Michael R. Goldstein, Esq.. Managing Shareholder, The Goldstein Environmental Law Firm, P.A.
Michael R. Goldstein, Managing Shareholder of The Goldstein Environmental Law Firm, P.A., and a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent and Chambers and Partners rated attorney, practices exclusively in the areas of environmental law and environmental redevelopment for a broad range of clients, including retail, residential, and industrial developers, public and private companies, real estate funds, lenders, and local governments. A major aspect of Mr. Goldstein’s environmental legal practice involves support of real estate and business transactions, including managing pre-acquisition and pre-leasing due diligence investigations; structuring, negotiating, and drafting environmental provisions in purchase, lease, and development agreements; and assisting lenders evaluate and limit the risk of exposure to environmental liability in connection with new loans and potential foreclosures. In addition, he works closely and extensively with real estate development principals and engineering, planning, and design professionals to help coordinate federal, state and local regulatory approvals for complex retail, industrial, residential, mixed use, and marina related projects throughout the State of Florida.
As local government smart growth policies have increasingly encouraged developers, builders, lenders, and tenants to restore, recycle and reuse infill sites, Mr. Goldstein has increasingly focused on helping clients navigate the environmental regulatory and third party liability risk issues associated with properties directly or indirectly impacted by discharges of hazardous substances and landfilling of solid waste. 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 and redevelopment 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 dewatering effluent; 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.
Mr. Goldstein’s practice has a heavy emphasis on the remediation, financing, and beneficial reuse of contaminated sites and involves a broad array of Brownfields related transactional, administrative, regulatory, legal, legislative, and policy work for clients in both the private and public sectors. He 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.” On October 28, 2013, Michael was awarded the prestigious Chrysalis Award by the membership of the Florida Brownfields Association at its Annual Brownfields Conference for his “outstanding efforts towards the cleanup and redevelopment of Brownfield properties in the state of Florida,” including “educating the public and elected officials about the Brownfield Program, providing volunteer assistance to Florida communities, advancing legislation that promotes the Brownfield Program through increased incentives and opportunities, extreme volunteer participation in the activities of the Florida Brownfields Association, promoting the state and federal Brownfield Programs, and Brownfield site cleanup.”
Michael is called on frequently to provide training and support for local government based environmental redevelopment efforts and has formally developed and presented brownfield related workshops to elected officials, planning staff, businesses and community stakeholders in the following Florida municipalities: Doral, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Pompano Beach, Sarasota, and St. Petersburg.
Another important element of Michael’s practice is providing environmental regulatory compliance counsel and defense of agency enforcement actions as they relate to the laws governing the generation, handling, storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes. This work routinely involves negotiation of consent agreements and orders with federal, state, and local regulators to address matters involving non-compliance with statutes, regulations, and permits governing the improper handling, storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes. He brings to this process a demonstrated history of transparent, collaborative, productive, and respectful relationships with regulators, regulated community, local government officials, non-government organizations, and community stakeholders to resolve environmental disputes, deescalate conflict, maximize public participation, and ensure that environmental justice considerations are factored into decision-making. Michael also has a demonstrated history of not only developing corporate environmental compliance plans relating to the generation, handling, storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes but also ensuring that corporate employees – at both the management and staff level – understand and successfully implement such plans.