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Atlantic Steel

Atlantic Steel: Letter from Mr. S Meiburg, Region 4, to Mr. Brown of CRB Realty, October 1998


Mr. Charles Brown
CRB Realty
P.O. Box 2246
Duluth, GA 30096

Dear Mr. Brown:

Thank you for developing an insightful Project XL proposal to design, implement and evaluate a model for brownfield redevelopment in the Atlanta Central Business District. The purpose of this letter is to formally select the Jacoby Development, Inc. proposal as a potential Project XL pilot. While this letter does not represent final Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval, we believe the proposal has significant merit and deserves to be further developed in the form of a proposed Final Project Agreement (FPA).

It is important to note that EPA's acceptance of the proposal is predicated on the assumption that the modeling study currently underway will identify an air quality and transportation benefit in association with this brownfield redevelopment. EPA sees many potential benefits from the project as proposed, with the demonstration of specific air emission benefits being a key element of the proposal. To qualify as an XL project and as a Transportation Control Measure (TCM), the proposed development will have to support our assumption of an air quality benefit. It is important to note that a key component of this project, the proposed 17th Street bridge and associated interchange improvements, cannot proceed until approval by the Georgia Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration of an Interchange Justification Report (IJR) and the appropriate National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation. This letter does not in any way prejudge the outcome of these review processes.

Assuming growth in the Atlanta region will continue at its current pace, benefits of the project include the potential to:

1) Improve predicted future air quality in the Atlanta region by reducing the forecasted increase in future air pollution;

2) Explore the criteria and procedures for establishing State Implementation Plan (SIP) approval for TCMs that are not explicitly listed in the Clean Air Act -- such as smart- growth developments which incorporate integrated transportation and land use planning;

3) Design and implement a fast-tracked RCRA facility clean closure;

4) Incorporate "green" building practices and pollution prevention into a large-scale mixed- use development;

5) Achieve waste reduction and risk minimization through enhanced management and reuse of construction materials;

6) Develop a transferable model of enhanced environmental design for other large-scale development and redevelopment projects around the country;

7) Develop an example for incorporating "smart-growth" principles into all stages of site design and development;

8) Explore use of a "Transportation Management District" as a means to put in place and ensure continuation of processes which look at the long-term management of parking demand, traffic demand, etc.; and,

9) Foster use of non-automobile transportation options, such as light rail, pedestrian walkways and bike paths in developments of all sizes.

In order to obtain the regulatory flexibility necessary to achieve the enhanced environmental results described in your proposal, you should address in detail the following key elements of the Project XL program in the development of a draft FPA.

1. Superior Environmental Performance (SEP): The draft FPA should clearly identify what specific actions you plan to commit to in order to achieve SEP. These should include the specifics of the mass transit connection, pollution prevention techniques, ongoing transportation management systems (such as parking demand management, etc.), performance measures evaluation and enforcement plans, and sustainable building practices.

2. Cost Savings and Paperwork Reduction: The draft FPA should specifically identify the nature of the regulatory flexibility sought (in particular, specific changes in regulatory requirements) and other practices that will result in cost savings (i.e., accelerated RCRA clean- up), as well as clearly describing any areas where you seek only clarification of existing requirements. The flexibility section should include a detailed description of the TCM modeling necessary to support the characterization of the project as a TCM.

3. Stakeholder Involvement: The draft FPA should contain a Stakeholder Involvement Plan that highlights and explains your commitment and specific plans with regard to stakeholder involvement at both the local and national levels. Stakeholder involvement during the FPA development phase should clearly show that coordination efforts with all interested stakeholders will occur. Particular attention should be given to involving stakeholders representing environmental justice issues.

4. Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation: In order to ensure the transparency and independent verifiability of the project's results, the quantity and quality of data reported during project implementation must be sufficient to assure the public and the government that you are complying with the project's requirements and are meeting the project's goals. Your draft FPA should describe how you intend to collect this data and make it available. This should include a description of the performance measures to be included in the SIP revision and RCRA permit modification. EPA requires appropriate modeling and sampling in all such documents to ensure accountability and results.

5. Enforceability: All XL Projects must include enforceable mechanisms in order to ensure proper accountability. In exchange for the flexibility you are receiving, EPA expects your firm commitment to proceed with the project in a manner that will achieve superior environmental performance. Your draft FPA should contain clear information on enforceable commitments you are willing to make.

Due to the unique nature of your project and the broad scope of activities encompassed by the overall redevelopment, we anticipate that the FPA will include a mix of enforceable commitments and voluntary agreements. In order to satisfy the general XL enforceability requirement, your key commitments should be enforceable by EPA to ensure that actions agreed to in the FPA are completed and results achieved. Two legal mechanisms to implement the project and ensure accountability will be addressed in detail in the FPA. The legal mechanisms are: 1) a SIP Revision needed to approve the TCM, and 2) a RCRA Closure Permit Modification to accelerate the closure by placing it on an enforceable "fast track." We look forward to continuing to work with you to further develop the FPA in general and the legal mechanisms in particular.

Again, thank you for your participation in EPA's Project XL. We appreciate your commitment to the type of bold and responsible experimentation that will make our environmental protection system better for all. In particular, the completion of this project can provide us information on how we can take a broader look at activities that could qualify as transportation control measures.

Should the FPA be signed, the Atlantic Steel XL project will become an official XL Pilot. If I can be of any assistance in expediting the development and review of your Final Project Agreement, please do not hesitate to call me or contact Michelle Glenn, the XL Project Manager,
at (404) 562-8674.


A. Stanley Meiburg Deputy Regional Administrator


Faye DiMassimo, FHWA - Ga. Div.
Larry Dreihaup, FHWA - GA Div.
Susan Schruth, FTA
Frank Danchetz, GDOT
Harold Reheis, GA EPD
Bob Kerr, GA P2AD
Michael Dobbins, City of Atlanta
Harry West, ARC
Richard Smitten, MARTA
John Humeston, FHWA - Resource Center

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