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Air Quality / Climate Change / Greenhouse Gases

Air Quality / Climate Change / Greenhouse Gases

California has a long history of air quality regulation, and as a California law firm we have been litigating on the front lines of this area for decades. Our lawyers include former regulators and experienced environmental attorneys who have a wealth of knowledge about how air quality regulations apply and how enforcement works. This experience allows us to develop targeted, effective compliance solutions. In addition, we have long-standing relationships with seasoned technical experts who support our legal team in evaluating compliance concerns.

Air quality laws and regulations pose some of the most complex legal challenges that businesses face. The scope of the regulations range from traditional stationary sources like manufacturers and industrial processes, to truck and vehicle fleets, to indirect sources that attract vehicle traffic like shopping centers and warehouses. Deepening the complication is that these regulations are adopted by the federal government, the state, regional and local governments.  

Navigating air quality issues requires a deft touch, and we help clients advance their business interests by monitoring and attempting to improve air quality legislation, regulations, and guidance that impact their operations. We understand that regulatory violations can result in significant penalties, require expensive and disruptive retrofit requirements and, in extreme cases, shut down facilities altogether; as such, our expertise focuses on developing comprehensive and practical defensive strategies.  

When litigation is necessary, we defend clients in enforcement actions brought by local air districts, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the U.S. EPA. Alternatively, and when circumstances so warrant, we bring litigation against these agencies to advance our clients' interests. Importantly, while we vigorously litigate complex cases, we also focus on resolving matters through practical, cost-effective settlements.


  • Accidental releases (including the CAA General Duty Clause and CalARP enforcement)
  • AQMD/CARB/EPA Notices of Violation (NOVs)/Orders for Abatement/Variances
  • California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) and Prodigies 
  • Consumer Products
  • Construction Portable Equipment and Operations
  • Criminal defense and internal investigations 
  • Hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP/MACT standards)
  • Health Risk Assessments
  • Indirect Source Regulations/Trip Reduction Strategies
  • Stationary Source/Equipment Permitting
  • Title V Federal Operating Permits
  • Truck and Vehicle Fleet Regulations

Representative Clients

  • Agriculture
  • Aircraft maintenance and production
  • Asbestos abatement
  • Bulk storage facilities
  • Chemical manufacturing
  • Cogeneration
  • Construction
  • Food manufacturing
  • Industrial gas production
  • Mining 
  • Port operations
  • Power production
  • Rendering
  • Solid waste management
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Utilities

Representative Matters

  • Assisted clients with U.S. EPA and CARB audits of transportation fleet for evaluation of compliance with Truck and Bus Regulations
  • Represented a multinational chemical corporation in Clean Air Act NESHAP (Hazardous Air Pollutant) rulemaking and in judicial and administrative review of MACT standard
  • Represented a food growers’ cooperative in retrofit of cogeneration facility that generated $1 million in emission credits under California’s Cap-and-Trade Program for greenhouse gas emissions
  • Defended a company against alleged violations of Clean Air Act and other state and federal laws arising from the accidental release of anhydrous ammonia gas
  • Advised a ferry operator regarding compliance with CARB air toxics emissions regulations
  • Advised an industrial gas producer regarding the implementation of the Cap-and-Trade Program under California’s Global Warming Solutions Act
  • Represented a consumer products company in connection with alleged violations of CARB Consumer Products Regulation
  • Provided defense and compliance assistance for a food manufacturer accused of violations of CARB Refrigerant Management Program
  • Defended several coal-fired power plants against alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and AQMD rules
  • Represented a natural gas-fired peaking power plant in permit negotiations with an Air Quality Management District
  • Represented an aircraft operator against charges of testing aircraft engines as a stationary source without an air permit
  • Represented a solid waste management site against charges of emitting methane gas without an air permit
  • Represented an industrial cleanup site in connection with compliance for emissions from air stripping towers for trichloroethylene (TCE) treatment
  • Represented a rock quarry in connection with air emissions compliance issues
  • Represented an asbestos removal company in investigation by the district attorney of alleged illegal disposal of asbestos waste
  • Represented an asbestos removal company in obtaining numerous permits for the removal of asbestos

Key Contacts

Sean Marciniak
Sean Marciniak
San Francisco, CA

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