Environmental Law & Natural Resources

Preserving the environment while attempting to accommodate a growing population requires legal knowledge, regulatory finesse and the ability strategize, litigate and negotiate to overcome many hurdles. 

Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Environmental Law & Natural Resources practice is a nationally recognized leader in advising both public agency and private clients on the maze of legal, regulatory and political challenges they face. From sustainability and clean technologies to water conservation projects, recycling facilities, air emissions concerns and a host of other issues, BB&K helps clients resolve environmental concerns, enabling them to move their projects forward and plan for the future. 

Regulatory Compliance 
Our environmental attorneys are adept at managing the interplay of environmental laws, including the California Environmental Quality Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, state and federal clean water, clean air and endangered species acts, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Reliability Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act, among others. With long-standing, effective working relationships with the federal and state agencies that administer these laws, we can streamline assessment reviews, efficiently and cost-effectively obtaining necessary approvals and permits.

Whether a development project involves water rights, water quality, endangered species, air quality or hazardous materials or another environmental issue, we have the regulatory, transactional and litigation experience to resolve matters so that our clients can meet their land use goals while protecting the environment and assuring compliance with all legal requirements and regulatory restrictions. 

Strategic Guidance
We provide practical strategies to both public entity clients, such as cities and water districts, and private entities, including landowners and developers. We assist with: 

  • CEQA and NEPA documentation, including environmental impact reports and environmental impact statements
  • Conservation easements
  • Establishing habitat conservation plans  
  • Government relations and advocacy
  • Land use, zoning and entitlements 
  • Phase I, II and III site audits
  • Pre-project planning and strategy and determination of the required environmental review
  • Project siting, permitting and approvals
  • Remediation
  • Risk management 
  • Solar and other renewable energy proposals and projects
  • Telecommunications projects
  • Water rights, supply and quality
  • Wetlands restrictions 

A Leader on Water Issues 
BB&K is counsel of choice for public agencies that collectively provide water to more than two-thirds of California’s population. Our water law reputation is so substantial that we have brokered water rights disputes between states and have developed water policies internationally. 

Environmental Litigation
With so many competing interests, disputes often arise regarding development of lands and the use of limited natural resources. BB&K’s Environmental Litigation team is among the strongest and most experienced teams in the nation, handling precedent-setting litigation in the defense of environmental project approvals in court and asserting and defending our clients’ interests before the Environmental Protection Agency, the California Public Utilities Commission, the State Water Resources Control Board, Regional Water Quality Control Boards, land use authorities and other local, state and federal agencies. 

How Can Government Relations Help You?

Environmental, water, telecommunications and transportation projects by both public agencies and businesses can benefit from our advocacy services. Let us help you be heard!

Learn more about BB&K's Government Relations services.

Areas of Focus: Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Environmental Litigation | General & Special Counsel | Special Districts | Water
Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Municipal Law | Water Quality
Areas of Focus: Air Quality | Renewable Energy | Special Districts | Water Quality
Areas of Focus: California Public Utilities Commission | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Renewable Energy | Transportation | Water
Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Special Districts | Water
Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Special Districts
Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | Election Law | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | Municipal Law
Areas of Focus: Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Government Relations | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) | Public-Private Partnerships | Water | Water Quality
Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) | Water
Areas of Focus: Municipal Law | Special Districts
Free Webinar Jun 23, 2021

Now That You Have ARPA Funds – What’s Next?

