Recognized since 2010
Natural Resources Law
Maribel Nicholson-Choice's practice focuses on various aspects of environmental, real estate, and financial institution representations, and governmental affairs. Maribel had more than 20 years of experience negotiating and resolving complex environmental regulatory, permitting, and litigation matters.
Maribel's practice consists of environmental matters for financial institutions. She advises lending clients on environmental liability including permitting and remediation projects associated with collateral property subject to foreclosure proceedings. She advises clients on environmental aspects in real estate transactions, commercial foreclosure proceedings, bankruptcy cases, environmental investigations, remediation projects, brownfields development, and evaluating risks and costs associated with potential environmental cleanup and third-party liability. She also counsels clients on regulatory and permitting technical aspects of complex contamination remediation projects. Maribel's experience also includes negotiating settlement of all types of environmental violations with federal, state and municipal governmental agencies.
Maribel is AV Preeminent® rated, Martindale-Hubbell's highest available rating of legal ability and ethics
Contact & Links
- 101 East College Avenue
Tallahassee, FL 32301
- Barry University, BS, graduated 1987
- Florida, The Florida Bar
- American Bar Association - Member
- Tallahassee Environmental Advisory Board - Member
- Tallahassee-Leon Planning Commission - Chair
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 for work in:
- Environmental Law
- Natural Resources Law
- Land Use and Zoning
- AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5
- The Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Law Section's "Judy Florence Memorial Outstanding Service Award"
Other Court Admissions
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Areas of Concentration
- Environmental law
- Environmental counsel to Chapter 11 debtors in bankruptcy
- Environmental counsel to lenders financing and foreclosing on real property
- Due diligence and consultation regarding disposition and acquisition of distressed real property located throughout the United States and in U.S. Territories
- Waste regulation
- Cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated real property
- Submerged lands and coastal regulation
- Water resources
- Due diligence and consultation regarding regulatory compliance
- Environmental litigation
- Land development
- Governmental and administrative law
- A financial institution client sought to foreclose on collateral property and Maribel negotiated with a Consent Decree and settlement of federal and state environmental liability, fines, and penalties under the Clean Water Act. Maribel also counseled the client following foreclosure of the property in connection with resolving numerous environmental permit violations and avoiding significant fines and penalties subject to enforcement by various state and local regulatory agencies.
- Financial institution client sought to foreclose on collateral property containing contamination from underground storage tanks and Maribel negotiated with the state regulatory agency to assess the nature and extent of petroleum contamination and remediation under the States' petroleum cleanup program. Maribel also counseled the clients following foreclosure of the property and obtained State cleanup funding for a portion of the contamination and she obtained a No Further Action Letter so that the client can resell the property. Maribel avoided enforcement action and significant fines and penalties associated with the debtor's environmental violation.
- Financial institution client sought to foreclose on collateral property containing NPDES stormwater violations and significant adverse impacts to wetlands associated with debtor's development of a golf course. Maribel performed environmental due diligence prior to foreclosure. Maribel counseled the client following foreclosure of the property and negotiated with the state regulatory agency to mitigate for wetland impacts and to resolve stormwater violations under the Clean Water Act. Maribel avoided enforcement action against the client as well as any fines and penalties.
- Represented emergent clean technology companies before the Florida Legislature and the Executive Office of the Governor.
- Led in passage of statutory language contained in a comprehensive growth management legislation to renew and extend for two years certain permits issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and water management districts, as well as build-out dates for certain developments of regional impact.
- Provided environmental due diligence consultation to lender financing multimillion-dollar acquisition of gas stations located throughout the Southeast United States.
- Provided environmental and land use due diligence consultation, including environmental permit transfers, terminations and new permit applications, for 14 plastic manufacturing facilities located throughout the United States.
- Provided international cruise ship line with environmental permitting and policy services for marina expansion project located in South America.
- Defended speaker plant siting decisions against environmental justice claims.
- Oversaw environmental remediation and redevelopment of a former city coal gasification plant to a city park.
- Led in drafting and establishment of the Broward County Brownfields Program.
- Led in negotiating and resolving a number of cases under the Florida Department of Environmental Protection cleanup programs such as the Brownfields, dry cleaner and petroleum cleanup programs.
- Represented $620M private equity fund in purchase of contaminated properties for cleanup and redevelopment into substantial mixed-use commercial development and livable downtown centers, i.e., student housing, hotel/restaurant and other integrated mixed-uses including neighborhood/historic buildings.
- Negotiated state lands leases, state submerged lands disclaimers and private claims in submerged lands in conjunction with development of docking facilities serving luxury condominiums projects.
- Primary participant in adoption of Florida's Unified Building Code.
- Primary participant in adoption and subsequent amendments to the Florida Brownfields Redevelopment Act.
- General Counsel to Blueprint 2000 Intergovernmental Agency which was formed by the City of Tallahassee and Leon County to utilize millions of dollars in penny sales tax revenues for infrastructure (i.e., road and drainage) improvement projects in City and County.
- Represented ConocoPhillips in class action law suits arising from Superfund Site.
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