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Sean Herman

Sean G. Herman

Senior Counsel
(415) 995-5899


Sean G. Herman advises and litigates on behalf of clients in natural resource and land use matters. His clients include public agencies like water agencies, sanitation districts, reclamation districts, cities, and counties, as well as residential and commercial developers, private sector manufacturers, and agricultural companies. Sean’s experience includes environmental laws at the Federal, State, and local levels, with a concentration on water quality, water use, water rights, endangered species, property contamination, and environmental review compliance.

Given this focus, Sean regularly advises clients on permitting and litigation under sections 401, 402, and 404 of the Clean Water Act and requirements under the State-equivalent Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act; implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA); compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the State-equivalent California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); sections 7 and 10 of the Endangered Species Act and requirements under the State-equivalent California Endangered Species Act; hazardous waste management and site investigation, remediation, and cost recovery allocation under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), and the State-equivalent Hazardous Substance Account Act; and supply chain compliance under Proposition 65.

Sean often speaks and writes on environmental law matters, and sits on the Environmental Law Section’s executive committee for the Bar Association of San Francisco. Sean also is an adjunct professor at Golden Gate University School of Law, where he teaches administrative law and coaches its environmental law moot court team.


J.D. Rutgers University ( 2011 )
B.S. cum laude Boston College ( 2007 )

Admissions and Courts

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
New Jersey
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
New York


Water Practice Leader
Pro Bono Committee, Member

Water Education Foundation, William R. Gianelli Water Leaders Class

Former Chair of the Barristers Club's Environmental, Land Use, and Real Property Section for the Bar Association of San Francisco

Executive Committee for the Bar Association of San Francisco Environmental Law Section

"Court Revives California Public Beach Harassment Case," Law360 (March 2023)

Settling Clean Water Act Citizen Suits,” Storm Water Solutions (July 2022)

Idaho Couple Returns to Supreme Court to Wage New WOTUS War,” E&E News (January 2022)

Biden Races Courts for Chance to Torpedo Trump Water Rule,” E&E News (April 2021)

“What a Kavanaugh Court Means for Environmental Law,” E&E News (September 2020)

“EPA Narrows States’ Veto Power Over Infrastructure Projects (4),” Bloomberg Law (June 2020)

“Clean Water Act Test 'Will be Litigated for Years to Come,'” E&E News (April 2020)

“State and Local Governments Create Alliances to Fight Climate Change as Trump Administration Rolls Back Efforts to Impact Air Regulations,” Environmental Business Journal (Winter 2019)

“Pruitt Tries to Bulletproof Waters Rule Repeal Before Exit,” Bloomberg Environment (July 2018)

Northern California Rising Star, SuperLawyers (2023)

California Lawyers Association, Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Legal Services Award (2019–2022)