Brownfield Redevelopment

Brownfield Redevelopment

Overview

The purchase, development, and/or sale of environmentally-impacted property involves extensive environmental due diligence, navigating complex regulatory and governmental agency-imposed requirements, and negotiating effective environmental risk management mechanisms, such as releases and indemnities, purchase price holdbacks for addressing potential environmental liabilities, and the purchase of environmental insurance products.

By employing creative, problem-solving approaches to the highly technical and complex issues related to developing environmentally-impacted properties, our environmental attorneys have developed a preeminent Brownfield Redevelopment Practice. As one example, we have drafted and negotiated the majority of the agreements under the California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act, which are entered into with state agencies.

We have handled numerous projects before the State of California Regional Water Quality Control Boards, the Department of Toxic Substances Control, the federal and state Environmental Protection Agency, and numerous other federal, state, county, municipal, and local agencies. Over the course of many years, we have developed highly effective working relationships with regulatory authorities to enable clients to navigate the regulatory processes and achieve cost-effective solutions consistent with their development objectives. 

We have counseled numerous clients in connection with remedial investigations, feasibility studies, remedial action plans, and a wide spectrum of administrative cleanup orders. We work with the leading environmental consultants on a wide variety of properties involving numerous site-specific human and ecological risks, vapor intrusion issues, soil contamination, groundwater contamination, and chemical impacts. By doing so, we are able to provide realistic and practical advice applicable to a wide range of development scenarios.  

We also assist clients with obtaining financing for cleanups, regulatory closure, statutory immunities, and insuring against residual risks. Through various professional and trade organizations, our attorneys play leading roles in developing innovative approaches to the challenges posed by brownfield redevelopment.

Representative
Matters

Represented a large municipality in cleanup and development strategies for infamous Whittaker-Bermite site, which had resulted in the closure of drinking water supply wells and necessitated a cleanup in excess of $250 million.

Negotiated on behalf of the owners of a large shopping center in Lynwood the requirements for obtaining regulatory closure and compelled prior industrial manufacturers to undertake the required cleanup of extensive soil and groundwater contamination at a cost exceeding $12 million.

Represented a municipal landowner working with a major developer to convert a 40-acre site heavily impacted by historic MGP operations to a mixed-use development. Client obtained commitment for a full cleanup, estimated at $25-$40 million, from a major utility.

Trial counsel for the Emeryville Redevelopment Agency in a 7-year process of acquiring, cleaning up, and preparing a highly contaminated 4-acre parcel for redevelopment. Obtained $23 million and fee title through settlements, and a $3 million trial court judgment following an 8-week bench trial.

Led a multi-party cleanup of land heavily contaminated by an industrial accident, including negotiation of financial responsibility among responsible parties, engaging environmental consulting firms in an arduous remediation process, and obtaining "No Further Action" determination from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Counseled developers during the complicated process of remediating highly-contaminated military bases and subsequently redeveloping the sites with multi-use purposes.

Counseled numerous major public and private residential developers engaged in purchasing, remediating, and redeveloping former industrial and urban infill sites with single- and multi-family housing.

Counseled public institutional investors with respect to the redevelopment of fallow sites in dense, intense use urban markets.

Counseled a large municipality in the investigation, remediation, and development of multiple environmentally-impacted properties (and cost recovery for the resulting expenses).

Negotiated the acquisition of dozens of industrial and manufacturing sites across the country and the allocation of liability and responsibility for addressing extensive environmental impacts to soil, soil vapor, and groundwater.

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Represented a metropolitan transit authority in acquisition of environmental impacted property as part of rail line expansion project.

Negotiated hundreds of environmental insurance policies and expert handling of claims tendered pursuant to the policies.

Attorneys &
Paralegals

Name Title City Phone  
Bradish, Margo N. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5101
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Brooks, Preston W. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2223
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Doty, Robert P. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5115
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Hughes, Perry S. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2276
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Waite, David P. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2218
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Walker, Keith B. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2230
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