David K. Brown focuses his practice on environmental litigation, regulatory compliance counseling, and enforcement defense involving air quality, water quality, hazardous substances, and climate change. He advises corporate and municipal clients in the assessment of complex regulatory requirements, threatened enforcement actions, permitting and appeals, due diligence reviews, and reporting and warning requirements arising under federal and state environmental laws.
David has advised clients on such environmental laws as the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the National Environmental Policy Act ( NEPA), as well as state environmental statutes and implementing regulations. He also advises clients regarding appropriate and effective responses to government mandates aimed at limiting climate-changing emissions from all sectors, ranging from energy to chemicals to transportation to manufacturing to agriculture.
David has been at the forefront of some of the most prominent environmental litigation and regulatory investigations and enforcement actions in the country, including those related to the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak and the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility fuel releases and underground storage tank upgrade process. David also counsels clients concerning emerging regulatory enforcement priorities, such as business operations associated with the sale of products that have the potential to impact air emissions.
He is well versed in developing strategies for responding to and interacting with federal, state, and local regulators, including working with technical experts on complex environmental and regulatory issues such as remediation of contaminated sites, groundwater modeling, contaminant fate and transport, vapor intrusion, emissions quantification, toxicological studies, failure analysis, risk assessments, and natural resource valuation.
With experience at both the Portland Harbor and Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund site cleanups, David has represented companies in multiparty litigations and cost-allocation mediation processes. David also has experience assisting clients with seeking legislative changes to existing environmental laws and commenting on proposed environmental regulations.
An energy infrastructure company in litigation and regulatory matters arising from a leak at a natural gas storage well
A water utility regarding threats to underground sources of drinking water from potential contaminating activities
Various clients in addressing historical soil and groundwater contamination with state and local agencies as well as disputes with subsequent owners and operators of the impacted properties
Various clients in administrative enforcement actions brought by the US Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board under greenhouse gas emissions regulations and consumer products regulations
Various clients in administrative enforcement actions brought by regional water quality control boards under the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act
An automobile dealer support company in a property contamination lawsuit related to the former South Dayton Dump and Landfill in Ohio
Chemical and materials technology companies in a stormwater citizen suits brought under the Clean Water Act
Former aeronautical products manufacturer in a multiparty toxic tort lawsuit
An oil and gas company in a multimillion-dollar property contamination case
A chemical company and former landowner in connection with sediment contamination at the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund site in Washington
A group of waste generators investigating and remediating the closed Ascon Landfill in California
An industrial company and landowner in connection with sediment contamination at the Portland Harbor Superfund Site in Oregon
A municipal water district in a rate validation lawsuit, which included claims under the California Water Code and allegations of breach of contract and fiduciary duty
Harvard Law School, 2011, Juris Doctor
University of California, Los Angeles, 2005, Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude
US District Court for the Central District of California
Awards and Affiliations
Rising Star, Industry Focus: Environment: Regulatory,The Legal 500 US (2019, 2020)
Honor Roll of Volunteer Attorneys, US District Court for the Central District of California (2015-2019)
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
Member, Hispanic National Bar Association
Senior Editor, Harvard Negotiation Law Review (2009–2010)
Best Appellee Brief, Harvard Law School First-Year Ames Moot Court Program, Sec. 7B (2009)