Beveridge & Diamond’s site remediation practice helps industrial, commercial, and governmental clients manage potential liabilities associated with contaminated soil and groundwater at both currently owned facilities and properties being considered for purchase. Many properties exhibiting petroleum or hazardous substance contamination never become the subject of formal federal or state cleanup actions, but they remain a source of potential liability and interfere with facility expansion or property redevelopment. Based on its decades of experience in the environmental area, the Firm is able to advise its clients on the magnitude of potential problems, work with regulatory officials and site remediation contractors to address problems in the most timely and cost-effective manner possible, take advantage of available funding or tax benefits and liability releases for voluntary cleanup or “brownfields” projects, and promote facility expansion, reuse, or redevelopment without undue delay. We can also help negotiate liability transfer agreements and associated finite risk/remediation cost cap insurance policies to manage financial risks.
Both companies and public entities can find themselves owners, or prospective owners, of property that contains elevated levels of petroleum or hazardous substances as a result of historical or ongoing industrial or commercial activities. Most properties fitting this description never become the subject of federal or state cleanup activities, but they remain a source of potential liability and interfere with facility expansion or property redevelopment.
Because of its extensive experience in the environmental area, Beveridge & Diamond is uniquely equipped to help clients:
- understand what levels of petroleum or hazardous substances are potential problems under federal and state law, and which are not;
- work with regulatory officials and site remediation contractors to address any problems in the most timely and cost-effective manner possible;
- devise strategies to minimize the impact of potentially applicable hazardous waste regulatory requirements on the management of remediation waste;
- identify and contract with site remediation contractors;
- explain site issues to financing sources;
- promote facility expansion, reuse, or redevelopment without undue delay;
- take advantage of any available funding, state or federal liability releases, tax credits, or other benefits for “brownfields” projects or voluntary remediation;
- negotiate liability transfer agreements that shift remediation obligations to a third party, backed by finite risk/remediation cost cap insurance policies;
- obtain reimbursement of some or all cleanup costs from the entities that caused or contributed to the petroleum or hazardous substance release; and
- evaluate the availability of, and pursue as appropriate, insurance coverage and contractual indemnification claims.
Given our more than 30 years of experience working on Superfund cleanups, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrective action sites, smaller-scale voluntary remediations, and environmental issues associated with major commercial and residential developments, Beveridge & Diamond is optimally suited to help its clients maximize the value of their environmentally impaired assets.
- Beveridge & Diamond represented the City of Oakland, California, in connection with the successful early transfer to the City of the former Oakland Army Base. We worked closely with a technical consulting firm to persuade the Department of the Army, two California state agencies, the California Governor, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and two competitive insurance carriers to accept a "brownfields approach" to the pre-cleanup transfer of the base. We negotiated agreements with the Army and another local government entity regarding the terms and conditions of the transfer, including the scope of and responsibility for extensive environmental remediation activities. This project also required negotiation of a base-specific environmental insurance policy with both pollution legal liability and remediation cost cap components that was crucial to enabling the transaction to proceed. The brownfields solution broke through more than a decade of regulatory gridlock and allowed our client to complete its transfer of the property.
- When the sale of a shopping center was threatened by discovery of historic dry cleaning chemical contamination, Beveridge & Diamond successfully navigated the Maryland Voluntary Cleanup Program requirements to obtain for the seller the "no further requirements" determination necessary to salvage the deal. The Firm also has advised a variety of other property owners and potential buyers in numerous states on whether to pursue a voluntary cleanup program and how to do so, working together to develop the best strategy to assess and control the risk of historic contamination.
- Beveridge & Diamond successfully obtained brownfields tax incentives qualification for an office building that replaced a contaminated commercial facility in a suburban growth corridor, addressing complex questions of first impression for a state brownfields program.
- Beveridge & Diamond represents a former federal contractor defending against the first of its type contribution or cost recovery action by the Army Corps of Engineers under its Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP), while simultaneously working with the client and the government to develop the most sensible and cost effective remedial action for the contamination at issue: historic radiological contamination from the nation's atomic energy program.