BB&K Free Webinar

Legal Alerts Jun 10, 2021

EPA and Army Corps to Propose Repealing and Replacing the Navigable Waters Protection Rule

Legal Filing Asks Court to Remand 2020 Rule Narrowing Scope of Clean Water Act

Press Releases Jun 08, 2021

BB&K Attorneys Return to Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars List

Megan Garibaldi, Ryan Guiboa and Jennifer Misetich on 2021 List

BB&K In the News Jun 02, 2021

Partner Lowry Crook Discusses Army Corps with E&E News

White House Proposed Budget Impacts Army Corps Work

Press Releases May 28, 2021

BB&K Ranked No. 12 in U.S. on Diversity Scorecard

The American Lawyer Gave Firm High Rankings for Minority Equity Partners and Hispanic Attorneys

Authored Articles & Publications May 26, 2021

Planning, Zoning and Development Legal Update

A Q&A With BB&K Of Counsel Todd Leishman and Partner Alisha Winterswyk

BB&K In the News May 13, 2021

Public Finance Partner Mrunal Shah Discusses Climate Change Disclosures with The Bond Buyer

California Looks to Uniform Reporting Framework

Authored Articles & Publications Apr 22, 2021

Earth Day: Municipal Bond Climate Change Disclosure Update

Climate Change Disclosures are Growing in Importance, Writes BB&K's Mrunal Shah in PublicCEO

Client Successes Apr 21, 2021

Citing Potential Water Waste, Court Sides with California Dam Operators

Federal Court Denies Injunction

Press Releases Apr 21, 2021

Shawn Hagerty Named a San Diego Best Attorney 2021

Annual San Diego Metro Magazine List Includes BB&K Partner

BB&K In the News Apr 20, 2021

Legal Analysis Reports Following Groundwater Pumping Decision

Daily Journal and Law360 Go In-Depth on BB&K Antelope Valley Groundwater Adjudication Success

Event Apr 19, 2021

Water, Cable Franchising and Federal Communications Updates

International Municipal Lawyers Association 2021 Mid-Year Seminar

Legal Alerts Apr 19, 2021

Beware of Coastal Act Violations: Court Upholds Coastal Commission’s Authority to Impose up to $20 Million Penalty

Property Owner’s Beach Access Case

Authored Articles & Publications Apr 13, 2021

Court Grants Attorneys' Fees Against City in Development Litigation

CEQA Appellate Court Decision Analyzed by BB&K's Amanda Daams in PublicCEO

Press Releases Mar 31, 2021

BB&K Attorneys Recognized as 2021 San Diego Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Congratulations to the Honorees

Legal Alerts Mar 25, 2021

Appellate Decisions Limiting Groundwater Pumping in an Overdrafted Basin

Antelope Valley Groundwater Basin Adjudication

Client Successes Mar 17, 2021

BB&K Secures Key Groundwater Pumping Rights Ruling

Decision in Antelope Valley Groundwater Basin Adjudication First of its Kind

Press Releases Feb 03, 2021

BB&K Office Makes Sacramento Top 10 Law Firm

Sacramento Business Journal’s Annual Law Firm Rankings

Press Releases Jan 26, 2021

Six BB&K Attorneys Make Southern California Super Lawyers List

BB&K Attorneys Spanning Across Los Angeles and Irvine Receive 2021 Honor

Event Jan 08, 2021

Planning, Zoning and Development Law: What's New from California's Judicial and Legislative Branches

UCLA Extension Public Policy Program's 35th Annual Land Use Law & Planning Conference

Legal Alerts Jan 06, 2021

Housing and Environmental New Laws

Part 2: New Laws Impacting California Public Agencies for 2021

Legal Alerts Dec 14, 2020

New Tribal Consultation Process for Multi-Family Housing

California’s AB 168 Adds Requirements to Approval Process

Legal Alerts Dec 10, 2020

EPA Issues Guidance on Groundwater Releases in Wake of Maui v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund

