These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

  • Private equity firm Blackstone Group LP recently announced that it would pay $8 billion to acquire Biomed Realty Trust in one of the largest real estate investment trust (REIT) privatizations planned so far this year.
  • The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio stayed nationwide implementation of the EPA’s Clean Water Rule until jurisdiction and other legal issues can be sorted out. Many states, industries, and associations filed lawsuits challenging the new rule in various U.S. Courts of Appeals and District Courts; the challenges filed in Appeals Courts were consolidated to the Sixth Circuit.
  • The mayor of Denver is working to implement new construction defects reform to address a shortage of condo construction. The proposed ordinance requires plaintiffs to prove that alleged defects caused harm to the occupant or the structure before any claim can move forward.
  • California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill requiring that the $291 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System, Sacramento (CalPERS) and the $184 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) divest from coal company investments by July 1, 2017.
  • The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has revealed new data on possible adverse health effects associated with fracking. The results of a new study recently published in the journal Epidemiology link the proximity of expectant mothers’ homes to active fracking sites with high-risk pregnancies and premature births.