Prevas moderates panel on responsible brownfields development
Tom Prevas, an associate in Saul Ewing’s Environment and Natural Resources Practice, moderated a panel hosted by the University of Baltimore Journal of Land Use and Development on responsible development with a special focus on the large mini-city planned for Port Covington (in South Baltimore) by Sagamore Development Company, an offshoot of Under Armour. At the heart of the conversation was the $500 million Tax Increment Financing deal between Baltimore and Sagamore, whether it went far enough to address housing and the environment. The environmental panel included Barbara Brown, the head brownfields regulator for the Maryland Department of Environment, Christopher Croft, head of the Baltimore Chapter of the Sierra Club, Dana Cooper, former general counsel to the Baltimore City Bureau of Solid Waste and Anthony Williams, an activist on behalf of low income and homeless people.
A key takeaway from the environmental panel was whether cities who issue TIFs covering Brownfields should use their leverage to require more environmental remediation than minimally required under the State Voluntary Clean-up Program. An example of this would have been a requirement that Sagamore install barriers or other mitigation measures to limit the outflow of trash and litter in the Patapsco River, which passes Port Covington shortly before the river merges with the Baltimore Harbor at Fort McHenry. Such a TIF requirement, although not contemplated by the Maryland Voluntary Clean-up Program, would have helped Baltimore City achieve its limits for total maximum daily load of trash entering Baltimore Harbor.
To access the presentation, click here.