Official Who Oversaw Environmental Aspects of GM's Bankruptcy Discusses Intersection of Environmental and Bankruptcy Laws in July ABI Journal Article
Alexandria, Va. — The July edition of the ABI Journal features an interview with James M. Redwine (Baton Rouge, La.), the executive who oversaw the environmental aspects of the 2009 General Motors bankruptcy case, who discusses the successful and weaker areas of chapter 11 environmental law and practice. “Existing chapter 11 law and practice functioned successfully, in spite of the unfathomable state of the law, on the proper interaction between environment and bankruptcy laws,” Redwine said in his interview with Andrew D. Stosberg of Lloyd & McDaniel PLC (Louisville, Ky.) in the “Toxins-Are-Us” column titled “Environmental Aspects of the GM Bankruptcy.”
Redwine, now senior environmental counsel at RACER Trust, a company working on cleanup and redevelopment of former GM properties, led a team in 2009 that negotiated a $770 million settlement, the largest environmental trust settlement in U.S. history. “We had to find a way to address this environmental aftermath and what regulators would demand with respect to GM’s owned sites, to avoid the allegation that the GM bailout left behind a toxic trail or was only ‘half a bailout,’” Redwine said. “In GM, we proposed a stronger, more centralized trust that, while still giving regulators strong input, had more control over its budgets in order to use taxpayer dollars as efficiently as possible.”
Just as GM funded its reorganization through timely §363 sales, Redwine touched on how the growing trend of §363 sales complicate environmental concerns in a bankruptcy case. “In such transactions, a sale of the salvageable assets occurs to an entity not in bankruptcy, usually with considerable speed,” Redwine said. “The debtor that then remains in bankruptcy is a remnant estate with limited resources – and certainly without a continuing cash flow.” Redwine said that the intersection of bankruptcy and environmental law does not deal well with the increasing trend of §363 sales as the remnant estate must formulate a reorganization/liquidation plan to distribute any proceeds from the §363 sale, along with addressing any remaining assets, including contaminated real estate in some cases.
To obtain a copy of “Toxins-Are-Us: Environmental Aspects of the GM Bankruptcy” published in the July edition of the ABI Journal, please contact John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes more than 13,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abiworld.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abiworld.org/conferences.html.