• American College of Environmental Lawyers
  • Best Lawyers
  • Chambers USA

Robert L. (Buzz) Hines

  • 415.954.4935
  • |

Buzz Hines has practiced environmental law for more than 25 years representing clients in complex governmental and private litigation and enforcement actions, including state and federal cost recovery actions, natural resource damage claims and assessments, air, water and hazardous waste actions, and multi-media agency proceedings. He is chair of Farella’s Air Quality and Climate Change Group and is a former chair of the Environmental Law Department. He is a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers.

Mr. Hines provides regulatory representation and compliance counseling related to facility and project permitting, regulation of greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions, administrative variance proceedings, site investigations, closures and cleanup, Proposition 65 defense, product stewardship, supply chain advice and brand protection.  He provides domestic and international counseling regarding chemical regulation and compliance with federal and state environmental laws including CWA, CAA, CERCLA, RCRA, OPA, FIFRA, TSCA, SDWA, and the California Hazardous Waste Control Law and defends clients in administrative, civil and criminal environmental disputes and actions before all major state and federal environmental agencies.  Mr. Hines leads internal investigations and assists clients with voluntary disclosures.   

Mr. Hines assists clients with site closure, property development and renewable energy project development issues, including Brownfields remediation and securing immunities and environmental covenants.  He counsels clients on environmental management systems, and in the performance of compliance and regulatory audits.  He leads due diligence investigations in corporate and real estate transactions. He also assists clients in the placement of environmentally related insurance products and advises on securing insurance coverage for claimed losses.

Mr. Hines represents clients, including the wine industry, with agricultural and related product issues, such as defending crop loss claims, advising on water diversion and use, FIFRA and state equivalent label requirements and providing product stewardship advice.  He also advises the bottled water and beverage industries on spring water issues, brand protection, and regulatory compliance and permitting.

Mr. Hines is a frequent speaker on environmental law topics. He is listed in Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America and The International Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers.



  • Co-Division Director, Division I – Membership and Benefits, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2016-2017)
  • Co-Division Director, Division VII - Public Service and Special Projects, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2015-2016)
  • Co-Chair, Regional Meetings Committee, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2014-2015)
  • Co-Chair, National Institutes and Regional Meetings Committee, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2012-2013, 2013-2014)
  • Co-Division Director, Division III - CLE and Programs, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2010-2011, 2011-2012)
  • Member and Current Chair, Board of Directors, Ecology Project International (2010- present)
  • Mediator, ADR Mutli Option Program, United States District Court, Northern District of California (1993- present)
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Member, Advisory Council, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra (2010-present)
  • Member and Treasurer, Board of Directors, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra (1997-2010)
  • Co-Chair, ABA Annual Meeting (San Francisco), Section of Litigation (2010)
  • Co-Chair, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2005-2008)
  • Co-Chair, Environmental Litigation Committee, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2001-2005)
  • Co-Chair, Environmental Enforcement Subcommittee, American Bar Association (1993-2001)
  • Member, Panel of Arbitrators, American Arbitrators Association (1991- 2005)
  • Adjunct Professor, Golden Gate University School of Law (Environmental Law Program) (1993-2000)
  • American Academy of Attorney-Mediators, Inc., completed “AAM Seed Group” Mediator Training Program (February 1996)
  • Trial Attorney, Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice (Honors Program) (1986-1988)
Farella’s Environmental Law Department is recognized by Chambers USA as a top tier environmental practice in California, and by U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” as a top tier firm nationally for its environmental and mass torts practice areas.