Steven D. Farkas
Steven Farkas is a Principal in the Energy, Land Use and Environmental Law Practice Groups at Meyers Nave. He brings over 25 years of experience working in-house on a broad range of energy and environmental issues, and handled numerous complex business and real estate transactions as the former General Counsel of a refining and marketing company that owned several refineries and product terminals.
Steve’s transaction and regulatory experience for manufacturing and industrial facilities includes land use entitlement and related project development (including compliance with CEQA), environmental law compliance programs and enforcement actions, asset sales and acquisitions, corporate insurance programs and marketing and manufacturing agreements. His real estate related environmental work includes transactions involving impacted properties and compliance with local zoning requirements and CEQA.
Steve has extensive experience with complex environmental permitting, including air, water and hazardous waste, at local and state agencies. For example, one of his recent matters involves working with the Department of Toxic Substances Control on RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) permitting for a lead recycling facility, as well as compliance and enforcement issues related to the permits. He has also worked on matters involving the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Trade Commission, California Attorney General’s office and many state and local environmental agencies.
Steve has extensive lobbying experience at the federal, state and local levels and has worked on numerous regulatory programs, including AB 32, the Greenhouse Gas initiative, and the federal Renewable Fuel Standard program, RFS2. His environmental agency and legislative lobbying experience includes drafting public comments and testimony in response to proposed laws and/or regulatory changes.
For two decades, Steve served as General Counsel of Paramount Petroleum, an independent refiner with facilities throughout the Western United States. He was responsible for handling audit and compliance programs, enforcement actions, administrative proceedings, and asset sales and acquisitions, including the sale of the company. Steve supervised all litigation and insurance claims and was responsible for designing the environmental corporate insurance program prior to the sale of Paramount to Alon.
After the sale of the company to Alon, Steve continued serving as General Counsel of Paramount, assisting Alon in the acquisition of the former Shell refinery in Bakersfield, California, as well as handling environmental matters for Alon’s other domestic refineries. Until his departure, Steve was Alon’s in-house attorney responsible for negotiating a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the federal “refinery initiative” program. Steve continues to represent Alon USA Energy in connection with issues regarding the liability for pre-existing contamination at its Bakersfield refinery.
Prior to joining Paramount, Steve was counsel for Exxon/Mobil’s Torrance refinery. He also worked with BSRE, an Israeli real estate company, to entitle and develop a 30-acre petroleum tank farm located north of Seattle, Washington, on the Puget Sound.
Presentations and Publications
- Author, “Tackling Oil Wells In, Under Your Development,” Western Real Estate Business, May 2018
- Q&A Interview, “California Has A Problem With Abandoned Wells, But the New AB 2729 May Provide a Solution,” GlobeSt.com, March 19, 2018
- Co-Author, "Update to Federal and California Environmental Agencies’ Steps to Advance Environmental Justice," Environmental Leader, July 21, 2016
- Speaker, "Coal-Fired Generation - Finding a Path in the Current Regulatory Climate," S&P Global (formerly SNL Financial) Knowledge Center, August 2014
- Author, "The Future of Exports," Oil & Gas Financial Journal, August 2014
- Author, "US Ban on Oil Exports — An Overview," Environmental Leader, March 20, 2014
- Member, The State Bar of California
- Georgetown University Law CenterJD, 1983
- University of FloridaBA, 1979