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

Publication

San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board Adopts General Permit for Vineyard Properties in the Napa River and Sonoma Creek Watersheds

Over the last several years, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, for the San Francisco Bay Region (Water Board), determined that adoption of Waste Discharge Requirements were needed to better protect the Napa River...

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News

Farella Attorneys Honored With 2019 CLAY Award for M&A Deal

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Publication

Discharges Through Groundwater: Fourth Circuit Expands CWA Jurisdiction

Published by the ABA Environment & Energy Section  by Sarah Peterman Bell, David Lazerwitz and Brian Wantz A recent ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals signals a marked expansion of jurisdiction and...

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Publication

Re-Imagining Environmental Governance: The Future of Environmental Law

Not to dwell on the past, but I have been struck of late reading obituaries of certain leading figures in environmental law by a recurrent theme, which is essentially captured by the following quote:...

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Publication

The Uncertain Future of California’s Vehicle Emission Standards

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Event

CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split

Sarah Bell will speak on the Strafford live webinar, "CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split." This CLE webinar will discuss the "indirect discharge" theory of Clean...

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News

Linda Sobczynski Accepted Into 2019 Clean Energy Leadership Institute Fellowship Program

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Publication

Trump Administration Continues Project Permitting Streamlining Efforts

The White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) announced on June 20, 2018 that it is considering updating its regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Specifically, the CEQ issued an  Advance Notice of...

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Publication

Emerging Contaminants: Coming to an NRD Site Near You!

What Are Emerging Contaminants? Emerging contaminants are chemicals in the environment for which the health risks—both human and ecological—remain unknown. They are also sometimes called contaminants of emerging concern, since the chemicals, or products...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Wins Benchmark Litigation 2019 San Francisco Firm of the Year Award

SAN FRANCISCO, March 15, 2019: Farella Braun + Martel announces it has been named “San Francisco Firm of the Year” by Benchmark Litigation . Farella Partner Douglas Young accepted the award on behalf of...

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