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A major focus of MGKF's transactional practice involves assisting clients with the environmental aspects of real estate development projects. These matters include both developments on unimpacted land, as well as redevelopment of contaminated or other "brownfield" properties. In addition to counseling on site remediation issues, our work covers the full range of environmental challenges that arise during all phases of a real estate project, including property acquisition, management of natural development constraints, and infrastructure permitting. With a strong team of environmental lawyers and in-house technical consultants, MGKF is uniquely suited to guide clients through the often complex environmental issues arising in real estate deals.

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Detailed representative experience can be found on the related subpractice pages. However, as part of site acquisition, we help clients with the following:

  • perform extensive environmental due diligence to identify potential contamination, development constraints, and regulatory compliance issues;
  • negotiate and draft transactional documents such as environmental indemnities and other provisions of agreements of sale, investigation access agreements, and the environmental components of leases and condominium documents;
  • establish governmental cleanup liability protections through Buyer-Seller Agreements, Prospective Purchaser Agreements, and other voluntary tools, as well as agency consent orders and the establishment of statutory protections like the Superfund bona fide prospective purchaser defense;
  • ensure compliance with property transfer laws, such as New Jersey's Industrial Site Recovery Act and Pennsylvania's deed acknowledgment requirements pursuant to the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act and Solid Waste Management Act;
  • obtain financing from banks by addressing environmental lender liability and collateral value issues from both the lender and borrower perspective;
  • apply for and obtain public funding, such as grants and low-interest loans, for brownfield cleanup and infrastructure development from a variety of governmental and quasi-governmental agencies and authorities; and
  • secure environmental insurance coverage, including evaluating indications from competing carriers, coordinating the provision of documents and other information to facilitate the underwriting process, and negotiating policy and endorsement language.

MGKF also counsels clients on identifying and managing natural constraints that can affect development of a property, such as:

  • endangered species regulated by the federal Endangered Species Act and analogous state statutes;
  • historic resources subject to the National Historic Preservation Act and similar state laws; and
  • wetlands or other water bodies under the jurisdiction of the federal Army Corps of Engineers or state agencies.

Further, in conjunction with the client's development team, our attorneys and technical consultants help to address infrastructure development needs for real estate projects, including:

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