Buzz Hines has practiced environmental law for 30-plus years, providing regulatory representation, compliance counseling, and strategic advice to clients with respect to federal, California, and local environmental, natural resource, real estate, and energy matters. He is the chair of Farella’s Air Quality and Climate Change Group. Buzz is a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers.

A former Department of Justice Trial Attorney with the Environment and Natural Resources Division in Washington, D.C., Buzz has trial and litigation expertise, and regularly defends government and citizen enforcement actions and leads internal investigations. His practice also encompasses facility and project permitting, regulation of greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions, administrative variance proceedings (i.e., trials before administrative tribunals), site investigations, closures and cleanup, and Proposition 65 counseling, product stewardship, supply chain advice, and brand protection.

In addition, Buzz advises on renewable energy project development issues and property disposition matters, including due diligence, brownfield remediation, and securing immunities and environmental covenants. He also assists clients in obtaining environmentally-related insurance products and securing coverage for losses.

Buzz also works with clients in the wine and cannabis industries, where he assists with facility expansions, acquisitions, and agricultural and related product issues, such as advising on water diversion and use, FIFRA and state equivalent label requirements, and providing product stewardship advice.  

Along with an enormous amount of hands-on experience, Buzz brings an exceptional ability to listen to and work with his clients – understanding their objectives, and integrating those objectives into the overall strategy. In the enormously complex field of environmental law in California, Buzz is a genuine trusted advisor and consummate industry professional.

Buzz is a frequent speaker on environmental law and related topics.


  • Chambers USA, Environment (2011-2019)
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • The International Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers
  • Northern California Super Lawyers (2005, 2007, 2010-2019)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • 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)