Category: Development/Redevelopment

David J. Freeman and Matthew J. Sinkman to Chair Panels at Upcoming Superfund/Brownfield Program Update 2022

David J. Freeman and Matthew J. Sinkman of the Gibbons Environmental Group will serve as Panel Chairs at the upcoming annual Superfund/Brownfield Program Update 2022, presented by the Environmental & Energy Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The program will take place virtually on December 7, 2022. Mr. Freeman, Co-Chair of the conference, will moderate a panel regarding developments in the federal Superfund program over the past year. Mr. Sinkman will moderate a panel regarding renewable energy issues and the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP). An outstanding faculty of government officials, attorneys, and consultants will participate on these panels as well as panels regarding statutory amendments to the BCP and proposed changes to BCP regulations, affordable housing issues, and a case law update. Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) and NYLCV Education Fund, will be the Keynote Speaker and discuss the results of the 2022 elections and what they mean for New York’s environmental agenda. You can register for this timely program by clicking here.

NAIOP-NJ’s Public Policy Symposium

Gibbons P.C. is proud to serve as Event Sponsor for NAIOP-NJ’s Public Policy Symposium, on March 23, 2022 at the Carpenters Apprentice Training Center in Edison, NJ. We hope that you can join us and the greater NAIOP-NJ membership as we hear from the new Senate and Assembly leadership teams, along with the Mayors of Newark and Paterson, and the development community as they discuss how to keep New Jersey prosperous and growing. To register: NAIOP New Jersey – Public Policy Symposium (1 Credit) (wildapricot.org).

In a Case of First Impression in the Second Circuit, the District Court Clarifies When the Statute of Limitations Begins to Run on a Natural Resource Damages Claim Under CERLCA

A case that shares the elements of a crime thriller – massive illegal dumping of toxic construction debris in a public park and playground, corrupt public officials, a special grand jury investigation and criminal prosecutions – has broken new ground on when the statute of limitations runs on a natural resource damages claim. Seggos v. Datre, a case relating to the closure of a public park in an environmental justice area due to illegal dumping of hazardous waste, will proceed now that a federal judge has rejected a request brought by 17 law firms to find that it had been filed too late. The complaint in the case, pending in the U.S. District Court the Eastern District of New York, alleged that in 2013 and 2014, tens of thousands of tons of construction and demolition debris and related waste (“C&D”) were dumped in Roberto Clemente Park (“Park”) in the hamlet of Brentwood, New York, an environmental justice community located in the Town of Islip on Long Island. The C&D was brought to the Park from construction sites throughout the New York City metropolitan area. The New York Attorney General, suing on behalf of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Commissioner and the State of New York (together, the “State”), brought the case to...

David J. Freeman Co-Authors Article for Bloomberg News on the Future of New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program

David J. Freeman, a Director in the Gibbons P.C. Environmental Group, has co-authored an article with Lawrence P. Schnapf for Bloomberg Law on New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP). The two authors, who co-chair the New York State Bar Association’s Brownfields Task Force, are well positioned to offer insights on the future of the program. The tax credit provisions of the BCP, a key feature of the highly successful program, are scheduled to expire at the end of this year. New York Governor Kathy Hochul has supported efforts to expand and reauthorize the tax credit provisions. The article describes the current tax credit provisions and the key features of Governor Hochul’s proposal, which would result in a ten-year extension of the BCP tax credits. The article also describes changes to the BCP program recommended by other interested stakeholders and in bills introduced by the legislature in last year’s session. The article notes that, while a positive step, the Governor’s proposed reforms “fall short of the changes recommended by the New York State Bar Association, community groups, and developers, and in bills introduced in last year’s legislative session.” Noting that developments in the next two months may impact the shape of BCP for the next ten years, the authors recommend that interested stakeholders make their voices...

Jennifer Phillips Smith Named Co-Chair of Gibbons Real Property Group

Gibbons P.C. is pleased to announce that Jennifer Phillips Smith has been named Co-Chair of the firm’s Real Property Group, effective February 1, 2022. She joins Co-Chair Douglas J. Janacek, who has been a leader of the Real Property Group for over a dozen years. Ms. Smith is lead land use attorney on several of New Jersey’s largest, most high-profile development and redevelopment projects, which garner extensive media coverage. Examples include a $2.5 billion redevelopment, which is being called the “largest mixed-use development site in New Jersey’s history,” the transformation of the Asbury Park Waterfront, and the repositioning of a former manufacturing and office site, named “Mixed-Use Deal of the Year” by the leading statewide commercial real estate development association. As Co-Chair of the Real Property Group, she will work with Mr. Janacek in overseeing the work of group attorneys and managing group activities and workload, including fees and billings, matter management, case staffing, associate training and broader professional development, client relations, and business development. In her legal practice, Ms. Smith helps businesses in New Jersey expand and optimize the reach of their markets and operations through the development and redevelopment of real property for their facilities, directing project and case strategies, guiding teams, and serving as primary Gibbons contact broadly responsible for these client...

Gibbons Environmental Director David J. Freeman: “A ‘Bridge Builder’ Whose Vision Came to Fruition,” Featured in New York City Brownfield Partnership Interview

In June 2021, Gibbons Director David J. Freeman received the Distinguished Service Award from the New York City Brownfield Partnership, an organization he co-founded. Further honoring David for his extensive contributions to environmental law and the development of brownfields policy, the Partnership published an engaging and wide-ranging interview of David. In the interview, David describes how the Partnership’s goal of creating a bridge between the private sector and the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation, which David developed with his co-founder, Dr. Daniel Walsh, grew over 15 years to include pro bono work, internships, and scholarships. The Partnership’s contributions to shaping brownfields law helped vitalize the Brownfield Opportunity Area initiative with its focus on neighborhood revitalization and community outreach. With the current focus at the federal and state levels on environmental justice for disadvantaged communities, the Brownfield Opportunity Area initiative has taken on an even more critical role.

NJDEP Unveils Resiliency Planning Toolkit

On February 2, 2021, Governor Phil Murphy signed P.L. 2021 c. 6, which requires municipalities to incorporate assessments of climate change hazards into Master Plan Land Use Elements adopted after its enactment. No doubt many municipal officials, faced with tight budgets and heavy obligations, greeted this news with trepidation. However, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has come to the rescue with an extensive and well-designed online toolkit. The launch of the toolkit was announced by NJDEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette on June 10 at the New Jersey Planning and Redevelopment Conference. The toolkit provides detailed guidance to assist communities in developing and implementing public processes to assess local vulnerabilities and create strategies to address them. It provides step-by-step procedures for creating teams to engage local stakeholders in defining their vision and developing plans to gather data, assess vulnerabilities, and develop strategies. Each section of the toolkit provides useful training modules, prototype documents and templates, and links to critical informational resources. The final section assists in tracking progress and contains links to federal and state sites providing information on funding and financing options. The toolkit is comprehensive, flexible, and user-friendly. It will be invaluable to municipalities in meeting their statutory obligations. It also provides a valuable model for other states, regional planning agencies, and...

Gibbons Director David J. Freeman Receives Distinguished Service Award From New York City Brownfield Partnership

David J. Freeman, a Director in the Environmental Group of Gibbons P.C., has been honored by the New York City Brownfield Partnership (NYCBP) as the 2021 recipient of the organization’s Distinguished Service Award. The Award promotes excellence in brownfield redevelopment each year by honoring an individual who has made a significant impact on brownfield redevelopment in New York City.