Hull Barrett’s Darren Meadows Coordinates Successful Partnerships Between Public and Private Interests to Clean Up Contaminated Sites

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Darren Meadows obtains Brownfield Certification for previously contaminated sites for Augusta Canal Authority & Garden City, Georgia

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Darren Meadows, leader of Hull Barrett’s environmental practice group, coordinated due diligence investigations and preparation of an application under the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) Brownfield Program for the acquisition of the historic Sibley Mill. The Sibley Mill, which sits on the Augusta Canal near downtown Augusta, was the location of the Confederate Powder Works during the Civil War and most recently was operated as a textile mill. In 2010, the Augusta Canal Authority purchased the idle mill for preservation and redevelopment. Due to the long history of industrial uses, there were several environmental concerns, such as lead-based paint, asbestos, under ground and above ground tanks and extensive chemical usage, which led to further investigation and remediation. On August 26, 2010 the EPD approved the Brownfield application allowing the Augusta Canal Authority to close on real estate assets shortly thereafter. Mr. Meadows then assisted the Augusta Canal with an application for USEPA Brownfield grant funding and will continue to coordinate and oversee the ongoing remediation efforts at the property pursuant to the Georgia EPD-approved plan.

Serving as special environmental counsel to Garden City, Georgia, Mr. Meadows was also able to coordinate environmental due diligence investigations and extensive negotiations with multiple Georgia agencies for the acquisition by Garden City of a former State Patrol Post where a significant petroleum underground storage tank (UST) release had occurred. The 20 acres of land was contaminated by benzene from leaking underground gasoline tanks that were previously used to fuel Georgia State Patrol police cars. Garden City needed the property for expansion of its new Town Center, which was planned to serve as a mixed used district; however, the petroleum UST release and complications associated with the public ownership of the land posed significant hurdles. Mr. Meadows was able to negotiate an agreement which allowed Garden City to remediate the property to the level appropriate for their planned development and obtain approval through the Georgia EPD Brownfield Program prior to the transfer of land.

Mr. Meadows has also completed other Brownfield transactions and coordinated investigation and remediation of numerous other contaminated properties in Augusta and all across Georgia including Athens, Atlanta, Carrollton, Gainesville, Hazlehurst, Marietta, Savannah, and Vidalia, and often works with local counsel in other states to assist with environmental projects.

Hull Barrett, PC is a full service law firm with 29 attorneys firm wide. The firm is engaged in a general civil practice providing a broad range of legal services with an emphasis on general litigation, trials and appeals; securities and corporate law; mergers, acquisitions and public offerings; local government law and eminent domain actions; health care; computer and technology law; internet ventures; trademark and copyright law; taxation; public finance; commercial real estate; construction law and disputes; employment law; banking law; insurance law; trusts, estate planning and probate; First Amendment and media law and environmental matters. Hull Barrett represents a broad client base of major corporations, small businesses, professional entities, financial and lending institutions, local governments, public authorities, public utilities, railroad companies, insurance companies, health care institutions and individuals.

Hull Barrett is also a member of the International Society of Primerus Law Firms (Primerus). Primerus is a society of top-rated, independent, boutique law firms that have earned the right to display the Primerus seal of quality. As one of the most respected law firm societies, Primerus has over 170 member firms in 125 cities located in 23 countries throughout the world. Primerus has become the size of some of the world's largest law firms. However, unlike most large firms, Primerus is growing at an unprecedented pace, and is expanding throughout Europe, Asia, and elsewhere around the globe. Primerus firms provide clients with responsive, partner-level service at reasonable fees. Law firms in the U.S. and Canada must be AV-rated using the Martindale-Hubbell peer review service. For firms outside of North America, consideration is given to respected resources such as Chambers Global Guide, Legal 500 EMEA, and IFLR 1000. Additionally, once approved for membership, every Primerus firm is audited, annually, to ensure that the legal services they continue to provide to clients are of a consistent, high quality, year after year. Each member is committed to the following standards: Integrity, Excellent Work Product, Reasonable Fees, Continuing Legal Education, Civility and Community Service.

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Erica M. Kusmierz

Amy E. Trevino
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