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Partnering with clients to complement and enhance their overall strategies
Advocating firmly but respectfully
Solving problems efficiently and cost-effectively
Dedicating ourselves to issues and cases that keep us moving toward an ever healthier, natural and more sustainable environment
Recognizing that a healthy environment includes the places where we live, work and play.
Lumber Liquidators - On July 23, 2014, Lozeau Drury filed a case under California’s preeminent toxic warning statute – the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly referred to as Proposition 65. Brought on behalf of Global Community Monitor and Sunshine Park LLC, the case cites Lumber Liquidators with selling numerous laminate flooring products that emit the known-carcinogen formaldehyde without having warned consumers of their potential exposures to that toxic chemical. Read more
Lake Tahoe Fireworks - A courageous couple – Joan and Joe Truxler – retained Lozeau Drury to bring a case under the federal Clean Water Act to address trash and debris from the July 4th and Labor Day fireworks events in south Lake Tahoe. Some of the largest fireworks events in the western United States, Joan had spent the previous year picking up fireworks debris all along the beach near their home in Zephyr Cove, Nevada. Her efforts to get various agencies to address the problem were unsuccessful. The complaint, field in December 2013, alleged that the shows’ sponsor, the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, and its operator, Pyro Spectaculars North America, were required to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit prior to discharging debris and chemicals, including perchlorate, from mortars and barges into Lake Tahoe. In March 2014, the Truxlers reached an out-of-court settlement, resulting in additional beach clean-up efforts after the shows and a hot line for beach-goers to report debris to be cleaned up. Read more
|LOZEAU | DRURY LLP
410 12th Street., Suite 250
Oakland, CA 94607
Google Buses - One of the hottest controversies in San Francisco is whether the City should place some restrictions on the high-tech buses that encourage Google, Apple, and other high-paid tech workers to live in San Francisco. Without the buses, surveys indicate that as many as 40 percent of those workers would choose to live closer to their work in Palo Alto and other peninsula cities rather than an hour away in San Francisco. Expert review indicates that the presence of the buses is a main reason for the spike in rents in the City’s Mission neighborhood, driving many long-time residents without high-tech salaries out of the city. Lozeau Drury, on behalf of SEIU Local 1021, the League of Pissed Off Voters, the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, and other groups filed an appeal with the San Francisco Supervisors challenging the City’s decision to allow the buses to use the public bus stops at a bargain rate of $1 per visit, contrary to state law that forbids the private use of public bus stops and without performing the necessary environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act. The supervisors bowed to the power of the tech companies and rejected the appeal. On May 1, 2014, on behalf the Coalition For Fair, Legal and Environmental Transit, SEIU Local 1021, and several individuals, Lozeau Drury sued the City in Superior Court, challenging the City’s bus project under both the California Environmental Quality Act and the California Vehicle Code. Read more: Press Release; Petition; News article
UC Berkeley’s Richmond Campus - In January, 2014, Lozeau Drury prepared comments on behalf of several Richmond-based community and interfaith groups identifying the displacement threats to people living in adjacent neighborhoods of the new campus and 1,000 new workers. The University is now reviewing those and other comments as they refine the proposed new campus. Read the comments here.
Clean Water Act Enforcement - In 2013 and 2014, Lozeau Drury continues to represent numerous citizen groups in bringing cases to enforce violations of the Clean Water Act’s storm water pollution requirements. Representing CSPA, Global Community Monitors, California Communities Against Toxics, San Francisco Baykeeper, Environmental Defense Center, the Teamsters, the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, and the Center For Community Action And Environmental Justice, Lozeau Drury addressed pollution from a wide assortment of industrial facilities in San Francisco Bay, Central Valley, Santa Barbara, Orange County, and Los Angeles including pollution from an oil and gas field, recycling facilities, refuse transfer stations, a trucking facility, scrap yards, and others. Current cases as of August 2014 involve enforcement actions against a rock quarry and several metal recyclers.
Proposition 65 Cases - In 2013 and 2014, Lozeau Drury maintains an active docket of enforcement actions under Proposition 65, California’s toxic exposure warning law. Current cases are on behalf of Environmental Research Center, As You Sow, and Global Community Monitors. Several As You Sow cases are addressing dangerous exposures to ethylbenzene from various spray varnish products. Cases for ERC are focused on nutrition drinks that contain alarming levels of lead.
