Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR): 2020 California Land Recycling Conference
Our very own Barry Geisler, Divisional Senior Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer, had the opportunity to speak on a panel during the Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR): 2020 California Land Recycling Conference. The panel focused on mitigating the risks of reuse pertaining to PFAS and vapor intrusion.
The California Land Recycling Conference brings together leaders who are working to build community resilience through brownfield remediation and land recycling. The 2020 conference is a unique learning opportunity with sessions available on topics such as housing, funding sources, economic recovery, and regulatory updates. Learn more about how to access conference sessions here.
The panel started off by touching on recent technical and regulatory developments that present reuse risks as related to brownfields redevelopment. Some of these include changes to CERCLA regulations, advances in grant funding and enhancements to tax increment and development use financing. Barry touched on the development of the need for environmental insurance as a result of General Liability (GL) policies excluding pollution conditions due to federal and state government agencies moving towards more stringent environmental pollution regulations.
Concerning PFAS, the discussion focused on the intricate and complicated history as well as regulatory issues. The main issues are that PFAS has not officially been declared a hazardous substance according to CERCLA and clear cleanup definitions have not yet been determined. Testing regulations and cleanup requirements differ from state to state which can make monitoring PFAS levels challenging.
In regard to vapor intrusion, TCE was the main conversation topic as it has been declared an extremely dangerous substance to unborn fetuses. Expanded and extensive subsurface level testing is encouraged to ensure vapor levels are properly monitored and recorded.
The panel discussed ways to reduce risk by:
- Obtaining a qualified technical consultant
- Retaining qualified legal counsel
- Considering environmental insurance
Barry followed up by explaining the importance of environmental insurance during redevelopment and how to go about obtaining coverage that will best protect clients. His guidance included:
1. Work with a broker who specializes in environmental insurance and can identify potential risks and how to properly protect against them.
2. Choose a financially stable insurance carrier who is equipped with a team of experienced underwriters. In addition, inquire about the carrier’s internal claims handling unit to ensure their team specializes in environmental claims with a background in working with regulators local to your jurisdiction.
We would like to extend our gratitude to CCLR for organizing a dynamic virtual conference focused on the intricacies of redevelopment. We are honored to contribute to such an impactful conference. We are grateful for the opportunity to sponsor the events and conferences of a leading nonprofit organization such as CCLR. We look forward to additional opportunities to share our knowledge with the CCLR community.
The Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR) is the leading national nonprofit dedicated to transforming communities through land recycling. CCLR’s main goal is converting abandoned or vacant commercial or industrial properties to functional pieces of the community in order to create jobs and generate new tax revenues. Their work transforms communities through educating government agencies and the private sector to create optimal conditions for reinvestment. Over the past 20 years, they have assisted a multitude of places across the U.S. with funding through grants and aligning proper training for community specialists through professional workshops, events and conferences.
Looking for more information on how environmental insurance can combat the complexities of redevelopment coverage? Feel free to contact us to set up a virtual meeting and learn more!
Barry is a Divisional Senior Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer for the Great American Environmental Division, leading our Executive Underwriting team. He has been with the Environmental Division for the past ten years. Barry’s prior experience includes serving as contracts counsel within the environmental insurance space as well as working on complex commercial and defense litigation. He is based out of our Exton, Pennsylvania office.