Alison is in the Energy and Environmental practice group and is also active in Maritime matters, the Beverage Alcohol team and Commercial Litigation. She focuses on compliance, from counseling manufacturers on stormwater obligations to assisting contractors with licensing, to helping residential solar companies comply with consumer protection obligations.
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 part of the firm’s Legally Green initiative and California drought task force, which think strategically about sustainability and the risks that our clients face due to climate change, the drought, 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 for the water, air, hazardous materials and spill response notification laws and regulations. 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 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 enforcement, and analyzing energy regulatory concerns related to curtailment, utilities and CalISO. 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.
President Trump recently appointed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, an outspoken critic of the U.S. EPA, as its fourteenth administrator. Pruitt is expected to significantly cut the EPA budget, and potentially many of its employees, as well as roll back the climate change and “Waters of the U.S.” policies that defined the Obama administration’s environmental achievements. Businesses can expect that the states, especially California, will step up their enforcement to fill this void. Increased spending on infrastructure is also expected, with huge direct and indirect environmental effects.
Wines & Vines | January 01, 2017
San Francisco energy and environmental associate Alison Torbitt authored this article about how California winemakers can incorporate recycled water into their vineyards.
ClearWaters | December 21, 2016
A discussion of five cases that might impact wastewater permitting regulations for holders of SPDES permits, written by Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford, San Francisco Energy and Environmental associate Alison Torbitt, and Albany counsel Peter Trimarchi.
Law360 | July 11, 2016
Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford and San Francisco Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt co-authored this column discussing the EPA’s national standards for industrial wastewater discharged to local publicly owned treatment works and how they affect breweries.
The Lumber Log | September 01, 2015
San Francisco Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt authored this column discussing keeping mobile equipment in compliance with the California Air Resources Board (ARB) requirements.
Law360 | July 23, 2015
San Francisco Real Estate associate Ian O’Banion and San Francisco Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt authored this column discussing how California’s historic drought conditions are impacting the real estate industry.
Affordable Housing Finance | January 29, 2015
San Francisco Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt authored this column discussing environmental due diligence in deals including low-income housing and new markets tax credits.
Brownfields Alert | 11.20.17
Environmental Law Alert | 11.14.17
Environment Law Alert | 10.20.17
Originally presented June 27, 2017 | 07.06.17
Environmental Law Alert | 03.07.17
Environmental Law Alert | 06.28.16
Environmental Law Alert | 06.24.16
Environmental Law Alert | 05.11.16
Environmental Law Alert | 12.11.15
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