RACER Trustee Elliott Laws Receives National Brownfield Leadership Award
ATLANTA — Elliott P. Laws, a leading advocate for environmental protection and economic revitalization and a former senior official of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Texaco Inc., is a 2013 recipient of a Brownfields Leadership Award from the National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals.
Mr. Laws, who is now serving as the court-appointed administrative trustee for the largest environmental trust in U.S. history, was honored by NALGEP for his leadership in promoting public-private partnerships for revitalization. He received the award Thursday morning at NALGEP’s 20th anniversary Brownfields Leadership Awards celebration in Atlanta, site of this week’s National Brownfields Conference.
“I am very proud to be the recipient of this honor, and I accept on behalf of the outstanding professionals I am privileged to work with at the RACER Trust,” Mr. Laws said. “I thank the National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals for recognizing the work the Trust is doing to clean up properties and attract new jobs to communities that were hurt by the GM bankruptcy. Our success depends upon strong working relationships with community leaders, elected officials, regulatory authorities and a variety of private-sector stakeholders. We are pleased to have the opportunity to build those relationships, which ultimately will benefit auto communities nationwide.”
Mr. Laws has led the RACER Trust since its effective date of March 31, 2011, overseeing the largest environmental response and remediation trust in U.S. history as well as the nation’s third-largest industrial property portfolio. As Trustee, he is responsible for the cleanup and beneficial reuse of former GM properties at 89 locations in 14 states, guiding an experienced and successful team of environmental and redevelopment professionals.
The RACER Trust has completed nearly 30 property transactions, to buyers who have pledged to create more than 4,500 new jobs. Proceeds of completed transactions exceed $25 million, with more under contract.
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to recognize Elliott's leadership,” said Ken Brown, NALGEP's Executive Director. “Throughout his career and especially at the RACER Trust, Elliott has made outstanding contributions to brownfields revitalization.”
|RACER Trustee Elliott Laws and Acting EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe are joined by Office Manager Tracie Nichols and intern Ben Hooper at the RACER booth at the National Brownfields Conference in Atlanta.
In addition to serving as Trustee, Mr. Laws is a partner at Crowell & Moring LLP, where he provides strategic counseling and legal, policy and crisis management advice on a range of environmental and energy policy issues, including brownfields redevelopment.
Mr. Laws is a former assistant administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response for the U.S. EPA, where he oversaw the Brownfields, Superfund and RCRA programs; attorney at the U.S. Justice Department; and president of safety, health and environment for Texaco Inc.
In selecting recipients for the Brownfields Leadership Awards, NALGEP sought to recognize individuals from across the country who have a long track record of success in brownfields projects, programs and policy.
Michael Goldstein, Managing Partner of The Goldstein Environmental Law Firm, also received an award for leadership in promoting public-private partnerships for revitalization. Awards also were issued in separate categories for federal agency leadership, lifetime achievement, local brownfield revitalization, tribal brownfield revitalization, state program, environmental justice and nonprofit programs. A total of 20 men and women were honored.
NALGEP is a not-for-profit organization that represents local government personnel responsible for ensuring environmental compliance and developing and implementing environmental policies and programs. NALGEP's membership includes more than 140 local government entities throughout the United States. It is the premiere national association of its kind.
About the RACER Trust: The RACER (Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response) Trust was created to clean up and position for redevelopment properties and other facilities owned by the former General Motors Corp. before its 2009 bankruptcy. RACER is one of the largest holders of industrial property in the United States and is the largest environmental response and remediation trust in U.S. history. When the Trust was formed, it owned properties at 89 locations in 14 states, principally in the Midwest and Northeast. The Trust, which is independent, was created by a settlement agreement in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court between the U.S. Government, the 14 states where the former GM properties are located, and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, which owns land adjoining Trust property in Massena, NY. For more information, please visit www.racertrust.org.