MIAMI—Land redevelopment hasn't always been a popular option, atleast not with neighboring land owners. But that might bechanging.

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GlobeSt.com caught up with Howard E. Nelson, apartner and Environmental Group chair of BilzinSumberg in Miami, and Cristina AranaLumpkin, an associate the firm's Environmental Group, tocheck into this evolution, discuss due diligence issues and pegsome of the most interesting land uses cases in South Florida inpart two of this exclusive interview. You can still read part one:Land Remediation: What You Need to Know.

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GlobeSt.com: Neighbors have traditionally beenopposed to land redevelopment but why might this be a betteralternative for the community than keeping these propertiesabandoned and in their current state?

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Lumpkin: Recently, we have seen neighborsbecome more involved, in a positive sense, to landdevelopment, as the environmental impacts of abandoned orunderutilized sites becomes clear. I think one thing theBrownfields Program has taught us all is that vacant, abandoned orunderutilized sites that have experienced environmental impacts area current and present danger, based upon the possibility of uptakeof contaminant sources into the air and groundwater. Landredevelopment allows the removal of both existing eyesoresas well as removal of such contaminant sources and theenvironmental risk they present to adjoining neighbors.

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GlobeSt.com: What role do you typically play in thedue diligence process when working with commercialdevelopers?

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Nelson: We usually assist commercial developerswith an expanded approach to environmental due diligence. Many ofclients are sophisticated enough to know that, for some sites, youhave to go beyond the traditional Phase I and Phase IIenvironmental site assessments, and we conduct composite screeningof sites where a traditional Phase II analysis is eitherinappropriate or inadequate. This more complex type of screeningallows our clients to better assess and manage potential siteimpacts based upon prior use.

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GlobeSt.com: Can you describe one of the mostinteresting cases you worked on?

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Lumpkin: Actually, there is a whole class ofinteresting case studies which have recently started to come outinvolving determinations of what constitutes either naturalbackground or anthropogenic background concentrations ofcontaminants on a site. Until a couple of years ago,anthropogenic or natural background determinations were virtuallyunheard of in Florida. Recently, the state's Department ofEnvironmental Protection has taken more interest in site studiesthat can accurately demonstrate that existing levels of arsenic ona site are consistent with anthropogenic or naturally occurringbackground levels.

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These determinations allow redevelopment of sites that wouldotherwise experience no relief from the application of strictregulatory standards, while still preserving the public health,safety and welfare. I think those are the most interesting casesbecause they present a unique solution to what would otherwise be aproblem, which would completely prevent development orredevelopment of a site.

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