Mike McDonough is a partner in the law firm’s Los Angeles Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources practice. He represents Fortune 500 companies, municipalities and private entities in complex environmental litigation, administrative and enforcement matters at the federal, state and local levels. Mr. McDonough also provides client compliance counseling on issues ranging from climate change and air quality enforcement, to soil and water quality issues, to environmental management and ISO 14001 issues. His practice focuses on defending enforcement actions, bringing regulatory challenges, and litigating with state and federal regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission, the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, among others. He represents a range of Fortune 500 companies from a variety of industries, including energy production and importing, petroleum refining, freight transportation, consumer products, automobile manufacturing, aerospace, chemical manufacturing, and electronics manufacturing.
Mr. McDonough has particular experience in the interpretation and enforcement of air quality regulations in California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District, the largest and most sophisticated local air quality regulatory agency in the world. He represents a range of major industrial clients before the District in defending enforcement matters, prosecuting rule variance and permit appeal petitions, establishing rule interpretations, participating in stakeholder workshops to help shape future standards for Best Available Control Technology (BACT), and working with District staff in shaping amendments to programs like the Regional Clean Air Incentives Market (RECLAIM).
In addition to his litigation and regulatory enforcement defense work, Mr. McDonough regularly assists companies in performing environmental compliance and environmental management system audits, revising company operating procedures, and implementing facility-wide changes to meet environmental requirements. He also has experience representing public entities on issues of interpretations of and challenges to environmental regulations and in conducting environmental due diligence.
Mr. McDonough participates extensively in the provision of pro bono services in the greater Los Angeles area, with a focus on matters related to special needs children. He has served as secretary on the executive board of a non-profit agency and his recent pro bono work has included winning a contested adoption matter for a 5-year-old boy improperly threatened with removal from his sixth foster home, and assisting the family of a disabled child secure tens of thousands of dollars in benefits and services from the South Central Los Angeles Regional Center.
- Legal 500 US, Environment (2016)
- Burton Award for Excellence in Legal Writing (2013)
American Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. District Court, Central District of California
Speaker, “Implementing the Texas Coastal Exchange,” SSPEED conference at Rice University, Houston, Texas, April 26 – 27, 2016.
“Allocating Environmental Risks and Liabilities: Structuring Contract Provisions to Limit Risk in Commercial Transactions”, Strafford Publications Webinar, September 13, 2012.
“EPA’s New Air Quality Standard for Nitrogen Dioxide: Impacts of the Final Rule for Industry and the Environment,” Law Seminars International TeleBriefing, March 16, 2010.
Pro Bono Legal Advocacy for Children and Families, Stanford University, Palo Alto, November 9, 2009.
Current Trends in PSD/NSR Enforcement, Third Annual Conference on Air Quality Regulation in California, Law Seminars International, Los Angeles, Oct. 30, 2009.
2009 Environmental Law Panel, Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, October 20, 2009.
Particulate Regulation at a Crossroads: An Industry Perspective on PM2.5 Policy and Practice, Air Quality Regulation in California, LSI International, Los Angeles, April 14-15, 2008.
Earth, Wind and Fire: The Challenge of Natural and Foreign Air Emissions, American Chemical Society Conference, San Diego, March 2005.Recent Publications
Co-author, “Allocating Environmental Risks and Liabilities in Commercial Transactions,” Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report (December 2012)
Co-author, “UN Biodiversity Convention Calls for Qualified Moratorium on Climate Geo-Engineering Activities,” Climate Change Law & Policy Reporter (December 2010)
Co-author, “California Public Utilities Commission Stays Rules for Transferable Renewable Energy Credits,” Climate Change Law & Policy Reporter (June 2010)
Co-author, “California Releases Preliminary Draft Regulation for Cap and Trade Program,” Climate Change Law & Policy Reporter (January 2010)
“Environmental Groups File Legal Challenge to Lynx ESA Critical Habitat Determination on Climate Change Basis,” Climate Change Law & Policy Reporter (July 2009)
“EPA Issues Endangerment Finding for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Opening the Door for Regulation Under the Clean Air Act,” Climate Change Law & Policy Reporter (May 2009)
Co-author, “Two Reports Address Ways Forward for U.S.-China Cooperation on Climate Change,” Climate Change Law & Policy Reporter (March 2009)
“Last-Minute EPA Ruling Excludes Carbon Dioxide From List of Regulated Pollutants Under the Clean Air Act,” Climate Change Law & Policy Reporter (February 2009)
“Boxer’s Environmental Punch: The Promise to Introduce Cap-and-Trade Greenhouse Gas Legislation in January 2009,” Climate Change Law & Policy Reporter (January 2009)
“The House’s Changing Climate: Waxman’s Ascension to Energy and Commerce Committee Chair,” Climate Change Law & Policy Reporter (January 2009)
“China Releases Major White Paper on Climate Change,” Climate Change Law and Policy Reporter (December 2008)
“Changing of the Guard: Greenhouse Gas Regulation Under the Obama Administration,” Climate Change Law and Policy Reporter (December 2008)
“California Air Resources Board Unveils Proposed Scoping Plan For Implementing Landmark Climate Legislation,” Climate Change Law and Policy Reporter (November 2008)
“The U.S. Supreme Court Interprets EPA's Authority Under the Clean Air Act in Two Landmark Decisions (Part 1 of 2: Massachusetts v. EPA) ,” Environmental Liability, Enforcement & Penalties (May 2007)
“The U.S. Supreme Court Interprets EPA's Authority Under the Clean Air Act in Two Landmark Decisions (Part 2 of 2: Massachusetts v. EPA),” Environmental Liability, Enforcement & Penalties (May 2007)
“Death in One Act: The Case for Company Registration,” Pepperdine Law Review, Vol. 24 (1997)
Pepperdine Law Review(1995–1997)