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Environmental Cleanups, Brownfields, and Contaminated Properties


Spencer Fane Environmental attorneys routinely guide developers, lenders, and businesses, as well as public and quasi-public entities, through the legal intricacies related to environmental cleanups and the redevelopment of Brownfields and contaminated properties, helping to transition potentially burdensome properties into successful redevelopments.

When examining a client’s industrial or commercial site with the potential for reuse, our attorneys look to identify legacy environmental concerns and potential issues related to the cleanup and redevelopment, including matters related to financing, applications, and regulatory compliance. This all-encompassing approach helps meet not just immediate needs but also positions those involved for success over the long-term. Along this path, we prioritize cost-effective client solutions at every turn, working to avoid unnecessary delays and expenses as these complex projects move forward.

Our attorneys have direct experience working in key regulatory agencies and have worked to develop strong relationships with key stakeholders related to environmental redevelopment projects. This allows us to provide valuable insight to clients, including a thorough understanding of how federal and state regulators think and the ability to recognize which redevelopment programs are viable options.

We then draw on our experience to lead successful negotiations that create meaningful relationships between clients and regulators, government officials, and community leaders. These communications are key to the success of environmental cleanups and redevelopments.

The Spencer Fane Environmental Cleanups, Brownfields and Contaminated Properties team can lead clients through the entire cleanup and redevelopment process, including the transaction, financing, land-use planning, regulatory approval, and remediation to further the development or disposition of properties. We represent clients in all manner of environmental cleanup sites, including RCRA corrective action, CERCLA, state voluntary programs, and Brownfields, often demonstrating that practical cleanups are possible and to persuade regulators to accept proposals.

Additionally we are involved in the transfer of surplus federal properties, routinely assisting clients in navigating the base realignment and closure (BRAC) and federal property disposal requirements.

Representative Experience

  • Represented a city in the process of redeveloping a Brownfield, resulting in a new, $4 billion development that brought many jobs to the community.
  • Represented a private entity in turning an abandoned and dangerous site into a development that brought restaurants and apartments — and, in turn, jobs — to a previously struggling area.
  • Represented the owner of a contaminated area in redeveloping thousands of acres in an urban core, creating a community park and residences that paved the way for a new school.
  • Represented a branch of the U.S. military in redeveloping a contaminated site into an entertainment center.
  • Assisted client in reuse of former EPA Superfund site with heavy metal smelting operations into commercial redevelopment in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood
  • Handled negotiations on behalf of aircraft manufacturer for property with legacy chlorinated solvent impact converted into commercial retail development project