American Bar Association
Environmental Transactions and Brownfields
American Bar Association Energy and Resources Committees

Environmental Transactions and Brownfields

Message From the Chair

Welcome to the webpage of the Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee, fondly referred to as ETAB.

According to our official description, ETAB “works on environmental issues that arise in business, energy or real estate transactions, including M&A deals, asset-based transactions, fossil and renewable energy projects, and remediation and redevelopment of brownfields. Substantive areas include: liability protection, transfer and apportionment; parent/successor liability; lender liability; insurance; incentive programs (e.g., VCPs, BCPs, S-RECs, TIFs); deal structure and finance.”

As you can see, this is a pretty broad list of substantive areas, not to mention acronyms. The core issues of our committee – deals and Brownfields – are found throughout the country, regardless of geography or jurisdiction. Every deal is different, and every Brownfield has its own challenges. And we like it that way.

As I noted in my first “chair column” for our newsletter, this breadth of topic and practitioner is one of the strengths of ETAB. My goal as chair is to encourage the exchange of ideas from lawyers from all across the country and from all different types of practice as we come together to figure out a better way to get deals done and Brownfields remediated and redeveloped.

In the coming months, we will increasing the resources available on this web-page. We will also be letting you know about upcoming webinars and committee calls on topics of interest to ETAB members. Let us know what matters to you and what you want to talk about. Let us know how this webpage can be more useful. Let us know what is working and what isn’t. This is your committee, and we want to be relevant to what you do on a daily basis.

My email is Thanks for being an ETAB member, for checking out the ETAB webpage, and for sharing your thoughts.

Pamela Elkow
2014-2015 Chair, Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee
ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources


Committee Description

The ETAB Committee works on environmental issues that arise in business, energy or real estate transactions, including M&A deals, asset-based transactions, fossil and renewable energy projects, and remediation and redevelopment of brownfields. Substantive areas include: liability protection, transfer and apportionment; parent/successor liability; lender liability; insurance; incentive programs (e.g., VCPs, BCPs, S-RECs, TIFs); deal structure and finance.

Hot News

3/19/2015 - Connecticut Announces $7.5 Million for New Brownfield Remediation and Redevelopment Statewide

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced that the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DEDC) has up to $7.5 million is available for a new round of grant funding for remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites across the state. The new funding will be available under the state Brownfield Redevelopment Program, and that grant applicants can request up to $2 million for remediation projects and up to $200,000 for assessment projects. The Malloy administration says that it has allocated more than $110 in state funding for brownfield remediation and redevelopment.

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3/19/2015 - New York Governor Cuomo Proposes Further Revisions to State Brownfield Cleanup Program

As part of his executive budget proposal for 2015, Governor Andrew Cuomo included over 40 pages of amendments to the New York Brownfield Cleanup Program. These proposed revisions come in a long series of proposed revisions based on ongoing debate over the state program, originally adopted in 2003. State Comptroller Thomas Dinapoli has been a vocal critic of the program, stating that the program will reduce tax revenue by $3.3 billion and ranking the program “among the most generous in the nation.”

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3/19/2005 - Brooklyn’s Large Scale Redevelopment Project Opens a Public Park

After decades as an abandoned brownfield, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) created a plan in 2009 for several large-scale redevelopment projects along the waterfront of Sunset Park in Brooklyn, New York. Since that time, the area has been redeveloped into industry and high-rent establishments as part of the largest brownfield grant award by the state, up to that date. This past November, a green space called Bush Terminal Park opened to the public. The park represents a neighborhood’s struggle to create a waterfront park amidst the EDC’s large-scale development, and provides panoramic views of the New York harbor.

Read More.

3/19/2015 - New Jersey Senate Condemns Gov. Christie’s $255 Settlement with Exxon Mobil in a $8.9 Billion Oil Refinery Spill Case

The New Jersey Senate passed a unanimous resolution (SCR 158) condemning the Gov. Chris Christie (R) administration’s acceptance of a $225 million settlement to resolve a decades-long $8.9 billion case against Exxon Mobil. The litigation began in 2004 and 2005, when New Jersey sued Exxon under the Spill Compensation and Control Act for environmental damages at two oil refinery sites Exxon an its predecessors ran from 1909 to 1972 in Bayonne and Bayway, New Jersey. Christie’s office explained that this is the single largest settlement from a corporate defender in New Jersey history, but the state legislature believes the settlement fails to address “decades-long contamination of important ecological resources surrounding major metropolitan areas, and doesn't fairly compensate the state for cleanup.”

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3/19/2015 - Indiana Voluntary Cleanup Program Participants Allegedly Take Advantage of Protections to Delay Cleanup

The City of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard alleged in a letter to state regulators that owners of polluted industrial sites are hiding behind the legal protections of a state voluntary cleanup program to delay remedial work. Upon review of dozens of voluntary remediation sites, the City concluded that more than 20 sites had been in the program for over 10 years, many of which did not yet have cleanup plans in place. By state law, program participants have 6 months to submit their cleanup plans, but an investigation in 2007 found that the average was 22 months, and 35 sites had no plans in place after 5 years in the program. Ballard stated that program applicants are “taking advantage of its protections without fulfilling their corresponding duties to the public.”

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3/19/2015 - Commercial Development Company Inc. Purchases and Plans to Redevelop a 425-Acre Steel Mill in Delaware, Plans Environmental Remediation Under State Voluntary Cleanup Program

On February 10, 2015, Commercial Development Company Inc. (CDC), a leading North American commercial real estate and brownfield redevelopment company, announced that it had acquired a 425-acre former steel mill in Claymont, Delaware from steel manufacturer Evraz. The facility had been home to steel manufacturing operations for nearly a century, and suffers from groundwater contamination and other environmental hazards. CDC, along with its affiliates, will assume responsibility for legacy environmental liabilities associated with the site, and will undertake a series of remediation projects expected to take 2 years to complete. The company is working with the Delaware Department of Environmental Resources and Environmental Concerns (DENREC) to finalize the remediation plan under the state’s voluntary cleanup program, and expects to position the site for new vertical development purposes.

Read More.

3/19/2015 - U.S. DOE Funds Tribal Communities’ Renewable Energy and Energy Retrofit Projects

As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to partner with Tribal Nations, the U.S. Department of Energy announced on March 16, 2015 that it has chosen 11 tribal communities to receive nearly $6 million to accelerate renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects on tribal lands. The funding will be leveraged by nearly $7.5 million in cost shared by the selected tribes, totaling an investment of $13.5 million. Projects include a 76.9 kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians (Palm Springs, CA), energy efficiency upgrades at a utility plant owned by Oneida Nation of New York (Oneida, NY), a 172 kilowatt solar PV system for solar water heating at the gymnasium, wastewater treatment facility, and wastewater holding tank of the Tonto Apache Tribe (Payson, AZ), and a 636 kilowatt PV system at five Sitting Bull College buildings of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (Fort Yates, ND).

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ETAB Links of Interests



Elkow, Pamela

Committee Roster  

Committee Related Events and Notices

View upcoming committee related events and notices of interest.

2014-2015 Committee Leadership

View the full roster of Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee leadership.

Brownfields Websites by States

Modified by Dana Jonusaitis on March 20, 2015

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