Most cities and towns across Indiana have vacant or abandoned properties with environmental impacts, which prevent redevelopment and slow economic growth. Moreover, communities are usually uncertain about how to overcome the financial challenges they face with cleaning them up. One funding mechanism that SESCO has helped clients utilize is their Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance policies (aka Slip & Fall policies). Generally speaking, these policies protect your business organization should injury or property damage occur to others as a result of your business operations.
In Indiana, these CGL policies may be able to be used to provide funding for the cost of defending lawsuits brought as a result of environmental contamination, including the cost of remediation of such contamination. A letter from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) requiring investigation and remediation of your impacted property serves as a “lawsuit” with regards to the ability to submit a claim to your CGL insurer and force them to defend you. Current and historical CGL policies held by current property owners have been consistently used to pay for environmental impacts, whether it be the current policy or historical policies. Many older policies maintained by the current property owner either do not have any pollution exclusions or have pollution exclusions that courts have deemed unenforceable because their definition of pollution is too broad and ambiguous. Therefore, CGL insurance can be an immense asset to a government entity and/or economic development association when confronting a claim against it for environmental liability.
As an Economic Development Administrator, or other similar government or non-profit entity, one of your main areas of interest includes promoting economic growth by attracting developers to your community by cleaning up blighted sites and addressing existing environmental issues at City/County owned properties. This is where SESCO’s team of project managers, environmental & insurance attorneys, and redevelopment professionals can help! We understand that Brownfield properties can pose many challenges in the way of regulatory issues, financial feasibility, and optimal future-use. Our team has the technical expertise and extensive experience to assist you each step of the way, including assistance with property acquisition & due diligence, regulatory compliance, and connecting you with potential developers. SESCO has been involved in a multitude of professional partnerships with municipalities, counties, and economic development organizations across Indiana to cleanup environmentally impacted properties. Together, we can help you provide a greater quality of life for everyone in your community!