Many businesses require the specialized knowledge that environmental matters demand. From the common to the complex, our dedicated environmental lawyers possess the collective depth to meet our clients needs in any engagement, large or small, public or discrete.

With decades of experience in litigation and counseling involving the environment and natural resources, including soil, surface water and groundwater, wetlands, species, air, hazardous waste, land use, environmental due diligence and project development, including renewable energy projects, and product stewardship and liability, we add efficiency and certainty where businesses and brands are threatened or at risk.  We can see the big picture, identify the crucial issues, and create practical pathways to resolutions that are targeted, creative, and cost-effective.

Compliance and Litigation Counsel

Our compliance and transactional counselors, regulatory specialists, litigators, and trial attorneys understand the full range of environmental issues faced by both large, national and multinational companies as well as sophisticated California-based enterprises.  Our proven experience in skillfully navigating through agency, regulatory and litigation challenges at every level give our clients a crucial advantage. 

Many of our partners began their careers in the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division, or U.S. Attorney offices.  We maintain valuable credibility and a distinctly positive reputation among federal, state, and local government regulators, enforcement authorities, judges, environmental stakeholders, and fellow practitioners.

A National Practice, Focused on the West

Our nationwide practice is particularly focused on the West.  We regularly handle complex compliance and litigation matters in many western states, and we have deep experience in litigation, counseling and regulatory matters throughout California.  Our practice features deep capabilities in addressing the complete range of federal laws and regulations, as well as the ever-growing complexities of state laws and regulations, particularly in California, which often takes a leading role in environmental regulation.  Indeed, with the current relaxing of some federal regulations and expanding efforts at state levels, we remain focused on keeping our clients up-to-date and on sound regulatory footing, saving and preserving resources and reputations.

Industry Focus

We take pride in our readiness and ability to learn our clients’ businesses, which span industries as diverse as waste management, chemicals, transportation, mines and quarrying, agriculture, wine, manufacturing and production, food processing, consumer products, construction, technology, energy and renewable energy, and pharmaceuticals.  Many of our partners have practiced exclusively in environmental matters for decades.  We take a proactive and practical approach to compliance and work to avoid litigation and unnecessary conflict where possible.  But when the other side is determined to fight, or compromise cannot be achieved, we are ready and able to adjudicate issues in administrative hearings, writ proceedings, and trial.

Firm Highlights

News

Lawyers See Maui Opinion as Grounds to Challenge Trump Water Rule

Environmental law partner Sarah Bell was quoted in the Bloomberg Law article, "Lawyers See Maui Opinion as Grounds to Challenge Trump Water Rule." In the article, Sarah said the Maui holding will be used...

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Publication

Key PFAS Regulatory Standards Set in California

In support of California’s efforts to investigate and evaluate the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the environment, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board) has released interim...

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Publication

New Screening Levels for Key PFAS Chemicals Will Spur Regulatory Action at Contaminated Sites

In support of the State Water Resources Control Board’s (State Board) efforts to investigate and evaluate the public health effects of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board...

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News

SCOTUS Clean Water Act Test ‘Devastating’ for Industry

Sarah Bell commented on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling saying that the Clean Water Act can be used to regulate pollution that travels through groundwater. Read full article, here . The case is  County...

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Event

LSI's PFAS Contamination and Regulation in California Virtual Conference

Sarah Bell will be speaking at LSI's virtual conference on PFAS Contamination and Regulation in California live webinar, "PFAS and Hazardous Materials Cleanup Laws." Details: CWA violations, CERCLA designations, and NRD claims as potential game...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Attorneys, Practices Recognized by Chambers USA 2020

SAN FRANCISCO, April 23, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel announces that Chambers USA has recognized 12 lawyers and five practice areas in the legal directory’s 2020 edition. Individual Rankings: Tyler Gerking – Insurance: Policyholders...

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Publication

New EPA Clean Water Act Rule Attempts to Streamline Permitting Process

Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized the “Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule” (Rule). The Rule comes with significant procedural and substantive changes to the certification process for infrastructure projects. Under...

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News

EPA Narrows States’ Veto Power Over Infrastructure Projects

Environmental Law Partner Sarah Bell spoke to Bloomberg Law about EPA rule (RIN: 2040-AF86 ), which aims to discourage coastal states from relying on part of the Clean Water Act to block fossil fuel...

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Publication

The Winding Trail Home: Marin County Secures Key Multi-Use Trail Access Decision

With Marin County’s Mt. Tamalpais often considered the birthplace of mountain biking, it should not be surprising that the County finds itself at the forefront of California’s battle over multi-use trail access and consequently...

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Event

Reexamining Indirect Discharges and the Clean Water Act After County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund

Sarah Bell will be speaking on this Strafford live webinar, "Reexamining Indirect Discharges and the Clean Water Act After County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund ." This CLE webinar will discuss the...

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