The main emphasis of the Firm’s work involves assisting clients navigate the environmental regulatory and third party liability risk issues associated with properties directly or indirectly impacted by soil, groundwater, sediment, and/or vapor contamination. This has included helping clients identify, contract with, and manage environmental and civil engineering firms with the knowledge, expertise, and insurance to work on contaminated construction sites; design and obtain approval of risk based cleanup strategies that minimize the cost and time of assessment and remediation; define and evaluate the additional construction costs that result from properly handling contaminated media, such as excavated soils and dewatered groundwater; integrate cleanup and development strategies to minimize the impact of remediation on the cost, design, permitting, and schedule of construction; ensure that worker health and safety issues are addressed; and coordinate outreach to, and collaboration with, community stakeholders.
The Firm and its lawyers and staff are widely acknowledged as having extensive experience and expertise in the beneficial reuse of contaminated sites in general and accessing the many powerful incentives under Florida’s Brownfields Redevelopment Program in general. Michael Goldstein, the Firm’s managing partner, has developed a national reputation as one of the leading and most innovative Brownfields practitioners in Florida, working on important and precedent establishing projects as well as heading up or participating in numerous local, regional, state, and federal environmental restoration initiatives. On a statewide level, Mr. Goldstein was the founding Chairman of the Florida Brownfields Association and served as its Chairman and/or President for the first five years of the organization’s existence. Mr. Goldstein’s tenure as Chairman and President was distinguished by his commitment to elevating environmental justice and public health as critical areas of emphasis for business, community, regulatory agency, and local government stakeholders. In 1996, the Miami-Dade County Commission appointed him Chairman of the Miami-Dade County Brownfields Task Force, a post that he held until the committee’s business was completed in 2004. In January 2006, Mr. Goldstein was appointed to serve on the Advisory Board of the Bureau of National Affair’s highly respected Environmental Due Diligence Guide, which serves as a national reporting, editorial, and opinion forum for environmental transactions and related Brownfields and policy matters. In 2008, he founded and funded the Goldstein Brownfields Foundation, which is dedicated to empowering economically and health disadvantaged individuals and communities with scholarships, programming, and resources to restore polluted land, revitalize neighborhoods, and protect public health. The Goldstein Brownfields Foundation also focuses on increasing the ethnic and gender diversity of lawyers working in the environmental arena through academic scholarships, educational and career programming, and professional mentoring. In 2009, Mr. Goldstein was appointed to the Executive Committee of the National Brownfields Coalition, an affiliation of private and public sector stakeholders working in the U.S. Congress to advocate for improvements in environmental redevelopment policy and legislation. On May 16, 2013, Michael was awarded the prestigious Brownfields Leadership Award at the U.S. EPA National Brownfields Conference by the National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals for his achievement in and commitment to public private partnerships.
Policy plays a major role in the Firm’s advocacy on behalf of its clients, and the Firm’s lawyers are closely involved in tracking, formulating, and advocating policy and legislative initiatives at the federal, Florida, and local government levels that result in more and better tools and resources to limit exposure to regulatory and legal liability, mitigate construction design, budget, and schedule risk at contaminated construction sites, and provide more effective financing mechanisms and more practical, usable, and significant economic incentives to underwrite the incremental costs typically associated with restoration and reuse of Brownfield sites.