Cynthia N. Brooks

 
 
Cynthia Brooks Headshot
 

President, Managing Principal, and founder

 

Cynthia “Cindy” N. Brooks is president and founder of Greenfield Environmental Trust Group, Inc. (Greenfield), president of Resources for Responsible Site Management, Inc. (Trustee for the Industri-plex Superfund Site Custodial Trust), managing principal of the Montana Environmental Trust Group LLC (Trustee of the Montana Environmental Custodial Trust), and comanaging principal of the Greenfield Environmental Multistate Trust LLC (Trustee of the Multistate Environmental Response Trust) and of the Greenfield Environmental Savannah Trust LLC (Trustee of the Savannah Environmental Response Trust). Prior to launching Greenfield, Cindy was managing director of Seattle-based Greenfield International LLC and founder and president of the Environment Trust Group, Inc. (ETG), both predecessors of Greenfield.

 

Early Innovator

Having redeveloped contaminated properties for nearly 30 years, Cindy is widely regarded as one of our nation’s earliest pioneers of the redevelopment of hazardous waste sites and was appointed the first-ever trustee of an environmental custodial trust. She is a national expert in brownfields transactions, value creation, remediation, reuse strategies and trustee services. Her expertise, multidisciplinary skills, and unique ability to collaborate with public and private sectors have enabled her to align divergent stakeholders and overcome critical barriers to redeveloping complex sites.

As trustee and president, Cindy has led redevelopment of the Industri-plex Superfund Site in Woburn, Massachusetts, since 1989. According to The Boston Globe, she is credited with “shepherd[ing] the project from its dubious status as one of the Environmental Protection Agency’s top 10 Superfund sites to its current ascent as the agency’s shining star.” Cindy served in the unprecedented appointment as Third-Party Trustee for the Production Plated Plastics RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) hazardous waste site in Richland, Michigan, where she accepted responsibilities that included the sale of brownfield sites in the United States and Canada to fund RCRA compliance.

In 2014, the chief of the Environmental Enforcement Division at the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed the U.S. government’s support of Greenfield's reappointment as trustee for the Montana Environmental Custodial Trust, under Cindy's direction and management, by writing in a letter:

“EPA reports that the Trustee has fulfilled its obligations to undertake environmental actions that yield important environmental benefits at a reasonable cost at East Helena . . . EPA further reports that throughout the RCRA Corrective Action cleanup process, the Trustee has operated in an open, transparent and professional manner with the Beneficiaries, Stakeholders and the Community of East Helena. The Trustee has facilitated over 55 public meetings, workshops, open houses and formal presentations to ensure open dialogue and public understanding of the proposed site remedies. The United States appreciates and would like to acknowledge the tremendous amount of work the Trustee has accomplished since December 2009.”

 

Leading Reuse of Large Contaminated Sites

Cindy helped redevelop the Woolfolk Superfund Site in Fort Valley, Georgia. Working closely with the community, she designed a redevelopment plan and secured funds for new, affordable housing, making Woolfolk one of the nation’s first community-sponsored redevelopments that incorporated land use into the remedy selection for a Superfund site. Cindy currently leads or has led the community-based remediation or redevelopment of seven large (up to 1,000 acres), highly contaminated, privately owned state and federal Superfund sites in New York, West Virginia, Connecticut, Arkansas, Illinois, and Massachusetts, as well as several military bases proposed for closure under Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).

At the request of the under secretary of defense, Cindy was for three years the sole private sector representative asked to serve on the panel of judges for the Department of Defense Environmental Quality Awards presented annually by the secretary of defense to the four branches of the military. She is a frequent guest, invited speaker, and lecturer at national and regional conferences, seminars, and training programs on brownfields and contaminated property transactions. Cindy taught the first course in brownfields redevelopment to be offered at the Center for Real Estate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is currently partnering with the Global Environmental Technology Foundation on the use of independent “trusts” to remediate and revitalize contaminated properties.

 

Background

Cindy’s prior experience includes almost a decade in the oil industry. She managed Exxon’s facility and reservoir operating interests in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay—the largest oilfield in North America. She earlier led a $2 billion, new Alaska venture and directed Exxon’s arctic frontier technology efforts. Cindy’s public sector experience includes brief assignments to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, on the congressional staff of U.S. Sen. James Abourezk (D-SD), and at the Marine Physical Laboratory of Scripps Institute of Oceanography. She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Duke University and earned her Master of Business Administration with honors from the Harvard Business School.

 
Michael Orifounder