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Viviana L. Heger

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Viviana L. HegerOf CounselDownload PDFvCard213.626.2906

Overview

Viviana Heger is Of Counsel at Meyers Nave in the firm’s Land Use and Environmental Law Practice Group. She is an accomplished regulatory attorney with deep experience in complex environmental compliance matters. Throughout her career, she has become a go-to attorney for handling everything from evaluating risks to the environment from operating and non-operating facilities to air quality matters and the complexities of hazardous waste and right-to-know laws, like California’s Safe Drinking Water & Toxic Enforcement Act (“Proposition 65”).

She has more than 15 years of experience assisting clients with matters involving air quality, water quality, hazardous waste and materials management and disposal, greenhouse gas emissions, remediation, and chemicals regulations, including Proposition 65, the Toxic Substances Control Act and  California’s Green Chemistry Initiative. Viviana advises and defends clients in complex environmental regulatory matters, sometimes in crisis or emergency situations involving accidents, spills, releases or other scenarios like safely closing or abandoning pipelines and underground storage tanks, all of which require reporting and immediate response actions under state and federal laws.

Her experience includes compliance counseling and complex litigation (including writs of mandamus), administrative petitions and appeals, defense in enforcement, procurement of permits, and abandonment and closure of hazardous material structures. Based on years of expertise, she quickly identifies practical regulatory strategies that clients can implement effectively in the field to help eliminate or minimize potential liabilities. Viviana’s experience also includes advising on health, safety and emergency management plans, as well as litigating claims of property damage, toxic torts, and environmental citizen suits.

Viviana has assisted clients with contested and non-contested permitting matters in both formal and informal proceeding with state and local regulatory agencies including the South Coast Air Quality Management District and other air districts, California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and regional water quality control boards. In contested matters, she has achieved numerous dismissals, resolutions, and settlements for clients facing violations operating contrary to federally enforceable permit limits, constructing and operating without proper air quality permits, and failure to maintain proper health, safety, and emergency management plans.

Her regulatory expertise includes determining the appropriate scope of stationary source designations, contesting or refining application of onerous Best Achievable Control Technology (“BACT”) determinations, reporting and compliance under the greenhouse gas regulation, and complying or finding defenses or exclusions to environmental laws involving hazardous waste and materials management, the Clean Water Act (“CWA”), the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”), and consumer protection laws including the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) and California’s Safe Consumer Product regulations and Proposition 65.

Viviana’s relationships with regulators, including the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, regional water quality control boards, and local air pollution control districts, allow her to strategically advocate and defend contested environmental administrative and litigated matters.  She has succeeded in excess of 100 matters before the South Coast Air Quality Management District, including dozens contested hearings, and is among an elite set of practitioners who knows how to succeed within the air district’s administrative framework. She also regularly works with other state and local regulators, including the California Fire Marshal’s Pipeline Safety Unit, the California Air Resources Board, and local Certified Unified Program Agencies (“CUPAs”).

Viviana’s unique background includes nearly 10 years in the legal department of a global petrochemical company where she handled environmental compliance and litigation matters relating to marketing, manufacturing and distribution operations. In addition to analyzing state and federal environmental claim liabilities, Viviana compiled the company’s compliance manual that covered federal laws and laws of numerous states.

Prior to private practice, Viviana served as a part-time judicial extern for the Honorable A. Howard Matz. She researched and prepared memos recommending outcomes on motions to dismiss, reviewed new cases for jurisdictional deficiencies, and drafted court orders.

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