Los Angeles Subway Project - In 2013, Lozeau Drury was retained by a downtown property owner in Los Angeles to address the Federal Transportation Authorities (and Metropolitan Transit Corporation’s) failure to evaluate a full tunneling option for the new subway line being planned for downtown LA. As it stands, the plan is to open up large stretches of one of the main downtown thoroughfares – Flower Street – creating a traffic and air pollution nightmare despite the feasibility of tunneling which would avoid those impacts. Most of the rest of the project will be using tunneling construction methods. On May 29, 2014, The U.S. District Court in LA ruled in favor of Lozeau Drury’s clients, holding that the EIS prepared for the tunneling project violated NEPA by failing to address the construction alternative that would drastically reduce the project’s construction impacts to pedestrians and workers and risks to adjacent buildings. The Court is now considering the appropriate relief. Read the Court’s ruling
Protecting the Desert - On behalf of Public Employees For Environmental Responsibility and the Desert Protective Council, on May 21 2013, Lozeau Drury has filed a case against the California Parks Department and the Ocotillo State Vehicular Recreation Area. The case alleges that the Department and SVRA abused their discretion by ignoring their duties to maintain off-road vehicle open riding areas in the Park and protect cultural resources in those areas. Lozeau Drury successfully fought off two motions to dismiss the case and is now engaged in discovery. Read the Amended Petition
Protecting the Desert Even More - In 2013 and 2014, Lozeau Drury has filed numerous comments on power generation projects throughout the desert lands of southern California. A “solar” rush is underway throughout southern California, where numerous solar projects covering tens of thousands of acres of desert lands and farmlands are being constructed or awaiting permits. Lozeau Drury has been making sure that these project’s consider their adverse effects on wildlife habitat, bird collisions, serious particulate matter pollution during construction, and, in a number of cases, farmland conversions. Lozeau Drury is handling comments on several proposed wind turbine projects, which pose serious threats to raptors from collisions. Our clients include various locals of the Laborers International Union of North America as well as the Desert Protective Council.
September 2013: Lozeau Drury joined forces with the California Coastkeeper Alliance to draft comments on the latest draft of the California State Water Resources Control Board's statewide General Industrial Stormwater Permit. The permit is the key tool to protect California's waters from highly polluted industrial stormwater... read more
June 2013. The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and the California Water Impact Network won the latest round of their decade-long effort to bring under control almost 30,000 Central Valley farms' discharges of pesticides, heavy metals, sediments, low oxygen, and other pollutants. On June 14, 2013, Judge Timothy Frawley of the Sacramento Superior Court issued a writ of mandate holding that the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board violated California's preeminent water quality law - the Porter Cologne Water Quality Control Act. The court ruled that the Board's issuance of a general permit for coalitions of farmers throughout the Central Valley did not comply with the Act's Antidegradation Policy and its Non-Point Source Control Policy, two of the State's fundamental water quality protection standards... read decisionMay 2013, Lozeau Drury assisted the Environmental Defense Center in filing and resolving a Clean Water Act lawsuit against Vintage Production California LLC for storm water pollution discharges from its massive Rincon Grub oil and gas field to creeks and the Pacific Ocean... read more January 2013. For the last four years, Lozeau Drury has represented Friends of the West Shore, a group of residents in Lake Tahoe, in their effort to moderate the size of an ambitious expansion plan by the owners of the Homewood Mountain Ski Area. FOWS is concerned that the massive hotel and condominium/townhouse project will overwhelm the small community of Homewood, where many of its members have homes. In January, Judge William Shubb of the federal district court in Sacramento ruled that the environmental documents prepared by Placer County and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency did not comply with CEQA and the TRPA Code of Ordinances by arbitrarily excluding consideration of a reduced size alternative for the project. Lozeau Drury was co-counsel on the case with lead counsel Earthjustice... read more
2012: October 10, 2012, Lozeau Drury obtained a unanimous decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal overturning the Nevada District Court and ruling that the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) had violated its own code of ordinance in approving a proposed residential development near Stateline, Nevada. The case involved TRPA's limitations on hard ground coverage, one of the key tools enacted long ago by TRPA to protect Lake Tahoe's world-reknowned clarity. The case found that TRPA failed to substantiate its findings that the Project's driveway was a public facility warranting additional coverage under the rules.... read decision
October 2012, Lozeau Drury had the honor of filing an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court supporting the arguments of a non-profit plaintiff in Oregon arguing that discharges of sediment-laden storm water from industrial logging roads require logging companies to obtain National Pollution Discharge Elimination System ("NPDES") permits under the federal Clean Water Act. The amicus brief was filed on behalf of the Environmental Protection Information Center, The Sierra Club, Waterkeeper Alliance, Rogue Riverkeeper, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Wildlands CPR, and Alliance For The Wild Rockies. Although the Supreme Court upheld EPA's view that, under a now superseded rule, logging road discharges were excluded from the NPDES permitting program, a more recent rule adopted by EPA on the eve of the Supreme Court's ruling is being challenged by various environmental organizations.
