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Environmental & Natural Resources

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Services & Industries >> Environmental & Natural Resources

It's rare to find an organization that does not face challenges with environmental laws involving compliance, enforcement or litigation. Whether it's obtaining project approval, managing contaminated property clean up, litigating a toxic chemical accident, or placing a new product on the market, there are state, federal and local environmental laws that often apply, creating unexpected costs and headaches.

We help clients navigate routine and complex environmental issues to help them overcome difficult (often political) challenges so they can focus on their goals with greater clarity and confidence. We apply creative thinking, nimble and pragmatic problem solving, and out-of-the-box, innovative solutions. We offer clients:

  • Knowledge of the legal and regulatory climate 
  • A practical understanding of local issues 
  • The benefits of long-standing relationships with regulators, technical experts, key decision makers and community stakeholders
  • Advocacy in all the forums in which environmental problems arise - the courtroom, the boardroom, the regulatory agency and the negotiating table.

We advise and represent clients in: 

We assist clients on all major and emerging environmental laws at the federal, state and local levels, including: 

  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) (Superfund) 
  • Oil Pollution Act
  • Clean Water Act 
  • Clean Air Act 
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) 
  • Endangered Species Act 
  • Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) 
  • Safe Drinking Water Act 
  • Proposition 65
  • Water Code 
  • Hazardous Waste Control Law
  • NEPA and CEQA
  • Coastal Act
  • Hazardous Substance Account Act

Our lawyers also practice in the fields of climate change law, coastal development and protection, Brownfields redevelopment, environmental insurance and toxic tort matters. 

We represent a broad spectrum of clients in industries, including: 

  • Oil refining and distribution 
  • Telecommunications 
  • Manufacturing 
  • Ports
  • Renewable energy 
  • Real estate development 
  • Water supply and distribution
  • Desalination 
  • Hazardous waste management and recycling 
  • Mining 
  • Municipalities
  • Ports
  • Developers and other large landowners


Chambers USA 2016 recognized Allen Matkins Environmental Group in California. They specifically mention Pamela L. AndesDavid D. CookeJames L. Meeder and Sandi L. Nichols. Chambers noted "This firm has a strong presence in the California market and undertakes a range of environmental litigation and transactions for its clients. Sources say, 'First class. Very good attorneys who work hard and well for their clients.'"

Best Lawyers recognized environmental attorneys John J. AllenPamela L. AndesDavid D. Cooke, James L. Meeder and Sandi L. Nichols in its 2016 edition. In addition to the individual acknowledgments, Allen Matkins received National Tier 1 Rankings for Environmental Law and Metropolitan Tier 1 Rankings for Environmental Law and Litigation-Environmental in San Francisco. 

Super Lawyers 2016 recognized many of the firm's environmental attorneys, including John J. AllenDavid D. CookeWilliam R. DevineJames L. Meeder and Sandi L. Nichols, named a Top 50 Female Super Lawyer in Northern California.

Law360 named Sandi L. Nichols one of its Female Powerbrokers in 2014.

  • Excellent combination of environmental and legal knowledge."
    - General Counsel, Oil and Gas Company
  • They have a pragmatic and business-oriented approach to solving problems. They provide solutions."
    - Chambers USA 2014


Nichols Sandi L

Sandi L. Nichols


San Francisco

San Diego

(415) 273-7454