Kenton (Kent) Alm is a member of the Environmental Law Practice Group and Municipal and Special District Law Practice Group. During a career that has spanned more than 30 years, Kent has developed a practice dedicated to a comprehensive range of legal and regulatory issues in the areas of public law, land use and environmental law, and public works contracting and construction law. His practice includes litigation, transactions and general counsel work. Serving as general counsel, he has advised and represented a number of counties, municipalities and limited-purpose special districts.
Kent began his career as a deputy district attorney, a position he held for 10 years. His practice was largely focused on litigation, and included the prosecution of blue collar and white collar crimes.
Advice and litigation pertaining to water quality and wastewater have been a major focus for Kent for over 20 years. A short list of his clients includes Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, Novato Sanitary District and Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District. Kent augments his knowledge of water quality and wastewater law and regulation with substantial experience in specialty environmental permitting, regulatory compliance, regulatory enforcement, practice before administrative bodies, and litigation related to permit appeals and enforcement. His representation of wastewater agencies has included multiple defenses of Clean Water Act citizen suits and appeals to the state board. Recently he had a major role in representing several entities and organizing the defense group in the EPA litigation against EBMUD and the East Bay collection entities. His support of wastewater agencies has led him to appear numerous times before local regulatory bodies, the state board and the courts.
In addition to his specialized knowledge of environmental law as it pertains to public agencies, Kent has a broad background in public law, serving as special counsel on transactional assignments, pre-litigation and litigation matters. His clients have included cities, counties, special districts and joint powers agencies. His expertise in public law includes a thorough knowledge of the Brown Act, Public Records Act, Myers-Milias-Brown Act, conflict of interest issues, basic employment issues facing public agencies, and the conduct of public meetings. Additionally, Kent is familiar with the application of public laws to joint powers authorities, and is experienced with financing public activities. He has aided clients in setting fees and charges, budgeting and managing public investments. He has advised clients on substantial debt, risk management and insurance issues.
Public Works Construction Activities and Fees and Charges
Kent has provided in-depth support on all facets of public works construction activities, including contract documentation bidding, claims settlement, and litigation. He also has substantial background with the setting of fees and charges, including the applicability of Prop 218 and other constitutional fee limiting provisions.
Drafting Agreements and Other Documents
Kent has negotiated environmental agreements and conducted detailed negotiations with national, regional and local solid waste enterprises. In this capacity, he has drafted a number of agreements pertaining to the operation of such enterprises. He has also drafted technical documents such as industrial source control ordinances.
Kent has advised and represented a number of public agencies on issues pertaining to solid waste, water quality and other related environmental and public works issues. He has advised clients on landfill closure and post-closure issues and cost sharing, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA); as well as issues related to franchising, rate setting, and applicability of and compliance with Prop 218 and AB 939. Kent has represented public clients in litigation to recover landfill closure and post closure costs, negotiated the acquisition of solid waste facilities, negotiated collection franchises, advised clients on the assignment of contractual rights, helped form public-private agreements, formed and counseled solid waste joint powers agencies, and initiated and participated in solid waste collection franchise RFPs.
Kent has participated in legislative analysis and provided legal support for statewide legislative interest groups.
Honors and Awards
- Recipient, Northern California Super Lawyer, 2004
Presentations and Publications
Kent is a frequent speaker, presenting private and client seminars on issues of public law (e.g., AB 1234, the Clean Water Act, public infrastructure construction, and other environmental issues facing public agencies) as well as speaking at annual conferences and symposiums of the California Association of Sanitation Agencies, the California Special Districts Association (CSDA) and other associations for public attorneys and managers. He is also a Lorman instructor.
- Member, State Bar of California
- Member, Environmental Law Section, California Lawyers Association
- Member, Public Law Section, California Lawyers Association
- Attorney Member, California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) Legislative Committee
- State Bar Environmental Section Legislative Committee
- Past Chair, Statewide attorneys committee, wastewater and recycled water issues
- University of California, Hastings College of the LawJD, 1973
- University of California at Santa BarbaraBA, Social and Political Sciences, 1970