PFAS Forum Date Change: Now September 9-11


PFAS Legal Issues

Moderator: Frank Hearne, Esq., Shareholder, Mechanik Nuccio Hearne & Wester, P. A.


Panelists:

Howard Nelson, Esq., Partner, Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod, LLP

Robyn D. Neely, Esq., Partner, Akerman, LLP

Ron Noble, Esq., Shareholder, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

Michael R. Goldstein, Esq., Managing Shareholder, The Goldstein Environmental Law Firm, P.A

Moderator

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Frank Hearne, Esq

Frank Hearne, Esq., Shareholder, Mechanik Nuccio Hearne & Wester, P. A.

Bio

Frank L. Hearne is a shareholder in the firm of Mechanik Nuccio Hearne & Wester, P.A., in Tampa, Florida where he practices exclusively environmental law. In addition to his legal credentials, Mr. Hearne holds an undergraduate degree in engineering focused on water resources and a master’s degree in zoology focused on aquatic and estuarine ecology.  Mr. Hearne’s engineering and scientific training enables him to better comprehend the many technical aspects of his work such as geohydrology, assessment and remediation strategies, complex organic chemistry and other topics. A substantial portion of his legal practice over more than 35 years has been to advise public and private clients involving contaminated sites including cleanup programs in Florida and other states, federal Superfund sites, Brownfield designation and financial benefits, Brownfield Site Rehabilitation Agreements, site assessment, remedial action, risk assessment and monitoring, Site Rehabilitation Completion Orders, restrictive covenants implementing institutional and engineering controls, negotiation of environmental insurance coverage and assertion and collection of environmental insurance claims.


His experience also includes many types of properties such as former and permitted landfill sites, golf courses, industrial facilities, petroleum production and refining facilities, mines, dry cleaning and underground tank sites, automobile dealerships, rental car sites, wood treating sites, waste and wastewater treatment plants and many others which can be discussed in detail upon request. Representative recent sites include redevelopment of a large ground transportation site on a permitted landfill in Pinellas County, a manufactured gas plant and adjacent property in Tampa, the Delaney Creek Brownfield Redevelopment Area at a former battery recycling site, the “Pink Palace” Hotel in Bradenton, the Jacksonville Raceway site, the Former Wellcraft Boat Manufacturing Facility in Sarasota, the Tampa IKEA Store and the Avion Project consisting of several hotels and office buildings near the Tampa airport. He has extensive experience in all the major federal and state environmental regulatory programs including rule making, permitting and enforcement defense.  


Over many years, he has been repeatedly named to several independent lists of outstanding environmental lawyers in the state and nation including, The Best Lawyers in America and Florida “Super Lawyers.” Mr. Hearne is a member of the Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Section, the Florida Bar Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section and is on the Board of Directors of the Florida Brownfields Association. Personal and professional references are available upon request.

Panelists

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Howard Nelson, Esq.

Howard Nelson, Esq., Partner, Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod, LLP

Bio

Howard has more than 25 years of experience in environmental law and land development. He represents clients throughout all phases of the development process from site location through permitting and construction, as well as in permit appeals and defense of environmental enforcement matters.  Howard represents several national homebuilders throughout Florida and the eastern United States in pre-acquisition site analysis and post-acquisition remediation. He works closely with a network of environmental professionals, including engineers and planners. He also represents a variety of other types of businesses in contamination assessment and remediation.   Howard has extensive experience representing clients in complex wetland matters, including issues related to protected and sensitive wetlands, preservation efforts and enforcement defense. 

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Robyn D. Neely, Esq.

Robyn D. Neely, Esq., Partner, Akerman, LLP

Bio

Robyn Neely focuses her practice on environmental site contamination issues related to real estate and corporate sales and acquisitions, and leases, including pre-acquisition, pre-leasing and pre-foreclosure due diligence analysis. Her practice also includes managing the investigation and remediation of contaminated properties and brownfield redevelopment including innovative solutions to risk management with risk based corrective actions. Her clients include private equity firms, homebuilders, residential apartment developers, hotels and resorts, lenders, international manufacturers, cell tower developers and service providers, municipal governments, and REITs throughout the United States.


Robyn’s comprehensive environmental experience includes the assessment and remediation of sites impacted by arsenic, petroleum, chlorinated solvents, chlorinated pesticides, PCBs, asbestos, and radon, and involves risk-based closures and other alternative strategies for site closure, as well as environmental compliance matters including defense of enforcement actions under CERCLA, RCRA and state environmental laws. Her experience also has included industrial wastewater, air quality, landfills and hazardous waste. In consultation with engineers, geologists, and other technical experts, she assists with environmental due diligence, compliance and risk assessments and develops practical and cost-effective strategies to address existing contamination, or environmental violations.

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Ron Noble, Esq.

Ron Noble, Esq., Shareholder, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

Bio

Ron H. Noble represents clients in all areas of environmental due diligence, permitting and regulatory compliance. Other practice areas he has experience in include hazardous and solid waste regulation, wastewater treatment enforcement and permitting, environmental representation for land use and zoning matters, petroleum storage systems and negotiation of consent orders and related environmental enforcement actions with local agencies, DEP, EPA and the Department of Justice.


His representations include coordination with the full spectrum of local, state and federal regulatory agencies. Additional areas include representation of potentially responsible parties identified by EPA under CERCLA, environmental due diligence for real property acquisitions and advise clients with respect to regulatory compliance in the following areas: Clean Water Act (CWA), Superfund (CERCLA), RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act). Underground storage tanks, Asbestos and PCBs.


Ron has garnered an AV® Preeminent distinction, the highest available mark for professional excellence from Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Ratings. He is listed as a leading Environmental lawyer in Florida by Chambers USA®, has been consecutively named to The Best Lawyers in America® list since 2008 and named to the Florida Super Lawyers list each year since 2006.

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Michael R. Goldstein, Esq

Michael R. Goldstein, Esq., Managing Shareholder, The Goldstein Environmental Law Firm, P.A

Bio

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.


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. 

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Laurel Lockett, Esq.

Laurel Lockett, Esq., Shareholder, Carlton Fields

Bio

Laurel Lockett practices in the areas of environmental law and commercial real estate. She has substantial experience with cleanup, purchase, sale and redevelopment of brownfields and other contaminated sites, including manuscripting of environmental insurance policies and other creative solutions to risk management, including risk based corrective action and alternative closure strategies.  She also has substantial experience  with industrial and domestic wastewater, storage tank regulation, landfill, used oil, hazardous waste, and air permitting and regulation.  In addition her experience extends to the resolution of environmental enforcement matters, negotiation of prospective purchaser agreements, consent orders, remediation plans and terms of conditional closure associated with the cleanup of hazardous waste, petroleum, chlorinated solvents, and other contaminants with local, state, and federal environmental agencies, redevolpment of those sites and other environmental aspects of real estate and commercial transactions, including asbestos and indoor air quality issues, vapor intrusion, and lead based paint.