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Christopher G. Foster

Of Counsel

Los Angeles

1055 West Seventh Street
Suite 2400
Los Angeles, CA 90017
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Practice Areas
Environment, Energy & Natural Resources
J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California, 1984
M.S., Stanford University, Stanford, California, 1979, Biology
B.S., Stanford University, Stanford, California, 1978, Biology
State Bar Licenses
Court Admissions
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
U.S. District Ct., C.D. of California
U.S. District Ct., E.D. of California
U.S. District Ct., N.D. of California
U.S. District Ct., S.D. of California

Christopher G. Foster

Of Counsel

Christopher Foster has over 30 years of experience assisting businesses and individuals navigate the requirements of local, state and federal environmental regulation. His practice encompasses both administrative proceedings and litigation in state and federal courts, including permitting, enforcement and agency rulemaking activities. Chris has advised and represented clients in matters involving air quality, water rights and water quality, hazardous and toxic substances, endangered species, property development and environmental due diligence.

Governmental regulatory agencies before which Chris has appeared include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Reclamation, the California Air Resources Board, numerous local air quality management districts, the State Water Resources Control Board, numerous regional water quality control boards, the Department of Toxic Substances Control and the California Department of Public Health. Chris’ areas of expertise comprise the federal and state Clean Air Acts, the Clean Water Act, the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Endangered Species Act, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Prop 65), the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).


  • Represented property owner in successful defense of a California groundwater contamination matter, involving claims for negligence, nuisance, trespass and liability under the Orange County Water District Act.  Court entered a complete defense verdict following trial on the Hazardous Substance Account Act and declaratory relief claims.
  • Represented public agency in a cost-recovery action against prior owners and operators of property acquired by the client. Our client sought recovery of remediation costs incurred with regard to heavy metal soil contaminants.
  • Represent manufacturer in multi-party soil and groundwater contamination action in federal court.
  • Represent metal plating facility and landowner in soil and groundwater contamination action alleging federal and state law claims.
  • Represented national telecommunications company in connection with proposed multimillion dollar penalty by local air pollution control district for fiber optic cable installation; successfully negotiated elimination of penalty.
  • Represented paint manufacturers, dealers and contractors against various local air quality management districts and the California Air Resources Board to invalidate regulations limiting the organic compound content of architectural coatings.
  • Challenged the environmental, economic and constitutional appropriateness of a local air quality management district’s air permit-trading scheme on behalf of a metals industry alliance.
  • Obtained stipulated orders for abatement from local air quality management districts allowing continued operation, pending permit modification, for ski resort, cheese manufacturing facility, several metal fabricators and coaters, wood treatment facility, industrial bakery, and food flavoring manufacturer.
  • Represented dairy owner in successful defense of CEQA action by environmental groups challenging permit issued by local air pollution control district for expanded operations.
  • Represented farmers and landowners in western San Joaquin Valley in action against the Department of the Interior for failure to provide statutorily mandated drainage; successful settlement involved government purchase of lands at unimpaired fair market value.
  • Represented retail distributor in private Proposition 65 action regarding a nicotine-containing dietary supplement.
  • Represented wholesale grocery distributor in Federal Insecticide Fungicide & Rodenticide Act action for sale of unregistered pesticide.
  • Represented farmers in western San Joaquin Valley in action against the Department of the Interior for failure to provide contractually obligated irrigation water.
  • Represented recreational motorcycle club in successful challenge to designation of critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act.
  • Represented California City in successful defense of ordinance suspending oil drilling while necessary environmental protections were enacted.


  • Sherwin-Williams Co. v. South Coast Air Quality Management District, 86 Cal.App.4th 1258 (2001)
  • Allied Local and Regional Manufacturers Caucus v. EPA, 215 F.3d 61 (D.C. Cir. 2000)
  • Alliance of Small Emitters/Metals Industry v. South Coast Air Quality Management District, 60 Cal.App.4th 55 (1997)
  • Setliff v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours, 32 Cal.App4th 1525 (1995)
  • Westlands Water District v. U.S., 850 F.Supp. 1388 (E.D. Cal 1994)
  • Teitel v. First Los Angeles Bank, 231 Cal.App.3d 1593 (1991)