Clarity Provided for New “Functional Equivalent” Test

Legal Alerts Dec 09, 2020

CEQA Document Filing Fees Increase for 2021

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Annual Adjustments

BB&K In the News Dec 03, 2020

BB&K Partner Ryan Baron Advising Calif. Cities on CCA Energy Path

Orange County Cities Seeking Guidance, According to News Reports

Press Releases Dec 02, 2020

BB&K Partners Named Coachella Valley Top Lawyers for 2020

Palm Springs Life Magazine Recognizes Henry Welles and Robert Hargreaves

Event Nov 20, 2020

California Land Use Law & Policy Conference 2020

Argent Communications Group

BB&K Event Nov 09, 2020

AEP 2020 Virtual Conference

Association of Environmental Professionals

Press Releases Nov 05, 2020

BB&K’s 2021 Best Law Firms Rankings Include New Tier 1 Recognitions

Annual U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers List

Press Releases Sep 28, 2020

Partner John E. Brown Receives James H. Krieger Meritorious Service Award

Riverside County Bar Association Honors Long-Term Community Service

Legal Alerts Sep 24, 2020

Western Joshua Trees Receive Temporary Protection Under the California Endangered Species Act

Designation Impacts Local Ordinances and Developments Involving the Tree

Client Successes Sep 22, 2020

Nevada Water Rights Victory

BB&K Attorney Rod Walston Successful in Public Trust Doctrine Dispute in Nevada Supreme Court

Event Sep 21, 2020

IMLA 2020 Annual Conference

International Municipal Lawyers Association

Press Releases Sep 15, 2020

BB&K Receives High Ranks for Law Firm Diversity

Firm Leadership Renews Commitment to Supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Press Releases Sep 11, 2020

BB&K Attorney Nicholaus Norvell Named a Top 40 Under 40 in San Diego

San Diego Daily Transcript Recognizes Young Professionals

Legal Alerts Sep 10, 2020

Critical Habitat Designation Regulation Change Proposed

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Proposes New Rule Regarding Exclusion of Lands from Critical Habitat for Federally Listed Species

Legal Alerts Sep 08, 2020

DWR Releases Draft Guidebook for 2020 Urban Water Management Plans

Stakeholders Have Until Sept. 21 to Review and Comment

Legal Alerts Sep 02, 2020

New Filing Requirements for CEQA Documents

Significant Changes begin Nov. 3

Legal Alerts Sep 01, 2020

California Supreme Court Clarifies Ministerial vs. Discretionary Actions Under CEQA for Well Construction Permits

Decision in Protecting Our Water and Environmental Resources v. County of Stanislaus Case

Press Releases Aug 20, 2020

36 BB&K Attorneys Recognized on The Best Lawyers in America List for 2021

Three Named “Lawyers of the Year” and One Included on “Ones to Watch” List

Press Releases Jul 31, 2020

San Diego Business Journal Top Law Firm 2020

BB&K Remains in the Top 25 of the Annual Ranking

Legal Alerts Jul 29, 2020

Caltrans Releases New Interim Guidance for Conducting Safety Impact Analyses Under CEQA

Guidance Brings Heightened Scrutiny

Press Releases Jul 16, 2020

BB&K Supports the League of California Cities City Attorneys’ Department Committees

Nine BB&K Attorneys Serving on LCC City Attorney Committees

Press Releases Jul 10, 2020

Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars 2020

BB&K Attorneys Honored by Legal Industry

Legal Alerts Jun 05, 2020

EPA Issues Final Rule to Narrow Scope and Timelines for State Water Quality Certifications

Changes to Clean Water Act Section 401 Certifications

BB&K Webinar May 12, 2020

Groundwater Sustainability Plans: What We Now Know and What is Yet to be Learned

BB&K Free Webinar

Legal Alerts Apr 23, 2020

Supreme Court Decision Creates New Standard for Clean Water Act NPDES Permit

County of Maui v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund

Event Apr 22, 2020

IMLA’s 2020 Mid-Year Seminar

International Municipal Lawyers Association

Legal Alerts Apr 20, 2020

Final Rule Narrowing Clean Water Act Jurisdiction to be Published Tomorrow

EPA and Army Corps of Engineers New “Waters of the U.S.” Definition Takes Effect on June 22*

