John V. ChibbaroShareholder John.Chibbaro@gtlaw.com
John V. Chibbaro focuses his practice on complex environmental and land use matters. He advises developers, utilities, and other clients on virtually all aspects of development, from initial permitting and entitlement strategy, contamination assessment and remediation, through government approvals; incorporating political and public relations issues. John is experienced representing clients before local, state, and federal agencies and has handled complex regulatory matters involving the National Environmental Policy Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, the Clean Water Act, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and other federal and state environmental laws. He has also handled issues related to wetlands and coastal permitting, including U.S. Army Corps guidelines and the Endangered Species Act.
John’s practice is multi-jurisdictional and national in scope. John has deep experience across a range of industries, including infrastructure, retail, large-scale transit, and residential and industrial developments. He has represented several national homebuilders throughout Florida, and various other states, in pre-acquisition site analysis and post-acquisition remediation. His work also involves developing environmental diligence and remediation strategies and protocols, drafting and negotiating environmental provisions in contracts and agreements, navigating state remediation and brownfields cleanup programs and regulations, and evaluating environmental insurance options.
John works with a range of federal and state agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Departments of Environmental Protection and Transportation, California Department of Toxic Substances Control, CalTrans, California Regional Water Quality control Boards, as well as local agencies such as the Miami-Dade County's Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources - Division of Environmental Resources Management (DERM).
- Represented a national homebuilder in an appeal of jurisdictional determination issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Advised on the creation and preservation of a jurisdictional record prior to development of the property and for the prosecution of the appeal through the ACOE's administrative appeal process. The ACOE reversed its prior decision, which saved the client millions of dollars related to penalties and mitigation costs.
- Represented a real estate developer in their acquisition of a former Superfund site in South Carolina. The work included assessing site conditions, developing a remediation strategy and drafting work plans with both federal and state regulators, and having large portions of the site delisted from the National Priorities List.
- Represented the largest self-storage provider in the United States in a complex negotiation related to a Superfund site located in a heavily populated suburb of Los Angeles, California, with both the state Regional Water Quality Control Board and federal Environmental Protection Agency. The case involved a detailed site assessment which was conducted in conjunction with the environmental consultant and extended discussions with the regulatory agencies.°
- Represented a real estate developer with regard to the environmental investigation and remediation of one of the largest remaining municipally owned golf courses in Florida, as part of its redevelopment. Advice on the scope of the assessment, review of all draft reports prepared by environmental consultant, recommendations regarding remediation, and representation before regulatory agencies.
- Advised one of the nation’s largest real estate investment firms in developing a multi-parcel, multi-state land bank on pre-acquisition analysis, due diligence, and remediation.°
- Represented a homebuilder in the reassessment of approximately 40-acres of required wetlands preserve areas for potential development in Doral, Florida.°
- Represented a real estate developer in the $30 million purchase of a 1.75 acre site in Miami’s Midtown neighborhood, to be developed as a mixed-use project containing approximately 389 multifamily rental units, 489 structured parking spaces, and approximately 28,000 square feet of retail.°
- Represented the largest self-storage provider in the United States regarding the resolution of a Miami-Dade County Division of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) enforcement action for an industrial site in downtown Miami, Florida. The work resulted in the issuance of a No Further Action determination allowing construction of the multi-story self-storage complex.°
- Represented one of the largest home construction companies in the United States in its undertaking of two large residential site developments in Central Florida. The representation centered on wetlands-related work, particularly as it related to the delegation and assumption of the Clean Water Act’s Section 404 program by the State of Florida. Developed novel, precedent-establishing protocols, entailing sophisticated analysis of federal and state case law and agency regulations, which led to securing the first “No Permit Required” determination issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection subsequent to the assumption of the federal 404 program for both sites.°
- Advised a national homebuilder on the scope of local, state, and federal wetlands jurisdiction involved in a complex, phased development with an over-forty year permit history. The representation included analyzing county and state regulations and convoluted permit history in order to evaluate the scope of each regulatory bodies’ jurisdictional boundaries. Coordinated with the environmental consultant regarding the scope of the jurisdiction, reviewed all draft reports prepared by the consultant, and met with regulatory agencies as needed.°
- Represented a gas pipeline in the negotiation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) related to wetland permitting for routine maintenance activities.°
- Represented a national homebuilder in development of a South Florida site that included Pine Rockland, an endangered habitat located only in South Florida and protected by a variety of federal and local regulations. The representation included evaluation and analysis of county environmental regulations, coordinating and reviewing the environmental consultant’s analyses and reports, coordinating with county staff regarding the characterization of the site, and making recommendations to the development team in order to preserve more habitat on site than required by the County Code of Ordinances. Obtained approval from the county regarding the proposed revised site plan, incorporating the preservation of the identified pine rock-land on site.°
- Advised a real estate investment advisory firm developing a multi-parcel, multi-state land bank on pre-acquisition analysis, due diligence, and remediation.°
- Conducted environmental due diligence for a real estate developer as part of the purchase of a former golf course in Palm Beach County, Florida. Conducted the review and analysis of technical reports, purchase agreements, and related documentation, with a view to making recommendations for remediation, and representation before regulatory agencies as needed.°
- Served as environmental counsel to a national real estate firm in its conversion of an agricultural property in Broward County into commercial industrial designation for use as a warehouse.°
°The above representations were handled by Mr. Chibbaro prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, P.A.
Recognition & Leadership
- Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Environmental Law, 2016
- Urban Fellow and Consultant, Fire Department of New York, Terrorism Preparedness Taskforce, 2002-2003
- Member, Florida Bar, Environmental and Land Use Law Section
- Member, State Bar of California, Environmental Law Section
- Board Member, Zoo Miami, 2018-Present
J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 2006
- Staff Writer, University of Chicago Legal Forum
- B.A., Dartmouth College, 2002