28 Looking Ahead 1 (1996-1997)

handle is hein.journals/trends28 and id is 1 raw text is: 






Message rm the Chair
mby Donna R. Black


     want to take this opportunity to
reach out to all of you as members of
the Section by outlining my goals for
the coming year and seeking your sup-
port in achieving these goals. As many
of you are aware, the Section has devel-
oped and is implementing a five-year
Strategic Plan. My overarching objec-
tive as Section Chair is to continue to
implement this plan, as Phil Fleming,
my predecessor, has done before me,
and as Carol Dinkins, Chair-elect of the
Section, will do'after me.
   Phil, Carol, and I, along with the
rest of the Section leadership, are com-
mitted to carrying out the Section's
mission, which is to be the national
forum for lawyers working in areas
affecting natural resources, energy, and
the environment, committed to pro-
viding public services to enhance pro-
fessional skills, development, and dia-
logue. To advance this objective, I
have four primary goals that I hope to
accomplish during the coming year:
   - -Expand outreach to existing
Section members and build and
strengthen our Section by attracting
new members, including law students
and young lawyers.
    Promote.diversity in all of its

 Donna- R. Black is Chair of the Sec-
 tion and a partner with Manatt, Phelps
 & Phillips in Los Angeles.


forms within the Section.
    Make the Section more visible in
our communities through an increased
commitment to public service activities.
   - Further the Section's efforts to
play a larger role in the overall ABA
structure and to increase the Section's
visibility through, among other things,
continuing to host dialogues on
important issues in the environmental,
resources, and energy fields.
   The first goal -member out-
reach-is important because the
Section could not exist without an
active and committed membership.
Outreach efforts will include setting up
additional local networking opportuni-
ties in metropolitan areas to give mem-
bers a chance to become involved in
Section activities at the local level. In
short, I am interested in promoting


programs that will help take the
Section to the members. I am also
strongly encouraging increased use- of
emerging technologies to expand the
Section's Web site and home page and
other opportunities for coiputerized
communications among members.
   I want to provide more opportuni-
ties for members to interact directly
with Section leadership at Section
meetings, in the hope that members
will become more involved in the
Section and take a more active role in
its substantive committees. The
Section has created a Mentoring Task
Force to provide one-on-one -uidance
on becoming more involved, and offers
this benefit to members who wish to'
avail themselves of this opportunity. If
you would like more inforation on
the Mentoring Task Force, please call
Robin Fields at 405/272-1963.
   My second goal is to increase all
aspects of diversity within the Section,
including gender, ethnicity, types of
practice, size of practice, and geo-
graphical dispersion. The Section has
recently formed the Diversity Task
Force (DTF), which has planned a
very active year in 1996-97. Section
officers-and DTF members met togeth-,
er in June for the first time in an all-
day session devoted exclusively to
diversity issues. Plans for the coming
year include developing a directory of
minority lawyers practicing in the

                       Continuedon pane j


Teamwork is Byword at BrownfieIds Transaction Conference

0 by lames T. Price


  he U:S. Environmental Protec-
tion Agency (EPA) and the states are
teaming upwith businesses and com-
munity groups to promote the redevel-
opment of contaminated industrial
properties known as brownfields,',
according to speakers at the National
Brownfields Transaction Conference
held June 18 in Chicago. The confer-
ence, jointly sponsored by the Section
of Natural Resources, Energy, and Envi-
ronmental Law and the EPA, featured
top speakers and panels comprised of
brownfields innovators from EPA, state
governments, private industry, city
governments, and others. Elliott Laws,
EPA assistant administrator, and Timo-
thy Fields, Jr., EPA deputy assistant
administrator, led several discussions.
In one of the conference highlights,
Laws and Fields participated in an

James T. Price is a partner with
Spencer Fane Britt & Browne in Kansas
City, MO.


extended audience question-and-
answer session at which they discussed
recent developments in EPAs brown-
fields initiatives.
   Laws and Fields said that EPA has
undertaken several steps to encourage
persons to buy and sell contaminated
property. EPA has removed tens of
thousands of sites from its CERCLIS
list of potentially contaminated sites.
In addition, EPA has published several
guidance documents to clarify liability
issues surrounding redevelopment of
contaminated property. One is EPAs
guidance dn prospective purchaser
agreements, which is designed to elim-
inate much of the retroactive liability
concerns associated with purchasing
contaminated property. Other policies
and guidance address liability issues
for owners of property containing con-
taminated aquifers, land use in remedy
selection, so-called comfort letters for
transfers of federally owned property,
lender liability issues, risk-based cor-
rective action, and other topics. These
all are part of EPAS brownfields action
agenda announced in january 1995.
Additionally, EPA has awarded 60


brownfields pilot grants to states, local
governments, and tribes.
   One of the Clinton administration's
iost recent broufields initiatives is a
proposed tax incentive for investment
ii brownfields sites. This proposal was
discussed by EPA representatives and
by Val Strehlow of the U.S.
Department of Treasuiy.
   Economic development incentives
are an important component of suc-
cessful brownfields projects, said Kent'
Carlson, vice president of Ryan
Companies of Minnesota, a real estate
development firm. Carlson discussed
his companys success in redeveloping
the Twin Lakes Corporate Center, an
office complex located at a former
vehicle repair and manufacturing facil-
ity near Minneapolis. Henry
Henderson, commissioner of the
Chicago Department of Environment.,
said his city's brownfields pilot pro-
gram successfully had redeveloped five
brownfields sites for less than $1 mil-
lion, and the city had found that prop-
erties frequently were less contaminat-
ed than originally feared. City govern-
                       continued on pae 7


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