North America

McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies: This Week in Washington — April 24, 2015

On Thursday, the Senate – by a vote of 56 to 43 – finally voted to confirm Loretta Lynch as attorney general. Lynch replaces Eric Holder.

Forty-four Democrats and two independents voted in support of Lynch, while 10 Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell crossed party lines to back her confirmation. Republican Senators Kelly Ayotte, Thad Cochran, Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, Ron Johnson, Mark Kirk, and Rob Portman also voted for Lynch.

Lynch will become the 83rd attorney general and the first African-American woman to hold the post. Democrats have vocally supported Lynch and seized on her delay in confirmation to accuse Republican leadership of slow-walking the nomination to spite the president.

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Clark Wilson wins appeal for Brenhill Developments

We acted for Brenhill Developments in today’s successful appeal of a January 27, 2015 BC Supreme Court decision that quashed a rezoning for a 36 storey mixed use tower and development permit issuance for a 13 storey social housing building in downtown Vancouver.

Construction of the social housing building was well under way at the time of the lower court decision. Brenhill obtained an order in February 2015 for the expediting of the appeal, which dealt with such issues as public hearing disclosure, and how the Court should respond to challenges commenced long after Approval in Principle is granted for the rezoning Development Permit Board approval for the permit.

Peter Kenward and Andrew Dixon worked to bring the appeal to a successful and speedy conclusion. Read a recent news article on the decision.

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Environmental Marketing Needs To Get Real

Think GreenAs you know, Davis & Gilbert produced our 2014/2015 Lessons Learned Practical Advice document, where our lawyers highlight major developments in the marketing communications industry, and offer tips and best practices for marketers and their agencies in 2015. To view the full 2014/2015 Lessons Learned Practical Advice document, click here. This week, I wanted to share with you the section I co-authored with Matt Smith on environmental marketing.

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Multistate Tax Update — April 23, 2015

In 2010, Joseph Romm, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, testified before the House Ways and Means Committee and shared his findings about how certain provisions of the U.S. tax code inhibit cost-effective commercialization and deployment of clean, homegrown energy. Dr. Romm is well-respected and experienced in this area; during 1997, he was the acting assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and from 1995 to 1998, he was principal deputy assistant secretary.

At the time of his testimony, Dr. Romm noted that the country’s tax policy needed a comprehensive energy strategy. While barriers to clean energy still exist through all levels of government, certain cities and states are deploying their own tax policy in a way that encourages environmentally conscious conduct.

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3 Key Points in OSHA’s Final Rule Governing Whistleblower Retaliation Complaints Under Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

On March 5, 2015, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (“OSHA”) issued its “ Final Rule” establishing the procedures for handling retaliation complaints brought under Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”). Section 806, as amended by Dodd-Frank, protects employees of publicly traded companies, as well as employees of contractors, subcontractors, and agents of publicly traded companies, from being retaliated against for reporting fraudulent activity or other violations of SEC rules and regulations. The Final Rule addresses the comments that OSHA received in response to its interim rule, issued in 2011, and sets forth the final procedures for retaliation claims under SOX, including the procedures and timeframes applicable to employee complaints and OSHA investigations. While the Final Rule does not differ substantively from the interim rule, it crystalizes the SOX whistleblower complaint procedures and reflects an increasingly whistleblower-friendly landscape.

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Business Succession Planning Series: Preparing Your Business for Sale

Join us for the final session in a three-part series on Business Succession Planning where we will focus on the most significant issues when preparing to sell or transfer your business.

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Ready for an OIG Security Audit?

At HIMSS15 in Chicago I had the pleasure of speaking with my colleague, Dave Schoolcraft, regarding the OIG Security Audits. These in depth security audits conducted not by the OCR or CMS, but rather the Office of Inspector General, delve into the security systems of Eligible Hospitals (and potentially Eligible Professionals) participating in the EHR […]

The post Ready for an OIG Security Audit? appeared first on OMW Health Law.

For more information please visit or click on the headline above.

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IRS Issues Final Regulations for Charitable Hospitals

Congressional scrutiny of tax-exempt hospital organizations arose as the distinction between tax-exempt and for-profit hospitals has been diminished by the federal government’s provision of Medicare and Medicaid to cover services that tax-exempt hospitals previously provided for free. The overhaul of the healthcare system has brought even more Congressional scrutiny, requiring hospital organizations to be very proactive in ensuring they continue to meet the original requirements for tax exemption, as well as new more rigorous requirements.

The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), enacted March 23, 2010, added new requirements for Section 501(c)(3) organizations that operate one or more hospital facilities (hospital organizations). On a facility by facility basis, each hospital facility is required to meet the following four general requirements: More…

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Validity Of Waste Permit Doesn’t Depend Upon “Zero Environmental Risk”

On March 20, 2015 the B.C. Environmental Appeal Board in Shawinigan Residents Assn. v British Columbia (Directors Delegate, Environmental Management Act) (2015 CarswellBC 802) confirmed the validity of a waste permit, subject to an amendment requiring the monitoring of water quality immediately following a storm event greater than 1 in 200 years. The permit authorized refuse to be discharged to ground as well as effluent to an ephemeral stream from a contaminated soil treatment facility and a landfill. The contaminated soil would be processed through bioremediation and landfilling. The landfilling would involve soil encapsulation in engineered cells. More…

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Ontario’s Mineral Development Strategy

The Ontario government recently published a Discussion Paper on Renewing Ontario’s Mineral Development Strategy. The document is available on the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines website:

The Discussion Paper is described as a “first step in the development of a renewed mineral development strategy for Ontario.” The Discussion Paper notes progress made since the launch of the government’s 2006 mineral development strategy, particularly the enactment of an amended Mining Act in 2009, which recognized and affirmed existing Aboriginal and treaty rights in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, including the duty to consult with Aboriginal communities and to minimize the impact of mining activities on public health and safety and the environment. More…

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