Alison Torbitt is in the Energy and Environmental practice group and is also active in Maritime matters and the co-leader of the Food, Beverage & Agribusiness team. She focuses on environmental transactional due diligence and compliance and renewable energy, counseling a large range of manufacturers, developers and financing parties to find solutions, mitigate and allocate risk associated with all aspects of environmental laws.
I counsel business and industry clients on compliance with federal, state and local environmental and energy laws, as well as defending against regulatory enforcement and third-party disputes. I am also co-leader of the firm’s Legally Green initiative and Co-leader of the Food, Beverage & Agribusiness team, thinking strategically about sustainability and the risks that our clients face due to climate change, aging infrastructure, and the need for innovation and to stay ahead of these challenges.
With a technical background as an aquatic ecotoxicologist, I have first-hand knowledge of the science and business repercussions of environmental laws, including those regarding water, air, vapor intrusion, hazardous materials and spill response. I counsel dozens of clients with compliance concerns and defend them against enforcement and have provided guidance to numerous wine, beer and food production facilities. I provide strategy and advice on how to cost-effectively monitor compliance, communicate with regulators, self-report and settle. I have successfully brought multiple contaminated sites to closure in an efficient manner. I also assist with California Alcoholic Beverage Control and Contractors State License Board inquiries.
I assist with environmental and energy due diligence for the acquisition, leasing and financing of real property and with assuring adequate protections are in place for tax credit investors. I am very familiar with evaluating Phase Is and IIs for sufficiency, evaluating permitting and compliance history, advising on the risk of environmental liability and enforcement. In each I help to assure that my clients are adequately informed and protected of the risks associated with the transaction; helping them to look to the future and make decisions now, which will avoid problems then. I have also developed significant experience in renewable energy off-take agreements, including consumer protection requirements for the residential solar sector, helping to negotiate a middle ground that is both financially beneficial and consumer-friendly.
I help clients communicate with the U.S. Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Center, assisting in complicated flag-in/flag-out processes with compliant and business-friendly results. Additionally, I draft and negotiate, and assure approval for, the related documentation including trust agreements, time charters, bareboat charters, ship management agreements, logbook entries, certificates of ownership and continuous synopsis records.
The unprecedented Shelter in Place Orders associated with COVID-19 continue to result in necessary assurances that environmental remediation and mitigation, groundwater, drinking water and wastewater treatment, and environmental investigation and risk allocation, along with the contractors, subcontractors, and labs that make such environmental actions feasible, are essential to protecting human health and the environment. While that foundational message is consistent, how to implement Social Distancing Protocols and mitigate potential personnel and supply shortages is far from clear. This crisis is requiring everyone to be nimble to find solutions immediately and to adjust daily to the new normal.
Cannabis Business Executive | November 03, 2021
San Francisco partner Alison Torbitt and Los Angeles associate Stratton Constantinides, both of the Affordable Housing & Real Estate group and Environmental & Land Use team, contributed this article on the challenges and opportunities facing businesses that produce both wine and cannabis in California.
Spectrum News NY1 | September 27, 2021
This article covering New York’s proposed “Green Amendment” that would enshrine the right to a clean environment in the state’s constitution references NP’s client alert, discussing how New York’s amendment differs from other states in that it offers courts greater flexibility to interpret and apply. San Francisco partner Alison Torbitt, Albany associate Dana Stanton, Rochester associate Sarah Lobe, and Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford, all with the Affordable Housing & Real Estate group, coauthored the client alert.
Power Finance & Risk | June 09, 2021
This article mentions NP for advising DIF Capital Partners’ infrastructure fund on its agreement to acquire the Kingfisher wind farm in Oklahoma. The deal team includes Washington, DC Community Development Finance partner Shariff Barakat, Rochester Corporate partner Lori Green, Buffalo Global Finance partner Martha Anderson, and Rochester Corporate associate Aya Hoffman.
Also contributing to the deal were New York City Corporate partner Rick Cox; Manchester partner Mark Beaudoin and San Francisco partner Alison Torbitt, both of the Affordable Housing & Real Estate group; and Washington, DC partners Elizabeth Whittle and Bob Daileader and counsel Ken Weiner, all of the Project Finance & Public Finance group.
Bloomberg Law | February 18, 2021
San Francisco Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Alison Torbitt contributed this article on how the California Environmental Protection Agency’s vapor intrusion guidance may impact residential development on the state’s brownfields.
Modern Restaurant Management | November 02, 2020
This roundup of current industry issues to watch highlights several thought leadership pieces from NP’s recently published fourth-quarter Food & Beverage Crystal Ball. The publication summarizes trends provided by San Francisco partner Alison Torbitt and counsel Ian O’Banion, both of the Affordable Housing & Real Estate Group; Rochester Corporate associate Isaac Figueras; and San Francisco Labor & Employment associates Rachel Conn and Maritza Martin.
Marijuana Venture | August 10, 2020
San Francisco partner Alison Torbitt, who co-leads NP’s Food, Beverage & Agribusiness team, and San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Hilary Baca co-wrote this contributed article on how cannabis retailers can revamp their stores and policies to stay in compliance with state and local laws, while helping to prevent the spread of communicable illnesses to customers and employees.
Cannabis Business Executive | June 17, 2020
This article, on the reopening of Colorado’s marijuana hospitality industry, cites a recent NP alert that details guidelines for cannabis retailers to consider for revamping operations without spreading communicable illnesses. Cannabis Business Executive also re-published the complete NP alert, written by San Francisco Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Alison Torbitt; Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner, Litigation Department vice-chair, and Fashion practice leader Staci Riordan; and San Francisco Labor & Employment associates Hillary Baca and Rachel Conn.
Best Lawyers | October 21, 2019
San Francisco Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Alison Torbitt wrote this contributed article analyzing the increasing appetite among employees and investors for corporate social responsibility and environmental, social and governance standards. Alison also writes about how companies’ general counsels can participate in these initiatives.
Food, Beverage & Agribusiness Alert | 01.04.22
Cannabis Alert | 11.02.21
Food, Beverage & Agribusiness Newsletter | 04.15.21
Environmental Alert | 03.09.21
Environmental Alert | 03.04.21
Environmental Alert | 01.26.21
10.13.21 | Virtual Presentation
01.22.21 | Virtual Seminar | Cont. Edu. Credit
10.29.20 | Virtual Event Series
01.15.20 | San Francisco, CA
01.16.19 | San Francisco, CA
University of Oregon School of Law, J.D., Order of the Coif (1st in class) , (Editor-in-Chief, Western Environmental Law Update; Associate Editor, Oregon Law Review; Environmental Fellow, Oceans, Coasts, and Watersheds Project; First Place Champion, Oregon Environmental Law Moot Court Competition; Quarterfinalist, National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition)
University of California, Santa Barbara, B.S., B.A., with High Honors
University of Queensland, Australia, Marine biology research program
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
U.S. District Court, Central District of California