Former Aerospace Industry Manufacturer
Context: Settlement Discussions / Litigation
A commercial developer acquired a highly contaminated industrial site under the Brownfields law known as the California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act (CLRRA). After acquiring the property, the developer sought cost recovery from the previous property owner for the response costs and legal fees, and filed a federal lawsuit under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The developer sought cost estimates for all future cleanup activities, since the work prior to the litigation had predominantly involved site-characterization activities.
TerraSure Development, LLC provided the client with a Guaranteed Fixed-Price Remediation (GFPR)-contract, which satisfied the regulatory agency’s directives and allowed for expedited site development under the CLRRA agreement. Our firm addressed several data gaps by conducting subsurface investigations, both on site and on the adjacent property, and was able to provide a GFPR letter-of-intent within 60 days.
Throughout the litigation and settlement discussions, our firm provided support to the client’s counsel by evaluating various cleanup technologies and time frames for the remediation, as well as cleanup costs for a variety of redevelopment alternatives. The cleanup cost scenarios were ultimately used to reach settlement with the responsible party.
Involving our firm early in the litigation allowed the client to use the certainty of a GFPR- contract, under the preferred development alternative, to negotiate a settlement. Negotiation resulted in the previous owner taking full responsibility for cleanup costs and third-party liability.