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Nathan Metcalf

Nathan A. Metcalf

(415) 995-5838


Nathan has over a decade and a half of experience in water law and environmental law. He advises clients on water rights issues in defending and protesting water rights applications and transfers, including related issues under the California Environmental Quality Act, the California Fish and Game Code, the Clean Water Act sections 401 and 404, the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the public trust, reasonable use and physical solutions doctrines. Nathan has assisted public agency clients in implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and the State's emergency water conservation regulations. His experience includes involvement in water transfers and groundwater management issues related to dwindling water supplies. He has also defended industrial and municipal clients in stormwater permit compliance and citizen suit actions involving stormwater discharges under the Clean Water Act. He currently serves Stinson Beach County Water District as general counsel.

Nathan has experience in NEPA/CEQA compliance, environmental due diligence, remediation and development of contaminated properties, environmental reporting requirements, hazardous waste management, environmental permitting, Prop 65, UST clean-up, and endangered species. He has appeared before numerous administrative and judicial proceedings, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, California Superior Court, the California State Water Resources Control Board, the Nevada State Engineer and a Bureau of Land Management, Administrative Law Judge.

Before becoming an attorney, Nathan worked in hazardous waste disposal and environmental health and safety (EH&S) management for medical instrument, drug delivery, and biotechnology companies.


J.D. University of San Francisco School of Law ( 2005 )
M.S. University of San Francisco ( 1997 )
B.S. Clarion University of Pennsylvania ( 1989 )

Admissions and Courts

U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California


Water Practice Leader

Water Law. Advises water right owners on the complex California water rights system, including permitting and reporting requirements before the State Board. Adjudication of groundwater and surface water rights in courts and in administrative hearings. Assists with groundwater management, drought conservation measures, and water transfers and wheeling agreements. Experience in fishery restoration projects and negotiated settlements with government agencies and environmental groups. Advises public agency clients in the implementation of SGMA, including basin boundary modifications, application to become a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA), and development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSP) and alternatives. Serves as counsel to a watermaster in a fully appropriated stream system. 

Municipal Clients. Advises on environmental compliance requirements and review of environmental documents (CEQA / NEPA / ESA / Porter-Cologne Act / Fish and Game Code).

Industrial Stormwater. Advises municipal and industrial clients on stormwater compliance and defending citizen suit actions under the Clean Water Act, and negotiation of settlements.

Defends clients in Clean Water Act actions, and resolves litigation through favorable settlement terms.

Super Lawyers, Energy & Natural Resources (2010–2015)