Helping Clients Realize the Potential of Brownfields Opportunities
State and federal governments are actively encouraging the cleanup and re-use of environmentally impaired sites, known as "brownfields." Saul Ewing attorneys help owners and prospective owners realize the potential of these abandoned or underutilized sites with interdisciplinary legal services to facilitate brownfields redevelopment projects for clients in both the private and public sectors.
Brownfields projects can be attractive to owners, potential owners, and municipalities due to state and local "Smart Growth" laws, which direct development away from undeveloped areas; federal and state funding as well as private capital; insurance products that facilitate site remediation, decrease cleanup costs and limit associated risks and liabilities; and problems associated with developing "greenfields."
Brownfields redevelopment projects can be complex, with many potential pitfalls. Saul Ewing's Brownfields Practice offers clients a single, coordinated resource for the range of legal services that are typically needed on a brownfields project. These include providing advice on the following:
- Real Estate—land-use approvals; negotiating and executing the transaction.
- Environmental—state and local clean-up approvals for cost-effective cleanups; the merits of risk-reduction insurance products; retention and management of environmental technical professionals; cleanup requirements.
- Public Finance—financing from federal and/or state funding sources.
- Tax—strategies to secure available tax advantages for the project.
- Business—the appropriate business structure for the transaction; labor and employment.
- Public Utilities—licenses, permits, and certificates of public convenience; development of governmental and private projects; applications for security and infrastructure development grants and loans.
Brownfields projects typically involve unique local issues, which often have a political element. Saul Ewing attorneys work with political lobbying and government relations firms, such as State Street Advisors (independently owned and operated by certain Saul Ewing partners) and Harris Jones & Malone, LLC. The professionals at such firms read the local and state political landscapes and work with clients to help bring the deal to completion.