Methane Recovery / Energy Production Facilities

Represented DTE Energy Resources with environmental/land use entitlement issues under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and air quality permitting of methane recovery/energy production facilities in California.

Air Regulatory Representation and Defense

Represent clients in project and/or facility permitting matters, contested adjudications/administrative variance proceedings before State of California Air Pollution Control Districts/Air Quality Management Districts, and enforcement defense related to Notices of Violations and related proceedings.  Work with clients to ensure compliance with permit requirements and/or Air District rules, in a variety of facility and operational settings.  Advise clients with respect to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and related aspects of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), including providing advice on compliance with California’s Cap-and-Trade Program, as well as the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which are part of AB 32. 

Enforcement Defense

Lead internal investigations, including working directly with clients on Code of Business Conduct/Spirit of the Law investigations.  Engage in voluntary disclosures to governmental agencies/law enforcement where warranted, and represent clients in ensuing or related proceedings to avoid potential criminal liability and resolve matters on a civil or administrative basis.  In this context, work with clients in proceedings involving local District Attorneys’ offices, California Circuit Prosecutors, U.S. Attorneys’ offices, and their client agencies and/or investigative teams.  Sometimes this work involves representation of “target” entities; other times the work involves cooperation with governmental entities as a “witness” or otherwise cooperating entity.

Natural Resource Damage (NRD) Claim Defense

Represent clients in proceedings to recover claimed natural resource damages, and negotiate and obtain NRD waivers where available.

Site Cleanup Related Representation

Work with clients in the context of legacy sites, and contaminated properties acquired through or linked to other disposition activities.  Within California, this work involves regular interaction with Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) regional offices and DTSC headquarters in Sacramento, Regional Water Quality Control Boards and the State Water Resources Control Board, and local agencies.  In a recent matter in San Diego County, obtained AB 2061 lead agency designation for the local Department of Environmental Health, followed by approval of the preferred remedy set forth in the Remedial Action Plan (RAP), and ensured compliance with the National Contingency Plan (NCP) and California Health and Safety Code related requirements.  In that context, obtained a Certificate of Completion regarding the completed remedial work, and provided testimony in the underlying cost recovery action brought by our client to support award of attorneys’ fees as “remedial counsel.”  Also draft and negotiate Land Use Covenants where required, and assist in the placement of insurance where necessary and appropriate.

U.S. EPA Superfund and Related Matters

Represent clients in matters prosecuted by U.S. EPA under its Superfund authority, including Special Notice Proceedings under Section 122(e) and related private party allocation proceedings.

Water Quality/Water Rights Representation

Represent clients before each of the nine California Regional Water Quality Control Boards as well as the State Water Resources Control Board, in site investigation and cleanup and in enforcement defense for alleged permit or related violations.  Represent clients in similar settings before local Publically Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) with enforcement authority.  In addition, defend water rights investigations and complaints before the Water Rights Division of the State Water Resources Control Board, and work with clients regarding agreements and/or disputes concerning water access/rights.