  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, June 2017
    • "Court Allows Low Carbon Fuel Standards to Remain Effective While Environmental Review Is Corrected" 
    • "Court Upholds Auction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Allowances"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, April 2017
    • "Tentative Approval of Environmental Impact Report Does Not Prohibit Revisions to the Project" 
    • "Ninth Circuit Holds That Tribal Water Rights Include Groundwater"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, February 2017
    • "Fourth Circuit Confirms NPDES Permit Compliance Required to Avoid Clean Water Act Liability" 
    • "California Air Resources Board Issues Updated Climate Change Plan"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, December 2016
    • "Appellate Court Considers CEQA Compliance a Slam Dunk"
    • "Ninth Circuit Endorses IPCC Climate Forecasts for Endangered Species Act Listing"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, September 2016
    • "Ninth Circuit Holds Endangered Species Act Treats Plants and Animals Differently"
    • "California Court of Appeal Revisits “Reverse CEQA” Ruling"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, July 2016
    • "Court of Appeal Approves Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan"
    • "Proposition 65 'Warnings' Website Goes Live"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, June 2016
    • "Ninth Circuit Rejects Environmental Review of Wind Energy Project"
    • "Environmental Review of Desert Water Production Project Approved by California Appellate Court"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, March 2016
    • "California Appellate Courts Split on Whether Groundwater Pumping Fees are Property-Related Fees Subject to Proposition 218"
    • "California Adopts, Proposes Amendments to the Proposition 65 Regulations"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, February 2016
    • "California Supreme Court Holds That CEQA Analysis Is a One Way Street…Generally"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, December 2015
    • "Appeals Court Can See the Forest for the (Old) Trees"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, October 2015
    • "Fifth Circuit Upholds Texas SIP in Déj   Vu All Over Again"
    • "D.C. Circuit Upholds EPA's Revised Rules on Hexavalent Chromium Emissions"
  • Presenter, "Environmental Self Audits: Tips to Avoid Violations Under EPA's New eDisclosure", BLR®—Business and Legal Resources, October 14, 2015
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, August 2015
    • "Court of Appeals Rejects the EPA’s 'One Size Fits All' Plan for Cross-State Air Pollution"
    • "Ninth Circuit Tells the EPA Enough is Enough"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, July 2015
    • "Ninth Circuit Upholds EPA's Correction of State Implementation Plan Approval"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, June 2015
    • "Appeals Court Requires State Implementation Plan to Include all Emissions Standards Relied Upon to Meet Its Goal"
    • "Ninth Circuit Looks to Practical Effect of Clean Air Act Challenge to Determine Proper Forum" 
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, April 2015 
    • "Appellate Court Endorses Averaging to Determine if Exposures Require Prop 65 Warning"
    • "Proposition 65 Amendment Seeks to Simplify Process for Determining Safe Harbors"
    • "U.S. Supreme Court Affirms Amtrak's Regulatory Authority"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, March 2015
    • "California Supreme Court Announces Two-Part Test for CEQA Categorical Exemptions
  • "Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, February 2015
    • "Appellate Court Upholds California Air Resources Board’s Recall and Repair Authority for Heavy-Duty Engines"
    • "CEQA Amendments Facilitating Stadium Project Approved"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, January 2015
    • - "Kentucky Federal Court Allows State Common Law Claims"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, November 2014
    • "Court Strikes Down Environmental Review of the Kern Water Bank"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, October 2014
    • "Fifth Circuit Aligns With Third and Ninth Circuits Holding That EPA Notices of Violation Are Not 'Final Action'"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, September 2014 
    • "Air Resources Board Advisory Group Issues Report on Mechanisms to Reduce Price Volatility in the Cap and Trade Allowance Market" 
    • "District Court Requires Analysis of GHG Emissions From Mine Operations As Well As Combustion of Extracted Coal"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, July 2014 
    • "EPA Proposes Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Protocol Requiring Vapor Intrusion Investigation"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, May 2014 
    • "U.S. Supreme Court Upholds EPA’s Interstate Air Pollution Rules"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, April 2014
    • "Supreme Court Upholds EPA’s Authority to Revoke Army Corps of Engineers’ Permit"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, March 2014
    • "Fifth Circuit to Weigh in on Pre-Enforcement Review of Violation Notices Under the Clean Air Act"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, November 2013
    • "Supreme Court Agrees to Review Greenhouse Gas Ruling"
  • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, October 2013
    • "Litigation against a Major Emitting Facility Barred by the Statute of Limitations"
  • Current Topics in Brownfield Development, article in ABA SEER Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee Newsletter, December 2012;
  • Current Topics in Environmental Law, participant on panel discussing “Sustainability Principles for Water Use in the Vineyard: What (if not water) is Coming from the North?,” 2009
  • California Wine Forum, panel moderator for “Sustainability in the Vineyard and Winery” – discussion of the impacts of AB 32 on the wine industry, 2008 
  • Water Rights Sales and Transfers in California, principal in seminar designed to help those in the development community, both public and private sector, understand and manage water supply issues and challenges, 2005 
  • “Mandate Maneuver - The U.S. Supreme Court case involving the constitutionality of the Brady Gun Control Act could affect the way states are obligated to implement federal environmental laws,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, Environmental Law Supplement, October 23, 1997