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Governor Cooper Launches New Rural Economic Development Initiative

This week, Governor Cooper’s office announced a new initiative “Hometown Strong” aimed at providing assistance and prioritizing projects that will boost the economic development of rural counties in North Carolina. The program will be led by Pryor Gibson and Mary Penny Kelley (a former law partner of Hayes Finley). Smith Moore Leatherwood’s Infrastructure and Development team currently offers similar services to our clients and is looking forward to working with

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UPDATE: Trump Issues Tariff on Solar Panels

On January 22, 2018, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lightizer announced President Trump’s approval of safeguard tariffs on imported solar cells and modules, following the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) hearings and recommendations. The tariffs will be applied over the next four years as follows, with a decline of 5% each year:

  
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4

Safeguard Tariff on Modules and Cells
30%

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ITC Recommendations Include Tariffs on Solar Panels from Mexico and South Korea

Following a unanimous decision in September by the International Trade Commission (ITC) that domestic producers of solar panels have been significantly harmed by imports, the ITC sent a final report to the White House in November with proposed remedies. The four commissioners presented three different recommendations in the report to be implemented over a four-year period.

The ITC found that U.S. imports from Canada, Australia, U.S.‐Dominican Republic  ( the

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UPDATED: Congress Takes Aim at Tax-Exempt Funding for Professional Sports Facilities

UPDATED 12/27/17: The final version of the tax bill signed into law earlier this month did NOT include the provision which sought to eliminate tax-exempt funding assistance for professional sports facilities.

 

While President Trump’s very public feud with the NFL grabs the headlines these days, the U.S. House inserted a provision in the tax reform bill introduced last week which would eliminate a State or local government’s ability

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Potential Circuit Split: Is Groundwater a Conduit to Jurisdictional Surface Water Under the Clean Water Act?

On Thursday December 7, 2017 the Fourth Circuit will hear oral arguments in Upstate Forever v. Kinder Morgan Energy, on whether liability under the Clean Water Act can be imposed where a pollutant is not directly discharged into surface waters, but instead reaches surface waters through an unpermitted discharge into groundwater.

 The Clean Water Act (“CWA”) prohibits unpermitted discharges of a pollutant from a point source into navigable surface

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Local Ordinances Play a Major Role in Green Infrastructure

Local governments can do a lot to promote and improve green infrastructure by implementing best practices and fostering emerging technologies. Just look at what Atlanta, Georgia and Raleigh, North Carolina have done through their local ordinances this year.

On November 20, 2017, Atlanta City Council unanimously adopted a new infrastructure regulation that requires all new residential and commercial buildings to install electrical infrastructure to support Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers.

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