January 28, 2019

Corner Briefing: Environmental Screening Levels Ratchet Down

Implications for Regional Land Development
Holland & Knight Alert
Nicholas William Targ | Letitia D. Moore | Jennifer L. Hernandez

This Corner Briefing highlights new Environmental Screening Levels (ESLs) established by the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board on Jan. 24, 2019. The new ESLs have the potential for making sites that cleared environmental screening levels yesterday "at risk" today. The changed screening levels can have implications for all aspects of infill development, ranging from due diligence and transactional documents to cleanup and mitigation, as well as ongoing maintenance and monitoring obligations. Please click here to view this Corner Briefing.

At the moment, the dramatic changes to the screening levels apply regionally in California. However, they are part of a broader statewide and national trend toward ratcheting down vapor intrusion and other screening levels. Pending questions include how quickly other regions and states will adopt similar screening levels, whether the screening levels will lead regulators to re-open closed (or non-regulated) properties, and whether the risk of added time and expense will stall infill housing and community revitalization, particularly in disadvantaged and secondary markets.

This Holland & Knight alert is part of an ongoing series of "Corner Briefings" highlighting urban infill legal tools, opportunities and need-to-know information. These updates identify new legal cases, legislative updates, grant opportunities and other urban infill trends that may be meaningful to you.

Holland & Knight helps developers, nonprofit organizations and local governments responsibly and efficiently move through the land use and environmental compliance process. For project-specific advice, please contact Nicholas TargLetitia Moore or Jennifer Hernandez for additional background or assistance.

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