James M. (Jim) Redwine ’81 has received the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources’ 2011 Award for Excellence in Environmental, Energy and Resources Stewardship. Redwine is one of two attorneys being recognized by the section in 2011 for their work with Motors Liquidation Corporation, formerly General Motors Corporation, in reaching a settlement with the U.S. government, numerous state governments and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in connection with the environmental remediation of General Motors’ old plant sites and other property. The other award recipient, David R. Berz, is a partner with Weil Gotshal & Manges.
Redwine currently serves as senior environmental counsel at RACER Trust in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Starting in June 2009, he spent almost two years working for Motors Liquidation Company, formerly known as General Motors, where he was in charge of all environmental aspects of the General Motors bankruptcy and led a team that achieved a settlement of $770 million, the largest environmental trust settlement in U.S. history, within less than two years. “The settlement set the stage for the prompt remediation and redevelopment of former GM sites,” Redwine said. “We hope it might serve as a template for the handling of future large bankruptcy cases involving significant environmental liabilities.”
Redwine determined the adequacy of GM’s prior environmental reserves for bankruptcy purposes and formed and supervised the teams that estimated the costs of bringing more than 90 General Motors sites to regulatory closure, and negotiated the cost of the program with the U.S. Treasury. His remediation program was fully funded at a cost of $536 million, making environmental remediation nearly half of the $1.2 Motors Liquidation Company bankruptcy case budget. He also proposed a unique cost-sharing pool that allowed remediation funds to be shared among over- and under-funded sites and provided a cushion to cover possible cost overruns. This unique pooling arrangement was ultimately agreed to by all affected states, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the St. Regis tribe and became part of Motors Liquidation Company’s reorganization plan.
Before taking on the Motors Liquidation Corporation assignment, Redwine worked with the Shaw Group, a Fortune 500 company, where he served as president and senior vice president of Shaw Environmental Liability Solutions, which offered custodial trustee services for environmental properties in bankruptcy proceedings and insured remediation services, and as vice president and director of legal affairs for the LandBank Group, which owed and remediated brownfield properties.
Before joining the Shaw Group, Redwine served for 12 years as the principal environmental regulatory attorney for the IT Group, where he was the principal negotiator for the Iron Mountain Mine transaction, the largest environmental liability transfer to date involving more than $800 million to resolve liabilities at a major Superfund site.
Redwine earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard University before earning his J.D. at Vanderbilt Law School in 1981. He served as chair in 2009 and as program vice-chair from 2004-08 of the Site Remediation Committee of the ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources. He is also a member of the Turnaround Management Association, and the American Bankruptcy Institute.