State has moved forward in participating in the Regional Green House Gas Initiative (RGGI) Carbon Trading Scheme.  Could this ultimately lead to individual building owners participating in carbon trading? Just a reminder that Community Board positions are opening up again this year – this is an opportunity to weigh in on the decision making process in your community, especially on land use issues. Details are available for Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island. Upcoming! A look at the 111th Congress’s proposals for green buildings (we need to give them a couple weeks) and a round up of the existing green building incentive programs available to New Yorkers.