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Brownfields

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." The attorneys in Saul Ewing's Brownfields Practice Group 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.

Current Trends Intersect to Form the Perfect Brownfields Marketplace

Several coinciding factors make brownfields projects particularly attractive to owners and potential owners, as well as to the municipalities in which the sites are located. These trends include state and local "Smart Growth" laws, which direct development away from undeveloped areas; increased federal and state funding and an emerging private capital market for brownfields redevelopment; recent legislation and insurance products that facilitate site remediation, decrease cleanup costs and limit associated risks and liabilities; and escalating problems associated with developing "greenfields."

The Art of the Deal: Making It Happen

Brownfields redevelopment projects can be complex, with many potential pitfalls. Our attorneys understand the entrepreneurial spirit and have extensive experience in bringing together the multifaceted elements of a deal to bring it to fruition. Saul Ewing's Brownfields Practice Group 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.

The Political Pulse: A Strategic Partnership

Brownfields projects typically involve unique local issues, which often have a political element. Saul Ewing works with various political lobbying and government relations firms, including two regional firms independently owned and operated by certain Saul Ewing partners -- State Street Advisors and JMM Consulting, Inc. The professionals at such firms read the local and state political landscapes and work with clients to help get the deal done.

Ready to Serve: Experienced Attorneys Throughout the Region

Attorneys in the Brownfields Practice Group are located in nearly every Saul Ewing office and are positioned to serve our clients' regional, as well as local, needs. Our attorneys have successfully combined their skills on several significant brownfields projects in the region. Our attorneys lecture and write frequently on issues related to brownfields. Most important, they are ready to help clients who are in or are now entering the brownfields industry to think and move ahead.

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