Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP lawyers assist property owners, investors, real estate developers, corporations, and local governments in transforming contaminated lands, mothballed properties, and historic or abandoned mining, railroad, or other industrial/ commercial sites into economically productive and environmentally safe uses that benefit both stakeholders and communities. We use skilled interdisciplinary teams of attorneys experienced in environmental and real estate law to identify and implement creative solutions for these properties. Team members are knowledgeable regarding all aspects of brownfield redevelopment, including ever-changing cleanup standards, institutional controls, federal and state voluntary cleanup requirements, eminent domain issues, financing vehicles, and risk management tools.
We are leaders in developing brownfields for recreation and conservation purposes in the West. Our clients’ projects are located in urban and rural settings throughout the Rocky Mountain region. To make these projects a reality, we work with stakeholders, communities, and numerous federal, state, tribal, and local government agencies.
Team members thoroughly understand the scientific and technical issues of contaminated sites. Some of our lawyers have undergraduate degrees in scientific and technical fields, and others have been educated through many years of litigation and project experience. Our clients routinely rely on us to supervise work performed by technical experts in fields ranging from geology and hydrogeology to engineering and vapor intrusion to risk assessment and toxicology.
We are experienced in techniques to manage risks associated with brownfields. We routinely help clients obtain environmental insurance policies. We negotiate covenants not to sue and similar agreements with regulatory agencies. We are experienced with implementation, monitoring, and enforcement of institutional controls. In fact, one of our team members worked with an industry group and the state attorney general’s office to draft Colorado’s environmental covenant statute. We know the government programs and other mechanisms to fund remediation and redevelopment of these sites.
Effective January 31, 2014, the Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety (Division) promulgated regulations implementing Colorado Revised Statute § 8-20.5-103(9) which established the new Petroleum Cleanup and Redevelopment Fund (Fund). The Fund was created using money the State received in settlement of certain claims related to the Petroleum Storage Tank Fund.
ABA Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee Newsletter
As a practical matter, real estate projects that involve contaminated property, seek to reuse former industrial or transportation sites, or involve development of urban infill sites rarely succeed without a partnership between private and public entities. “Brownfields” projects like these are notable for the differing and often conflicting views of public and private stakeholders. A public-private partnership model is often the most effective approach to accommodate different viewpoints and resolve conflicts among them.
The question of valuing contaminated land arises in a number of situations. Among them are real estate transactions, bankruptcy or probate proceedings, property tax appeals and litigation. Case law, appraisal and valuation standards and commentators address the issues regarding valuation of contaminated land.