As air quality and climate change concerns grow, both public and private entities face heightened scrutiny, evolving regulations and an increasing number of challenges to projects that impact air quality.
Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Environmental Law & Natural Resources practice group is a leader in the field. We help public entities and private businesses devise strategies to minimize liability exposure, and advocate their interests before regulatory bodies and in courts at all levels. We also provide strategic guidance to clients, helping them leverage business opportunities while complying with the complex array of federal, state and local air quality regulatory requirements.
Our attorneys have extensive experience representing air quality regulators like the Mojave Desert, Antelope Valley and South Coast air quality management districts. We assisted them in developing air quality and climate change management rules and plans that serve as blueprints for future rules necessary to assure compliance with federal and state clean air standards. Our work in this regard has given us an insider’s perspective, making us particularly qualified to offer comprehensive, common-sense advice on air quality rules, their applications and their implications.
Further, we assist clients in obtaining required permits, exemptions and variances from emission restrictions, and advocate for them before the Environmental Protection Agency, the California Air Resources Board and California’s various regional air quality management and air pollution control districts, and in rulemaking and administrative proceedings. We also assist with corrective actions and implementing remediation plans.
Combining public law experience, regulatory knowledge and litigation skill, we advise, advocate for and defend our clients regarding all air quality issues before these and other regulatory bodies, as well as handle enforcement actions, regulatory proceedings, insurance-recovery and indemnification litigation, citizens’ suits and challenges brought by environmental groups.
- Defended the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District in a CEQA citizens’ group challenge to its adoption of Composting Rule 1133. While the court ordered that an Environmental Impact Report be prepared to take into account studies performed by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District in connection with the effect of open-air composting, the court also dismissed a majority of the challenges.
- Defended the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District in a CEQA challenge to Rule 1406 regarding emission reduction credits for PM 2.5 as a result of paving desert roads. The trial court found in favor of the District, but the Court of Appeal reversed, finding that an EIR was required. The case eventually settled with the District conducting a limited EIR.
- Assisted the Mojave Desert AQMD and the Antelope Valley AQMD in a challenge to emission credits and the SCAQMD trading program.
- Represented SCAQMD in a new source-review challenge to the issuance of permits in connection with the Powerine Oil Refinery.
- Represented Belmont Produce Sales, Inc., in an administrative matter before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency related to air quality and soil contamination resulting from burning activities on the Superfund site.
- Successfully defended the March Joint Powers Authority against a petition for writ of mandate under CEQA, which raised extensive air quality and traffic issues. The project at issue was an 800,000+ square foot warehouse, which included a solar array for the offset of greenhouse gases. BB&K assisted with every aspect of the CEQA process and defended the March Joint Powers Authority through both the trial and appellate courts.
- Successfully defended the March Joint Powers Authority against a petition for writ of mandate under CEQA, which raised extensive air quality, greenhouse gas and traffic issues. The project at issue was a nearly million-square foot expansion of a previously approved warehouse project. BB&K assisted with every aspect of the CEQA process for the expansion project and its EIR, and succeeded in having the lawsuit dismissed entirely through a preliminary motion.