Ryan Baron

Of Counsel

Tel: (949) 263-6568

Location(s)

At a Glance

Ryan provides strategic counsel on energy and environmental law matters. 
 
He represents clients in front of federal and state agencies and advises on infrastructure development.
 
As former senior in-house counsel, Ryan understands the business of government and industry and the need to navigate clients through complex matters with revenue-focused and creative approaches.
 

Ryan Baron offers strategic counsel to public and private clients throughout California and the U.S. on utilities regulation, administrative law, environmental law and public agency governance matters. His practice spans regulatory, transactional and business issues in the areas of energy, gas, water quality, air quality, wastewater and solid waste. He also has extensive experience with project development, entitlement and permitting matters, particularly with respect to large-scale infrastructure.   
 
Energy, Gas & Utilities
Ryan represents clients on energy, gas and general utility matters before a number of federal and state agencies and advises utility clients on transactional, business and governance matters. He  represents a number of California community choice aggregators, commonly known as CCAs, and communities exploring CCA on formation, governance, regulatory and transactional matters, including Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, San Diego and Santa Clara counties. Ryan is also advising clients in Colorado on electric municipalization. He has experience with the development of alternative energy and other new technologies, such as waste-to-energy, solar, wind, renewable natural gas and battery storage.  He negotiates regularly with utility companies and advises on utility rules and tariffs. Ryan’s previous experience includes several years advising on telecommunications regulations and projects.
 
Environmental Law
Ryan has extensive experience in water quality, air quality, climate change and solid waste regulations, including MS4 permit compliance, total maximum daily loads, trading and offset programs, cap and trade, air permits, and waste and recycling. He appears regularly before the State and regional water boards, the California Air Resources Board, CalRecycle and air quality management districts.
 
Project Development & Permitting
Ryan counsels clients on all aspects of the development of utility and large-scale infrastructure projects with significant experience in all types of contracts and negotiation. In addition to his experience with energy facilities, he has experience with the development of flood control and water facilities, transportation corridors, master-planned communities and vertical construction. His development experience ranges from funding and finance issues to real estate and entitlements to procurement and public-private partnerships. Ryan has advised on billions of dollars in projects and development.
 
Government Service
Ryan is a former senior in-house counsel to the County of Orange, one of the largest counties in the nation. In a 70-attorney office, he oversaw the office’s public works and regulatory team and managed outside counsel. Ryan was general or lead counsel to several large county agencies, including the county Public Works, Flood Control District, Planning and Landfill departments and was counsel to several joint powers agencies and county commissions and committees. In addition to his focus on energy and environmental law work, he advised on Brown Act, conflicts of interest, public works, real estate, land use and procurement issues.
 
Prior to government service, Ryan practiced with a prominent Washington, D.C. law firm working on behalf of Fortune 100 companies on regulatory litigation and federal enforcement actions. During law school, Ryan was a law clerk and junior lobbyist for the global government relations office of an international telecommunications company and was a legal intern in the International Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission and for an FCC Commissioner. Ryan was editor-in-chief of Catholic University’s Communications Law Journal and a graduate of the school’s Institute for Communications Law Studies (now the Institute of Law & Technology).
 
Teaching
Ryan was an adjunct professor at Whittier Law School, where he taught Administrative Law and Energy Law. He has guest lectured at the USC School of Law, Chapman University School of Law and in the Advanced Power and Energy Program at the University of California, Irvine.
 
Ryan is licensed to practice law in the State of California.
 
Education

  • The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, J.D., Washington D.C.
  • San Diego State University, B.A. Communication, with distinction

 
Memberships & Community Involvement

  • California Lawyer’s Association, Board of Representatives; Public Law Section Executive Committee, Chair, 2017-18
  • Sustain SoCal, Board of Directors, Vice-Chair
  • California Stormwater Quality Association, Policy & Permitting Subcommittee, Co-Chair; Executive Program Committee
  • CalCCA, Partner Member
  • Orange County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section

Utility Law

  • Advised public agencies on community choice aggregation implementation and legal issues, including Western Riverside Council of Governments and several Southern California cities
  • Advised $500 million municipal solid waste enterprise on alternative energy opportunities, including anaerobic digestion, biogas, CNG, solar and geothermal
  • Negotiated agreements and other project documents for several landfill gas to energy facilities
  • Advised on Investor Owned Utility general rates cases and tariffs
  • Drafted and negotiated solar power purchase agreements and advised on renewable energy credits
  • Advised on FERC regulatory issues for over-the-fence sales under Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act
  • Participated in California Air Resources Board rulemakings regarding cap and trade application to cogeneration plants and landfills and advised on monetization of carbon allowances and offset programs
  • Successfully negotiated $2.4 million CARB notice of violation to no penalty
  • Drafted and negotiated utility pipeline relocation settlement agreements
  • Represented large county in formation of statewide joint powers agency for natural gas procurement
  • Assisted with drafting grant applications to Department of Energy and California Energy Commission

