Environmental Lawyers Honored for Implementation of Remediation Plan of Former Industrial Manufacturing Sites
By Maria Gutierrez
American Bar Association News Service
James M. Redwine of Motors Liquidation Company, and David R. Berz of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, are the recipients of the 2011 Excellence in Environmental, Energy, and Resources Stewardship Award from the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. Redwine and Berz will receive the award Oct. 14 at 8 a.m. during the 19th Section Fall Meeting at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis.
The award was established in 2002 to recognize and honor the accomplishments of people, entities or organizations that have made significant accomplishments or demonstrated recognized leadership in the areas of sustainable development, energy, environmental or resources stewardship.
David R. Berz heads Weil’s environmental practice and is a nationally acknowledged authority on U.S. and international environmental law. He has handled major transactions and restructuring work as a deal lawyer, and served as lead counsel in civil and criminal environmental matters as a litigator. He co-authors articles about environmental law in real estate and business transactions for Matthew Bender, and has published numerous articles and is a frequent lecturer on a broad range of environmental issues.
James M. Redwine has 30 years of experience as a corporate real estate and environmental attorney, most recently serving as vice president of Environmental, at Motors Liquidation Company. Before assuming his duties with MLC, Redwine had a variety of roles with the Shaw Group, a Fortune 500 company. He previously chaired the Site Remediation Committee of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. He is known for numerous publications and presentations on transactional matters. Redwine currently serves as the senior environmental counsel and director of environmental support for the RACER Trust, the entity formed upon confirmation of MLC’s plan of liquidation.
The award will be presented to Redwine and Berz for their plan of execution to address the remediation of former industrial manufacturing sites arising out of the largest industrial bankruptcy in the history of the United States—that of MLC, formerly known as the General Motors Corporation. They envisioned and implemented the plan to ensure the site could become productive for their communities, which had been hard hit by the recent economic downturn of the United States automobile industry. Redwine and Berz led teams through state and federal regulations, navigated innumerable stakeholder interests, and led the national settlement negotiations so that the sites can be returned to productive use through green and sustainable remediation.
This settlement, the first of its kind, served as the basis for the plan of liquidation that held key the environmental estimation efforts and the creation of the Environmental Response Trust. This trust, the largest environmental land trust in the history of the United States, serves as a real estate management company pursuing goals of remediation, renovation and sales of the properties. The trust provides support for aggressive environmental cleanups at the sites, will result in the creation of future jobs, and offers long term environmental and human health benefits. Redwine currently serves as the senior environmental counsel and director of environmental support for the trust.