read the brief
read the Supreme Court decision
In April 2012, The Recorder named Lozeau Drury to its inaugural list of the top ten "Leading Northern California Environmental Law Practice Groups." Joining a list dominated by large firms like Farella Braun & Martel and Morrison & Foerster, Lozeau Drury and the Natural Resources Defense Council were the only two firms making the cut with practices focused on representing non-profit plaintiffs. As described by the Recorder, "this small Oakland firm punches above its weight, thanks to name partners Michael Lozeau and Richard Drury's years of expertise in CEQA, as well as clean air and water laws." Thanks to all of the environmental practitioners who put in a good word for us.
2011: Richard Drury named California Attorney of the Year for Supreme Court victory requiring CEQA review for a diesel project constructed at the ConocoPhillips refinery in Wilmington, California... read more (pdf)
In May 2011, Lozeau Drury negotiated the successful resolution of a lawsuit filed on behalf of the Hills Conservation Network against the East Bay Regional Park District resolving HCN's concerns regarding greenhouse gas emission, visual, and other impacts associated with the Park District's Wildfire Hazard Reduction and Resource Management Plan and its associated environmental impact report...
On May 17, 2011, the Ninth Circuit released its opinion in Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC) v. Brown that logging roads where stormwater runoff is collected in systems of ditches, channels, and culverts, then discharged into adjacent rivers unambiguously constitute "point sources" under the Clean Water Act, and such discharges therefore require NPDES permits. Lozeau Drury submitted an amicus brief on behalf of NRDC and EPIC in the case...
read the opinion
In April 2011, on behalf of CSPA, Lozeau Drury submitted comments to the State Water Resources Control Board on the update the Draft Industrial General Permit, the Water Board's proposed update to the existing 14-year old general permit for storm water discharges associated with industrial facilities in California... read more
In April 2011, Lozeau Drury LLP, on behalf of the Friends of the West Shore, submitted extensive written comments on the Homewood Mountain Resort Ski Area Master Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement. The proposed large-scale resort expansion will have significant impacts on traffic, air pollution, and other environmental impacts in and around the West Shore area. The comments identified numerous environmental issues arising under CEQA, NEPA, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) Regional Plan and TRPA's Code of Ordinances that must be addressed, and sought significant revisions to the Draft EIS... read more
In March and April, 2011, Lozeau Drury LLP, on behalf of the League to Save Lake Tahoe, submitted written comments on the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the City of South Lake Tahoe General Plan Update. The comments addressed the project's significant air quality impacts, and failure to comply with CEQA, with the TRPA Regional Plan, and with the Tahoe Regional Planning Compact, Lake Tahoe's governing land use document that empowers the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to establish environmental threshold carrying capacities, a regional plan, and implementing ordinances to protect the Lake's fragile ecosystem while providing opportunities for orderly growth and development... read more
On January 14, 2011, Lozeau Drury LLP and Meyers Nave filed suit on behalf of the City of Petaluma, Petaluma River Council, Madrone Audubon Society, Friends of Shollenberger Park, Moms for Clean Air, Petaluma Tomorrow, and several individual plaintiffs, against the County of Sonoma, the Dutra Group, and other defendants to challenge the County's approval of the Dutra asphalt plant, approved for construction on the banks of the Petaluma River, at the entrance to the City of Petaluma and immediately across from Schollenberger Park, a renowned recreational and birdwatching site. The lawsuit alleges numerous violations of CEQA and other land use laws...
read press release
On December 28, 2010, on behalf of the Coalition for Clean Air, Center for Environmental Health, Association of Irritated Residents and Teamsters Joint Council 7, Lozeau Drury LLP filed an action in Tulare County Superior Court challenging the City of Visalia's approval of a massive 500,000 to 750,000 square foot truck distribution center for highly toxic chemicals and other materials proposed by VWR International, LLC. The lawsuit challenged the City's failure to conduct environmental and land use review for the project under CEQA, the Clean Air Act, and land use laws. The case is currently pending at the California Fifth District Court of Appeal...
