We represent businesses throughout the state in navigating and achieving compliance with a wide array of regulations and laws impacting business operations. We start with extensive knowledge of the particular industry and applicable regulatory framework in which our clients operate, including scrap metal recycling, auto dismantling, waste management, composting and trucking. We work closely with our clients and environmental consultants to assess the facility and specific regulatory concerns. We are adept at developing a rapid and effective response to enforcement proceedings while at the same time working with our clients to develop a business operations model that ensures sustainable future compliance. We believe that businesses are better served by partnering with regulatory agencies and the community to achieve a cleaner environment. And, we believe that the environment is better served by supporting businesses that accept, transport, manage and recycle the massive quantities of consumer products that would otherwise be sent to landfills.

We always try to resolve environmental compliance problems without resort to litigation. Where litigation is required, our team has the experience and skills set to defend businesses in court as well as administrative proceedings before state and federal agencies.

Our scope of practice includes:

Clean Water Act
We have considerable experience in defending lawsuits alleging violations of the Clean Water Act and storm water management. Through our work in various industries, we understand the challenge of operating a business and achieving consistent compliance with the facility's storm water discharge permit conditions. We work closely with a team of consultants and the facility's site managers to analyze the chemistry and physical management of storm water driven by site specific conditions. We believe that our clients know their facilities best and we rely on them to identify operations driven issues at the site. Through this process, our clients and consultants are able to develop effective best management practices and achieve regulatory compliance. Where required, we have the experience and trial experience to successful defend and protect a business in a Clean Water Act lawsuit, including citizen enforcement actions.

Clean Air Act
California is both the most innovative state in the union in its efforts to clean the air and the most challenging. For our compost clients, we have worked with local agencies and neighbors to develop innovative ways to manage the composting process, including odor management. As the new Truck and Bus Regulation has taken root in the state, our team has worked with businesses, farmers, ranchers and truck owners to understand and comply with this extremely complicated set of regulations. We assist our clients in responding to notices of violation, penalties and fines, and compliance demands.

Environmental Cleanup
Our attorneys have extensive experience in responding to agency investigations and enforcement proceedings, including corrective actions, voluntary cleanup, consent orders, spill and release reporting, and management of hazardous materials.

Water Rights and Resources
We represent farmers, ranchers, and property owners in responding to regulatory enforcement actions by state and federal agencies concerning wetlands, water rights, and related agricultural land management issues.

California Land Use and Project Development
We represent buyers and sellers in evaluating legacy contamination problems at real property. We work with clients and regulatory agencies to develop a clear and science-driven understanding of the contamination issue. From there, our clients and consulting team develop a successful cleanup strategy and clear understanding of the potential cleanup costs. We work with regulatory agencies to review and approve the site remediation plan.

Representative Work:

  • Represent property owners in Contra Costa County regarding septic system failures, and related engineering, code violation, and permitting issues.

  • Represent developers/contractors in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, and El Dorado County regarding code violation and permitting issues; assist with negotiations with planning department, environmental health department, and public works department regarding permit disputes.
  • Represent an organic compost operation in Mendocino County. Successfully dissolved injunction for private nuisance, assisted in renewing full permit with CalRecycling Agency (formerly California Integrated Waste Management Board); assisted with permitting facility for food waste and other compostable materials; assisted with complete re-write of operating agreements, and negotiations with the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board for storm water management issues.

  • Represent organic farming company in storm water compliance issues at pit-drying facility in Oroville, California. Represented same company in criminal environmental violations case. All criminal charges were dismissed and civil compromise reached with County. Successfully negotiated resolution of all regulatory issues with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.

  • Represent family partnership in project to clean-close a landfill formerly used by lumber company. Represented related family business in construction disputes relating to biomass facility and permitting of a compost facility.

  • Represent auto dismantling facilities regarding criminal and regulatory enforcement proceedings, including storm water management and compliance. All criminal charges dismissed and regulatory disputes resolved.

  • Represent farmer in criminal case pertaining to alleged violations of Fish & Game Code and California Water Code. Acquitted of all charges following jury trial.

  • Represent family owned scrap facilities facing a variety of civil, criminal and regulatory issues. Assist with negotiations with DTSC and CVRWQCB on permitting and regulatory issues. Represent same company in pending citizens enforcement action in federal court under Clean Water Act.

  • Represent business regarding surface mining permitting and related regulatory disputes before County Planning Department and California Office of Mining Reclaimation.

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