 
Environmental Law

  • Advised counties, numerous cities, councils of government and developers on Clean Water Act and Porter-Cologne Act compliance and watershed management planning
  • Participated in State and Regional Water Board proceedings on stormwater permit issuance, alternative compliance, total maximum daily loads, establishment of water quality standards and beneficial uses
  • Drafted Supreme Court amicus brief and filed test claims with Commission on State Mandates regarding unfunded state mandates associated with MS4 program activities
  • Advised on total maximum daily load compliance issues (bacteria, selenium, organichlorines) involving water quality trading, alternative compliance strategies, TMDL deadlines, basin plan amendments
  • Participated in EPA rulemaking proceedings on Waters of the U.S. and agency restructuring, and negotiated with agency staff
  • Successfully represented clients in Clean Water Act lawsuits, 60-day citizen suit notices and Regional Water Board enforcement actions
  • Advised on air permits and variance issues associated with landfill operations, natural gas and landfill gas to energy power plants
  • Advised on solid waste disposal issues including trash importation, tipping fees, California Environmental Quality Act, landfill expansion, landfill closure and conditional use permits

 
Project Development

  • Reviewed contracts for $165 million P3 development of government civic center
  • Advised on infrastructure development agreement obligations for 6,000-acre development including transportation obligations, road fees and community facility district finance issues
  • Advised on development and construction of cogeneration, solar, LFGE, biomass, fuel cell and natural gas injection facilities
  • Advised on all aspects transportation corridor improvements and flood control improvements, including CEQA/NEPA, State Fish and Wildlife and Regional Water Board permits, design and construction contracts, developer and municipal cooperative agreements, real estate, and public funding issues
  • Advised joint powers operation of $200 million public safety radio communications system between county and more than 130 partner agencies, including $150 million p25 upgrade
  • Drafted and negotiated $20 million cooperative agreements between state and local agency partners for water diversion pipelines to remove selenium, nitrogen and trash
  • Led telecommunications site leasing efforts on countywide basis

 
Public Agency Governance

  • Former lead counsel to Orange County Public Works, Planning and Waste and Recycling departments on issues involving regulatory, environmental, public works, procurement, real estate, land use, special fund use, public finance, Brown Act, CEQA, and conflicts of interest
  • Counsel to JPAs and various commissions and committees, including the Orange County Planning Commission, Airport Land Use Commission, Countywide Coordinated Communications System and the County of Orange/City of Santa Ana Civic Center JPA
  • Counsel on countywide regional services including water quality, energy, public works and public safety communications

 
CPUC Proceedings of Note: PG&E Restructuring, Undergrounding and Wildfire Mitigation
Legal Alerts Jan 14, 2019

CPUC Proceedings of Note: PG&E Restructuring, Undergrounding and Wildfire Mitigation

Public Agencies Will Be Impacted by Various Actions

New Year, New Laws Impacting Public Agencies in California – Part I
Legal Alerts Jan 9, 2019

New Year, New Laws Impacting Public Agencies in California – Part I

2019 Brings Changes to Election, Revenue, Conflict of Interest, Property and Public Safety Laws… and More

Proposed Federal Clean Water Rule Impacts Cities and Residents
Legal Alerts Dec 12, 2018

Proposed Federal Clean Water Rule Impacts Cities and Residents

Comments Being Sought

Rise in CCAs in Cities Reshaping California Electric Business
Authored Articles & Publications Jul 27, 2018

Rise in CCAs in Cities Reshaping California Electric Business

Ryan Baron Weighs the Community Choice Aggregation Question for Cities in PublicCEO

CPUC Reopens TOU Grandfathering Grace Period Eligibility
Legal Alerts Dec 4, 2017

CPUC Reopens TOU Grandfathering Grace Period Eligibility

Public Agencies Must Submit Application by Dec. 31

Waters of the U.S. Rule to Go to Supreme Court
Legal Alerts Jan 18, 2017

Waters of the U.S. Rule to Go to Supreme Court

Nation’s High Court Agreed to Hear Challenges to Controversial Rule

Is Tax Law the Most Efficient Way to Promote Sustainable Energy?
Authored Articles & Publications Jan 17, 2017

Is Tax Law the Most Efficient Way to Promote Sustainable Energy?

Ryan Baron, Of Counsel, Answers in Tax Notes

Four New California Cap and Trade Bills Fund Programs
Legal Alerts Oct 5, 2016

Four New California Cap and Trade Bills Fund Programs

$900 Million in Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2016-17

 

BB&K Attorney Ryan Baron Serving on the California Lawyers Association Board of Representatives
Press Releases Sep 18, 2018

BB&K Attorney Ryan Baron Serving on the California Lawyers Association Board of Representatives

Appointed by the Public Law Section

Event Apr 11, 2018

Understanding Community Choice Energy and Its Opportunities

OC Clean Power

Event Feb 22, 2018

Community Choice Aggregation

Orange County Council of Governments

BB&K Attorneys Appointed to State Bar of California Committees
Press Releases Oct 4, 2017

BB&K Attorneys Appointed to State Bar of California Committees

Public, Labor & Employment, Environmental and Insolvency Law Sections

Event Sep 25, 2017

There’s a Lot Going on in Water Quality Law!

