Michael Hill to serve as panelist for Feb. 7, 2019 CLE Webinar on Environmental Insurance, Escrows and other Risk Management Tools

Michael Hill has been asked to serve as a panelist on a Feb. 7, 2019 webinar titled, Environmental Insurance, Escrows, and Contractual Transfers in the Context of Contaminated Property Cleanups, Purchases and Sales.  The webinar will review both traditional and evolving environmental insurance products (e.g., Pollution Legal Liability, Cost Cap and Excess of Indemnity), escrows, contractual liability transfers and other tools in the context of the cleanup and/or transfer of contaminated properties. The webinar is designed for real estate, environmental and bankruptcy counsel serving industrial clients, governments, Brownfield developers, remediation contractors, “PRP” groups, and others. Each benefit from quantifying and even reducing cleanup costs in a manner that is accurate, efficient, and will hold over time.

Alba helps U.S. Acquire Brownfield Site to Construct $1.7B NGA Campus in St. Louis 

On December 13, 2018, the U.S. Government acquired 97 “brownfield” acres in the heart of St. Louis where it will construct a new $1.7B campus for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (“NGA”).  To protect against cleanup and third-party risks from pre-existing pollution conditions, Alba worked closely with the U.S. Air Force, NGA, Army Corps of Engineers and the City of St. Louis to obtain (1) a robust Pollution Legal Liability (“PLL”) policy, supplemented by (2) an escrow account covering risks not covered by the PLL.   It is expected that the NGA campus will be home to 3,000 jobs and bring significant tax revenue to the City.

November 2017 IRMI Interview of M. Hill

On November 1, 2017, IRMI (the International Risk Management Institute) interviewed Alba’s Mike Hill.  The interview covers topics such as why Alba combines a surplus lines brokerage and legal services into one firm, what are the industry’s greatest challenges and what is its “next frontier.”

Alba helps Air Force Use Cost Cap Alternative For 2nd Time To Obtain Fixed-Price Cleanup

Given its prior success in using an innovative Cost Cap Alternative following traditional Insurers’ 2011 exit from the Cost Cap market, the Air Force again used the Cost Cap Alternative to achieve cleanup and transfer of over 200 acres of property under a Fixed-Price Cleanup Contract.  Alba helped develop the Cost Cap Alternative, which is the subject of a detailed article published in the Chemical Waste Litigation Reporter.

Alba has, since 2005, helped the USAF with other property transfers at McClellan and other bases across the U.S., including two prior transfers at McClellan.  Over 3,000 permanent jobs have already been created as result of these transfers.

Each of the prior transfers at McClellan (and most at other locations) used Cost Cap insurance.  Cost Cap insurance emerged in the late 1990’s to cover cost overruns for cleanups of “known conditions” for which a cleanup is already known to be required.  It was used by the USAF and numerous other entities, public and private, to reduce cleanup cost risks as well as cleanup costs themselves.  A 2006 DoD study shows that FPCs are done at costs that are, on average, more than 20% below the cost of cleanups done without the risk-shifting benefits that FPCs bring.  EPA and other regulators have come to support FPCs across the U.S. because of the societal benefits they bring, and in March 2013 EPA committed to using more FPCs.  A CWLR article that Michael Hill published to detail the means and benefits of the Air Force’s use of CCAs can be found here.

CCAs can be used at non-military sites as well. Although they are particularly suited for governments, they offer cost reduction and risk transfer advantages for any “Potentially Responsible Party.”  CCAs offer the same benefits and more to Remediation Contractors as did Cost Cap policies.  Any entity that might previously have considered a Cost Cap should consider a CCA.

Alba Client, Canton Crossing, Opens $105M Redevelopment in Baltimore, Creating 1,000 Jobs

Alba client, Canton Crossing, LLC and the City of Baltimore celebrated the opening of Canton’s $105M redevelopment of 20 acres of brownfield property, creating over 1,000 jobs and with more expected.

The project was hailed by several Baltimore and Maryland officials, including Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, who said the new Canton Crossing is “moving Baltimore in the right direction.” See more about the Canton Crossing Retail shops’ opening.

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EPA Recognizes Benefits of Fixed-Price Cleanups

On March 28, 2013, EPA’s Inspector General released a report, EPA Should Increase Fixed-Price Contracting for Remedial Actions, noting FPCs’ cost-saving and other benefits and requiring EPA to do more.

Recognizing that the EPA continues to rely on high risk and high cost contracts in its remedial programs, the EPA’s Office of Inspector General released a report touting the benefits of fixed-price contracting for remedial action.  EPA found numerous benefits of fixed-price contracting, including significant cost savings, increased competition, and achievement of socio-economic goals, and has agreed to make fixed-price contracting a more standard policy moving forward. Read the full report here:  2013-03-28 EPA I.G. Rept., EPA Should Increase Fixed-Price Contracting for Remedial Actions