In November 2010, the Center for Biological Diversity, represented by Lozeau Drury LLP, settled a CEQA lawsuit against the California Department of Parks and Recreation and other defendants, that challenged the respondents' failure to prepare an Environmental Impact Report for an off-road vehicle park expansion in the Rock Creek area of the El Dorado National Forest, home to a large number of endangered, threatened, protected and sensitive plant and animal species, including the California Red Legged Frog, the El Dorado Manzanita, and many others. The project proposed to add 8.9 miles of new off-road vehicle trails to the Rock Creek area, construct 3 bridges, and perform invasive rock blasting, excavation, and other construction "improvements" likely to result in a significant increase in human and vehicle use of the Rock Creek area. As a result of the settlement, reached less than six months after the initial filing of the litigation in July 2010, the Department set aside its project approval and approval of a Negative Declaration, and has agreed to perform CEQA review for the project... read more
On June 13, 2011, Lozeau Drury LLP won a lawsuit on behalf of Parker Shattuck Neighbors challenging the City of Berkeley's approval of a 155-unit mixed use Berkeley development project. The City proposed to build the project on a highly contaminated site without any environmental review to ensure protection of future residents. The court held that the City Council improperly amended the project without public hearing and invalidated the project approval. As a result, the community will be able to raise all of its issues to the City and ensure proper environmental remediation and review... read more
In October 2010, on behalf of the Ocean Conservancy, Lozeau Drury presented written CEQA comments to the California Fish and Game Commission supporting proposed modifications to the Commission's regulations governing marine protected areas off the California coast, which regulations pose to create beneficial effects on aquatic populations in state waters between Point Conception in Santa Barbara County and the California border with Mexico. Following the comment period, final regulations were adopted in December 2010... read news release read more
On September 27, 2010, on behalf of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and the California Water Impact Network, Lozeau Drury LLP submitted a 63-page comment letter to the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Region questioning the legality and effectiveness of the Regional Board's Draft Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program Environmental Impact Report. The irrigated Lands Program is responsible for addressing toxic and other pollutant discharges from the estimated 25,000 farms in California's Central Valley... read more
On September 13, 2010, Lozeau Drury submitted extensive written comments to the Lahontan Water Quality Control Board and Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, on behalf of the League to Save Lake Tahoe, regarding the Draft Lake Tahoe TMDL Technical Report, Draft Lake Tahoe TMDL Report and Draft Basin Plan. The plans seek to establish a TMDL from both point sources and nonpoint sources affecting the Lake that will ensure compliance with Lake Tahoe's deep water transparency standard. The comments requested further development of the proposed standards to ensure adequate, enforceable pollution controls for the Lake. The League submitted further comments to the Sate Water Board in March 2011...
On August 14, 2010, Lozeau Drury LLP, on behalf of California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, filed a lawsuit against Davis Waste Removal for violations of the federal Clean Water Act and the State of California's General Industrial Storm Water permit at the company's facility in Davis, California... read more
On August 13, 2010, Lozeau Drury LLP, on behalf of California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, filed a lawsuit against Syar Concrete for violations of the federal Clean Water Act and the State of California's General Industrial Storm Water permit at the company's Woodland facility... read more
On August 5, 2010, Lozeau Drury LLP, on behalf of California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and the Petaluma River Council, filed a lawsuit against three waste handling facilities owned by the North Bay Corporation in Sonoma County - West Sonoma Disposal Services, Redwood Empire Disposal and Novato Disposal Service - for violations of the federal Clean Water Act and the State of California's General Industrial Storm Water permit... read more
On June 17, 2010, the California Court of Appeal issued a precedent setting ruling in CSPA's litigation to enforce the Department of Water Resources' duties under the California Endangered Species Act to protect listed fish in operating the State's massive Central Valley Project's Delta pumps. Rejecting appeals brought by three water districts, and after hearing argument from Lozeau Drury's Mike Lozeau, the Court of Appeal ruled that CESA applies to all of California's state agencies, including DWR. On September 29, 2010, the California Supreme Court rejected the water district's petitions for review, bringing to a successful conclusion CSPA's victory in 2007 in obtaining an order that DWR comply with CESA's take permitting requirements or shut down the Central Valley pumps. DWR has since obtained authority from DFG under CESA. The validity of DFG's take authorizations remains under investigation by CSPA... read the Court of Appeal's decision