CASQA’s 13th Annual Conference

Event Sep 13-15, 2017

LCC Annual Conference

League of California Cities

Event Sep 6, 2017

Community Choice Aggregation: Soup to Nuts

Sustain OC Educational Forum

Community Choice Aggregation and Other Green Job Creators
BB&K In the News Jun 6, 2017

Community Choice Aggregation and Other Green Job Creators

BB&K Attorney Ryan Baron Discusses Green Jobs in California with the Society for Human Resource Management

Event Jun 2, 2017

Law Enforcement Use of Force & Liability Conference

The State Bar of California Public Law Section

Event May 5, 2017

Applying P3s to Stormwater

P3 Water Summit

BB&K In the News Apr 4, 2017

Riverside County Seeks Investors for Broadband Initiative

BB&K Assisted with RFP Drafting

Event Mar 20, 2017

Community Choice Aggregations: A New Option for Local Governments

Association of California Cities-Orange County

Event Mar 18, 2017

Show Me the Money: Stormwater Permit Compliance and Unfunded Mandates

City Attorneys of Los Angeles County Annual Retreat

Event Mar 15, 2017

Getting Energized for Automated Vehicles

International Municipal Lawyers Association Webinar

Former County Counsel Ryan Baron Joins Environmental Law Practice Group
Press Releases Dec 28, 2016

Former County Counsel Ryan Baron Joins Environmental Law Practice Group

BB&K Welcomes Baron as Of Counsel

Event Oct 13, 2016

Tracking State and Federal Grant Money - Cap and Trade & AB 1613

Sustain OC Annual Conference

Event Oct 5-7, 2016

LCC Annual Conference

League of California Cities

Event Sep 13, 2016

Case Study on Water Quality Driven Projects in Orange County

IRWA Orange County Chapter 67

Event Sep 12-14, 2016

Developments in California Administrative Proceedings

2016 CASQA 12th Annual Conference

Presentations

  • Legal Update, California Stormwater Quality Association Annual Conference, Moderator, Oct. 15, 2018
  • National Update on Stormwater Regulation, National Municipal Stormwater Alliance Annual Meeting, 2018 91st Annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition & Conference, Oct. 3, 2018
  • "Community Choice Aggregation, Considerations for Public Agencies," City of Lake Forest, August 2018
  • “Water Quality Projects in Orange County,” 2016 Water Seminar, International Right of Way Association, Orange County Chapter, September 2016
  • “Current Issues with Utilities,” Public Works Contracts & Environmental Law Conference, County Counsel’s Association, May 2016
  • “Current Issues in Stormwater: Attainable or Bust,” moderator, Public Law Section Webinar, State Bar of California, January 2016
  • “Water Quality Trading,” 11th Annual California Stormwater Quality Association Conference, October 2015
  • “County Revenue Basics: Paying for County Services under Propositions 26 and 218,” Financial Services Workshop, County of Orange, September 2015
  • “San Diego Regional MS4 Permit,” Orange County City Manager’s Association Meeting, June 2015
  • “Utility Undergrounding,” Public Works Contracts & Environmental Law Conference, County Counsel’s Association, October 2014
  • “How Does EPA’s Proposed Waters of the U.S. Rule Affect Municipalities?” 79th Annual International Municipal Lawyer’s Association Conference, September 2014, Baltimore, MD
  • “Landfill Gas to Energy,” Advanced Power & Energy Program, University of California, Irvine, November 2013
  • “California Municipal Stormwater Permits,” Law Seminars Int’l Telebriefing, November 2013
  • “Agencies, Permitting & the San Diego Water Board,” Water Law Clinic, Whittier Law School, November 2013
  • “County Power Plant Partnerships on the Rise,” CleanTech OC Annual Conference & Expo, September 2013
  • “It’s All About Worms! Virginia Dept. of Transportation v. EPA,” 10th Annual California Stormwater Quality Association Conference, September 2013
  • “Utility Undergrounding,” Public Works Contracts & Environmental Law Conference, co-chair, County Counsel’s Association, May 2013
  • “At Last . . . A Nationwide Public Safety Wireless Broadband Network: Now What?” moderator, NATOA Annual Conference, September 2012, New Orleans, LA
  • “Power Purchase Agreements and Landfill Gas Contracts,” Public Works Contracts & Environmental Law Conference, County Counsel’s Association, May 2012
  • “Energy Law 101,” Environmental Law Society, Whittier Law School, April 2012
  • “Challenges with Energy, Gas and the Environment,” moderator, Environmental Law Symposium, “Looking Forward: The Next Decade in Southern California Environmental Law,” Whittier Law School, February 2012