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The Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers Environmental group provides a breadth of experience in environmental risk management and enforcement, real estate development and permitting and conservation law. Most matters are resolved through effective negotiation and mediation, but if litigation is necessary, our trial attorneys have many years of trial experience and a reputation for thorough preparation and effective advocacy before judges and juries.

Our attorneys develop strategies and manage the process of obtaining environmental impact clearance, federal, state and local environmental permits, chapter 91 tidelands licenses, conducting oil and hazardous materials cleanups and response actions under chapter 21E and federal law and resolving environmental enforcement actions. Our litigation experience includes contaminated properties, landfills, transfer stations, permitting appeals, indemnity and contribution actions.

We often advise on Brownfield redevelopment projects, including the review, negotiation and drafting of environmental indemnities, environmental risk transfer agreements, environmental insurance, and environmental cost recovery actions, as well as the best options for taking advantage of brownfields tax credit programs. Additionally, we are experienced with conservation and historic preservation restrictions. Our lawyers also have over 25 years of experience working with municipalities and redevelopment authorities.

Our clients include real estate developers, investors, lenders, family-owned and closely held businesses, educational institutions, municipalities and governmental agencies.

Representative Experience

  • Conceived and structured the environmental liability transfer arrangements for and negotiated manuscripted, $10 million environmental liability insurance policies with each of Kemper, Zurich and AIG which permitted the successful redevelopment of Kendall Square, Cambridge MA, a 10-acre former manufactured gas plant adjacent to MIT. Subsequently, this property won the 2006 US EPA Phoenix Award for best Brownfield redevelopment in America.
  • Negotiated the first lease recognition and tenant non-disturbance agreement ever entered into by DEP allowing a 21E super lien to be placed on property while leaving a commercial tenant in place.
  • Drafted critical portions of the 2007 Act Restoring the Exemption from Chapter 91 Licensing for Landlocked Tidelands.  This took place on the heels of the Supreme Judicial Court invalidating the DEP regulatory exemption of landlocked tidelands from licensing. Subsequently guided the litigation strategy for the case (Moot II) in which the SJC upheld the 2007 Act against a challenge that it violated the public trust doctrine, allowing the North Point project to be sold in 2010.
  • Through litigation, obtained an approximate $13,000,000 summary judgment award on behalf of a municipality. The award, one of the largest in the state, arose from the enforcement of a landfill host community agreement that was nearly fifteen years old.
  • Represented two separate municipalities in obtaining multi-million dollar settlements relating to landfill operations in their communities.
  • Advise numerous clients on potential vapor intrusion sites under review by DEP.
  • Produced and implemented the strategy for the successful expedited permitting of Edgewood, the first major 40R smart growth project brought to market in Massachusetts. This 400-unit residential apartment complex is located on a portion of a former state hospital property. The rezoning of the property for by-right redevelopment received a unanimous Town Meeting vote.
  • Represented a municipality against indemnity and contribution claims relating to a contamination site affecting an approximate 90 home community.
  • Developed key elements of, and key evidence convincing the Legislature to adopt, the Expedited Permitting Act of 2006, including the Permitting Session of the Land Court and revisions to chapter 40A, the Massachusetts Zoning Act, to prevent appeals from blocking the effectiveness of Special Permits.
  • Assisted a homeowner whose basement was filled with over 200 gallons of oil as a result of a company’s improper delivery.
  • Created and implemented the strategy allowing the redevelopment of a property with an ongoing, active 21E site controlled by a third party, resulting in the successful completion in early 2010 of a 300,000 sq. ft. LEED Gold complex on Route 128, which was fully leased by the fall of 2010.
  • Negotiated landfill mitigation agreements and host payments for municipalities.
  • Negotiated numerous consent orders with DEP.
  • Served as pro bono counsel for a local land trust, structuring and closing numerous transactions (including both outright acquisitions and conservation restrictions with public trail rights) resulting in the permanent open space preservation of over 530 acres of land between 2000 and 2010.
  • Advise Harvard University on regulatory compliance for accelerated remediation of 21E sites.
  • Represented a municipality in lengthy permitting hearings for a contested new transfer station in an environmental justice community.
  • Obtained expedited MEPA clearance and chapter 91 license amendment allowing fast-track completion of a public walkway over Broad Canal in Cambridge, MA.
  • Represented contractor in landfill construction litigation.

Environmental Group

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