Press Releases Mar 31, 2020

Congratulations to the San Diego Super Lawyers 2020 Honorees

Including San Diego Super Lawyers Rising Star Recognition

Legal Alerts Mar 10, 2020

The EPA’s National Water Reuse Action Plan

Joint Plan Aims to Meet Rising Water Demands

BB&K Webinar Feb 20, 2020

SGMA and Groundwater Rights: To Adjudicate or Not to Adjudicate

BB&K Free Webinar

Authored Articles & Publications Feb 13, 2020

PublicCEO: BB&K Municipal Law Team Discusses New Public Agency Laws - Part 2

Land Use, Telecommunications, Environmental and More

Legal Alerts Feb 06, 2020

PFOA and PFOS Response Levels Lowered for California Drinking Water

New Thresholds Impact Wider Swath of Public Water Suppliers

Legal Alerts Jan 30, 2020

Proposed NEPA Regulation Overhaul: Next Steps and What Matters for Public Agencies

Public Comments Due March 10

Event Jan 24, 2020

34th Annual Land Use Law & Planning Conference

UCLA Extension Public Policy Program

Legal Alerts Jan 23, 2020

Final Rule Narrowing Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Give New Waters of the U.S. Definition

Legal Alerts Jan 23, 2020

New Year's Resolution for Public Agencies: Prepare to use Vehicle Miles Traveled as the Metric for Transportation Impacts under CEQA

A Change in Methodology Will be Required Statewide July 1

Press Releases Jan 17, 2020

BB&K Partner Andre Monette Testifies Before U.S. House Natural Resources Subcommittee on FISH Act

Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Legislative Hearing on H.R. 4723

Press Releases Jan 17, 2020

Southern California Super Lawyers 2020

Nine BB&K Attorneys Earn Recognition

Legal Alerts Jan 15, 2020

New Laws 2020 Roundup

New Public Agency, California Public Records Act, Education and Labor & Employment Laws

Legal Alerts Jan 13, 2020

New Environmental and Telecommunications Laws

Part 3: California Laws Impacting Public Agencies for 2020

Legal Alerts Jan 03, 2020

Only a Contracting Party May Sue Under Government Code Section 1092

Calif. Supreme Court: San Diegans for Open Government v. Public Facilities Financing Authority of the City of San Diego

Press Releases Jan 02, 2020

Eight BB&K Attorneys Promoted to Partner

Additional Changes at Firm Reflect Growth, Diversification

Press Releases Dec 17, 2019

Managing Partner Eric Garner Named Environmental Law MVP

Water Law Veteran Honored by Law360

Legal Alerts Dec 10, 2019

CEQA Document Filing Fees Increase for 2020

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Annual Adjustments

Legal Alerts Nov 06, 2019

Cities Issuing Business Licenses Will Need to Verify NPDES Permits First

What California Cities Need to Know to Comply with SB 205

Press Releases Nov 01, 2019

BB&K Achieves High Marks in “Best Law Firms” Rankings for 2020

U.S. News-Best Lawyers in America Annual List Recognizes Many of the Firm’s Premier Practice Areas

Videos Oct 30, 2019

[WEBINAR] Housing and Land Use Legislative Update

BB&K Webinar

Legal Alerts Oct 30, 2019

Clean Water Act: 2015 Jurisdiction Rule Repeal Set to Take Effect Dec. 23

WOTUS Definition Court Challenges Continue

Legal Alerts Oct 16, 2019

Groundwater Recharge Projects Get Boost Under AB 658

New California Law to Help Achieve SGMA Requirements

Videos Oct 10, 2019

[WEBINAR] Navigating California’s New Regulations for Wetlands and State Waters

BB&K Webinar

Client Successes Oct 08, 2019

Budget-Based Water Rates Challenge Dismissed

BB&K Successfully Defends Water District

Legal Alerts Sep 03, 2019

California Issues the Nation’s Strictest Notice Levels for PFAS in Drinking Water

New Response Thresholds and Regulations in the Works for Public Water Suppliers

Legal Alerts Aug 20, 2019

California Supreme Court Clarifies CEQA’s Most Fundamental Question: What is a “Project?”

Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of San Diego

Press Releases Aug 19, 2019

Partner Shawn Hagerty a San Diego Top Attorney

Recognized for Land Use Planning, Water Quality and Municipal Law Work

Press Releases Aug 15, 2019

The Best Lawyers Recognizes 31 BB&K Attorneys on 2020 List

Including Seven Named as “Lawyer of the Year”

Legal Alerts Aug 09, 2019

PFAS Concerns Trigger Regulatory and Legal Responses

Federal and State Governments and Courts Concerned About Toxicity and Water Contamination

Legal Alerts Jul 24, 2019

Complying with America’s Water Infrastructure Act Requirements

New Risk, Resilience and Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Community Water Systems

Legal Alerts Jul 09, 2019

Irrigation District May Refuse Water Delivery to Rule Violators

Calif. Appellate Court Decision May Also Apply to Other Types of Water Providers

Press Releases Jul 08, 2019

BB&K Ranked No. 202 on NLJ Largest Law Firms

Growth Attributed to a Niche Public Law Focus and Great Results

Press Releases Jul 02, 2019

BB&K on 2019 Nor. Cal. Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists

Annual List Acknowledges Attorneys for Professional Achievements

Press Releases Jun 11, 2019

Two BB&K Partners Named Coachella Valley Top Lawyers

Henry Welles and Robert Hargreaves Selected by Palm Springs Life Magazine

Press Releases May 28, 2019

BB&K Remains a Top 25 San Diego Law Firm

San Diego Business Journal’s 2019 Ranking

Press Releases May 13, 2019

BB&K One of 200 Largest Law Firms in the U.S.

Law360 Annual Ranking Reflects Firm’s Continued Recent Growth

Authored Articles & Publications May 08, 2019

Blue is the New Red in Federalism

Partner Gene Tanaka Discusses a Flip in the States’ Rights Discussion in Municipal Lawyer

Legal Alerts May 02, 2019

SGMA: DWR Announces Draft Basin Prioritization

Comments Accepted Until May 30

Authored Articles & Publications Apr 30, 2019

"California Water," Third Edition

Eric Garner’s Updates to Text on Historical, Legal and Policy Issues Affecting California Water Use

Press Releases Apr 24, 2019

BB&K’s Christi Hogin and Andre Monette Honored for Amicus Work by IMLA

The Attorneys Argued About Short-Term Rentals and the Clean Water Act in the Ninth Circuit

Client Successes Apr 24, 2019

Tribe Lacks Standing in Water Suit

Representing Desert Water Agency, BB&K Attorneys Won Partial Dismissal of Case

Press Releases Apr 10, 2019

Five BB&K Partners Named to 2019 San Diego Super Lawyers List

All Are Returning to the Annual List

Legal Alerts Apr 04, 2019

New Wetlands Protections in California Proposed

SWRCB Votes to Adopt Regulations that Could Impact Permitting Procedures

Press Releases Mar 27, 2019

A Top Orange County Law Firm

BB&K Makes Top 40 on Orange County Business Journal List

Authored Articles & Publications Mar 18, 2019

CEQA Compliance for Businesses

BB&K’s Charity Schiller and Amanda Daams Warn Why Businesses Should Heed CEQA’s Changing Processes

BB&K In the News Feb 27, 2019

American Lawyer Discusses BB&K Growth Last Year

Firm Expands to Meet Client Demand

Press Releases Feb 22, 2019

Groundwater Rights Trial Earns Top Verdict Honor from Daily Journal

BB&K Leads Water Agencies’ Defense

Legal Alerts Feb 15, 2019

Clean Water Act: Proposed WOTUS Replacement Rule Published in Federal Register

Comments Due by April 15

Press Releases Jan 30, 2019

BB&K a Top 10 Law Firm in Sacramento

Sacramento Business Journal’s 2019 List of Largest Area Law Firms

Press Releases Jan 30, 2019

Seven Attorneys on Southern California Super Lawyers List

2019 Recognition Includes Riverside, Irvine, Los Angeles and Manhattan Beach Attorneys

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