Diepenbrock Elkin Gleason LLP provides deep expertise and vast experience counseling clients who are potentially liable for contaminated properties and hazardous materials. This expertise and experience extends to agency enforcement defense, regulatory compliance, due diligence, site investigation, remediation associated with contaminated properties and CERCLA contribution and cost recovery litigation.

develop strategies that allow clients to focus on their primary business objectives while we avoid or mitigate potential environmental liability. Strategically located in Sacramento, California, our attorneys also have unique access to environmental law and policy makers.

Enforcement Orders and Voluntary Cleanup Projects                  Environmental and Natural Resources Litigation
Environmental Due Diligence and Brownfields   Regulatory Compliance


Enforcement Orders and Voluntary Cleanup Projects

Primary Attorney Contacts: Nicole R. Gleason

The potential cost of environmental investigation and remediation can be staggering and can continue for decades following the discovery of a hazardous substance release. Our attorneys negotiate with regulatory agencies, other responsible parties, impacted neighbors, and insurance companies to manage and contain these costs. We have a long history assisting clients in the defense and settlement of claims asserted by local, state and federal governments, including representing clients through the administrative proceedings process and negotiating work required under cleanup and abatement orders, cease and desist orders, unilateral administrative orders, stipulated judgments, and consent decrees. With a focus on minimizing the risks of liability and implementing cost-effective strategies, we engage applicable regulatory agencies to establish an appropriate scope of investigation, cleanup goals, and cost effective remedies. We have successfully contested proposed enforcement orders and have resolved administrative actions all with an eye toward minimizing liability for our clients. Our extensive experience includes representing clients before the federal Environmental Protection Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency, California Department of Toxic Substances Control, State Water Resources Control Board, Regional Water Quality Control Boards, California Air Resources Board and others. Based upon our extensive experience in environmental remediation projects, we are uniquely equipped to help our clients identify potential environmental liability exposure and address any problems in the most timely and cost-effective manner possible.


Environmental Due Diligence and Brownfields

Primary Attorney Contacts: Nicole R. Gleason

An increasingly complicated web of environmental laws and regulations has proliferated from all levels of government giving rise to the need for environmental due diligence in a broad array of business transactions. We assist buyers, sellers, lenders, insureds, lessees and landlords in determining environmental risks associated with transactions and then drafting and negotiating contractual provisions to appropriately allocate the risk and successfully close transactions.

We also have deep experience in both buying and selling suspected or known environmentally impacted real estate (“Brownfields”) while minimizing the risk of our clients. We know how to structure deals; negotiate cleanup goals, closure criteria and liability protection with state and federal agencies; and customize environmental liability insurance coverage to allow our clients to realize their goals.


Environmental and Natural Resources Litigation

Primary Attorney Contacts: Nicole R. Gleason

With an emphasis on cost recovery and contribution actions under the federal and state Superfund statutes (aka CERCLA and HSAA), we handle actions involving a wide variety of clients including commercial and industrial landowners, manufacturers, developers, lenders, retail tenants, trustees and beneficiaries.

Our attorneys also represent public entities and private parties, such as developers, property owners, and water districts in challenging or defending state, local, and federal agency actions.  We have represented clients in disputes involving, among other areas, the California Water Code, the California Environmental Quality Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the public trust doctrine.

Represented agricultural water users in twin, high-profile cases challenging federal agencies’ biological opinions related to endangered aquatic species. Litigation team obtained summary judgments finding that biological opinions were arbitrary, capricious and not supported by best available science. Team also obtained multiple injunctions pre- and post-judgment enjoining aspects of biological opinion’s “reasonable and prudent alternatives” that limited water exports from Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

On behalf of south-of-Delta water district, obtained pleading-stage dismissal of claims seeking to terminate district’s delivery of water to agricultural users.

Represented agricultural water users in successful defense of action brought under NEPA challenging habitat conservation planning process for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

Represented major agricultural water suppliers before Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board regarding issuance of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits under the federal Clean Water Act.

Defeated petition for writ of prohibition seeking to enjoin terrestrial and aquatic testing conducted in connection with proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan.


Regulatory Compliance

Primary Attorney Contacts: Nicole R. Gleason

Our regulatory lawyers assist clients in understanding and navigating the complex web of federal, state and local environmental laws. Our primary goal is to help clients comply with the law in an effort to avoid the exorbitant fines and penalties that can be assessed on unwitting business owners.