On May 26, 2010, CSPA represented by Lozeau Drury and Lawyers for Clean Water, settled its Clean Water Act lawsuit against the El Dorado Irrigation District in exchange for substantial reductions in the number of sewage overflows the District spills into Deer Creek and an environmental mitigation payment of $120,000... read more
On May 6, 2010, Lozeau Drury LLP, on behalf of California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, filed a lawsuit against Allied Waste Services for violations of the federal Clean Water Act and the State of California's General Industrial Storm Water permit at the company's facility in Rancho Cordova, California... read more ()
On March 15, 2010, Lozeau Drury LLP won a unanimous 7-to-0 decision from the California Supreme Court against ConocoPhillips, one of the largest oil companies in the world, requiring CEQA review for a diesel project constructed at its Wilmington refinery. The decision, Communities for a Better Environment v. South Coast Air Quality Management District et al., defined the CEQA environmental baseline to be applied by permitting agencies as the actual environmental conditions at the time a project is proposed, rather than hypothetical maximum emission limits that were authorized but never fully utilized under previously issued permits... read more
In March 2010, on behalf of Carpenters Union Local 713, Lozeau Drury assisted in negotiating a settlement with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and various environmental groups over the reconstruction of the Calaveras Dam that ensured significant protections for fish in the East Bay's Alameda Creek. The settlement resulted in critical environmental protections for migrating fish, including flow monitoring and the installation of fish ladders at the dam, addressing the concerns of citizen and environmental groups while allowing the important Bay Area water supply project to proceed... read more
In March 2010, CSPA entered into settlements of three of the Clean Water Act enforcement cases being handled by Lozeau Drury. The settlements included storm water violations by Syar Industries at their Lake Herman Quarry, Tri City Rock for violations at its facility in South San Francisco Bay and Melrose Metals for violations at its facility in Fremont...
read news release (Syar)
read news release (Tri-City Rock)
read news release (Melrose Metals)
On December 7, 2009, the Alameda Superior Court ordered the closure of the Carnegie State Vehicle Recreation Area because the California Department of Parks & Recreation has been blatantly violating the state's water quality law by failing to report its massive pollution discharges to Corral Hollow Creek from sediment and heavy metals eroding off hillsides and trails used by OHV and dirt bike enthusiasts. On March 16, 2010, the Court of Appeal overturned the Superior Court's order, finding that CSPA and PEER must first ask the Regional Board and State Board to enforce the water quality law they have been charged with implementing. On March 19, 2010, Lozeau Drury petitioned the Central Valley Regional Board to do just that. After receiving no response from that agency, Lozeau Drury filed a petition with the State Board. The case and the petition remain pending...
read news release
On 21 June 2011, CSPA settled a Clean Water Act lawsuit against the Allied Waste Services regarding serious violations of the California General Industrial Stormwater Permit. Allied Waste Services Concrete operates a 4-acre waste hauling and collection facility in Rancho Cordova, California... read more
Richard Drury named California Attorney of the Year for lawsuit victory requiring school buses to install pollution controls to protect health of thousands of children... read more (pdf)
Federal court rules that Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Department of Energy must comply with National Environmental Policy Act before proceeding with supercomputer center. Read more...
Community group files lawsuit against West Oakland recycling firm... read more
Originally slated for approval in December 2008, Lozeau Drury has been representing the Petaluma River Council in opposing a proposed asphalt plant proposed to be located on the banks of the Petaluma River immediately across from Schollenberger Park, a favorite recreational and birdwatching site. The project's fate remains up in the air... read more
In August 2009, CSPA, represented by Lozeau Drury, settled a Clean Water Act case alleging violations of storm water pollution regulations filed against a waste collection and recycling facility located in Fairfield, California... read more
In February 2009, CSPA, represented by Lozeau Drury, reached a settlement in a Clean Water enforcement case brought against Waste Management for storm water pollution at the companies Davis Street facility in Fremont, California... read more
In July 2009, CSPA, represented by Lozeau Drury as well as Lawyers For Clean Water, settled litigation under the Clean water Act against the City of Stockton for thousands of sewage overflows from the City's sewer system... read more
Lozeau Drury files lawsuit on behalf of the League to Save Lake Tahoe challenging south shore development... read more