• email
  • share

Air Quality

Meyers Nave advises clients on the Clean Air Act and other laws that aim to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases. We have well-informed, strong and respected relationships with state and local regulators including the South Coast Air Quality Management District and California Air Resources Board. We are among a select group of specialty practitioners who know how to succeed within the air district’s administrative framework and have, for example, handled more than 100 matters before SCAQMD.

We represent clients in responding to and resolving Bay Area and South Coast Air Quality Management Districts’ administrative notices of violation and operation or permit disputes, as well as California Air Resources Board administrative discovery matters, notices of violation, and regulatory programs, including CARB fuel and mobile source standards. We have handled dozens of matters involving successfully obtaining variances to temporarily suspend application of local air quality rules and permit conditions at administrative hearings before the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Our attorneys advise on air quality issues ranging from development projects to acquisition of refineries. Much of our experience focuses on the special considerations and unique needs of industrial clients such as ports, airports, mass transit systems, oil companies and other clients with similarly large-scale complex facilities.

Our expertise includes:

  • Title V Permitting
  • Other Permitting/Variances
  • Enforcement Defense
  • Citizen Suit Defense
  • Alt Fuels
  • Greenhouse Gas Regulation/Climate Change
  • Federal Preemption
  • Risk Management
  • Emergency Response and Reporting
  • Audits

Representative Matters

  • Los Angeles World Airports, including LAX Master Plan and Expansion: Meyers Nave represents Los Angeles World Airports in its air quality compliance matters, securing, sometimes on an emergency basis, relief from local air quality rules mandating emission controls that could not feasibly be implemented or that conflicted with or are preempted by federal aviation law. We provide LAWA with advice on operations that involve diesel-fueled equipment, mobile sources of emissions, and enforcement issues. We also represented LAWA in its approval of a $13 billion expansion of the Los Angeles International Airport. We worked with CARB and SCAQMD and advised on a comprehensive range of environmental issues, including state and federal regulatory and permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act and California’s State Implementation Plan. Meyers Nave continues to provide environmental law advice for projects tiered from the Master Plan, including the South Airfield Improvement Project, Northside Plan Update, Tom Bradley International Terminal Reconfiguration Project, and the Airfield and Terminal Modernization Program, all of which require coordination with a vast number of federal, state, and regional agencies, including CARB and SCAQMD. Meyers Nave also provided legal analysis with respect to regulation of taxis to meet emission requirements focusing on SCAQMD’s jurisdiction.
  • Metrolink (Southern California Regional Rail Authority): Meyers Nave assists the Metrolink commuter rail system with environmental analyses for new and expanded transportation facilities, including evaluating compliance and conformity with California’s Clean Air Act SIP. For example, we advised in assessing air quality emissions from its Central Maintenance Facility in the City of Los Angeles and in adopting measures to lessen those emissions and their impacts.
  • Port of Los Angeles: Meyers Nave represents POLA as lead environmental law counsel on its Master Plan. All shipping terminal projects we advise on involve regional and local air quality concerns due to emissions from shipping, on‐dock vehicles, and train and truck traffic.
  • Los Angeles Department of Water & Power: For the largest municipal utility in the United States, Meyers Nave provides sophisticated and complex air quality advice to guide LADWP through the SIP-approved regulatory framework that requires a multi-billion dollar dust control program on Owens Lake, involving thousands of acres of federal property owned by the Bureau of Land Management. Meyers Nave has worked in coordination with numerous agencies to obtain necessary approvals, prepare air quality and SIP review, CEQA/NEPA review, and negotiate lease/access agreements to implement the project.
  • Refineries and Associated Terminals and Pipelines: Meyers Nave provides air quality compliance advice to numerous refineries and associated terminals and pipelines. For example, when federally enforceable Clean Air Act permits were issued for a client, we strategically filed appeal and variance petitions with the South Coast Air Quality Management District in a way that secured within weeks dozens of permit revisions that had been pending for several years, thereby eliminating violations for operating contrary to the permit. We have also advised on complex “source” and “facility” determinations to implement greenhouse gas requirements of the California Air Resources Board and other regulatory programs. As air quality and CEQA compliance counsel for another client, Meyers Nave interacts with SCAQMD and San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District and also assists with anticipated litigation under CEQA and the Clean Air Act. For another refinery client, we work with SCAQMD on various air quality issues and assist with emerging regulatory issues involving refinery fence-line monitoring. For example, each time the refinery undertakes scheduled or unscheduled maintenance activities, we work to secure variances in contested and uncontested matters before the SCAQMD hearing board. We routinely advise on complex air quality monitoring, reporting, and permit compliance and work extensively with refinery process and environmental engineering teams.
  • San Bernardino Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan: We assisted San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) in development and adoption of a Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan and environmental impact report under CEQA. This was the first-of-its-kind effort by a regional agency to develop a plan that could be used by local agencies as the basis for individual GHG reduction plans. Our work involved novel issues relating to GHG reduction measures, CEQA analysis of the impacts of the implementation of reduction measures, and structuring an EIR for use by multiple agencies. The Regional Plan helped implement the GHG reduction goals of AB 32, SB 375, and the RTP/ Sustainable Communities Strategy adopted by the Southern California Association of Governments.