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Ryan Hiete is a partner in the firm’s Westlake Village office and is a member of the firm’s Regulatory, Compliance, Environment and White Collar Practice Groups.  Mr. Hiete’s practice covers the full spectrum of regulatory and environmental law, including compliance, governmental reviews and investigations of corporate and individual activities, administrative hearings, real property transactions involving environmentally impacted sites, due diligence, litigation and alleged “white collar” crimes.  Mr. Hiete typically handles cases involving, among others, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), California’s Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, Proposition 65, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), California’s Hazardous Substances Account Act (HSAA), and most recently, California’s new climate change-related law, AB 32.  Mr. Hiete frequently interfaces with governmental agencies, including attorneys, officers and technical staff from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, United States Department of Justice, the United States Coast Guard, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the California Air Resources Board, the California Attorney General’s Office, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), the Department of Public Health, California’s DOGGR, regional water quality control boards, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Office of State Fire Marshal, local fire departments, and municipal health and safety departments throughout California.

Mr. Hiete represents a wide variety of private entities, including private water companies, property owners and developers, large international corporations, maritime-based entities, oil and gas entities, industrial/manufacturing companies, commercial enterprises, private member organizations, family trusts and national banking institutions.  Mr. Hiete’s environmental practice also includes representation of public entities.  Mr. Hiete represents and has represented cities, school districts, public water districts, colleges and public health care centers.

Mr. Hiete’s experience includes representation of companies and individuals involved in federal, state and local criminal and civil investigations relating to alleged improper: (i) discharge of hazardous wastes; (ii) violations of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act; (iii) import and export activities of goods; and (iv) permit violations concerning air emissions, hazardous materials storage, transport, and materials discharge.  Mr. Hiete works closely with Partners in the Firm’s White Collar Group on these federal and state criminal proceedings and has extensive background interfacing with federal and state officials and attorneys relating to such matters. 

Mr. Hiete also extensive experience in other areas of environmental law, including surface and groundwater pollution cases, contaminated soil and soil gas-related issues, storm water discharge, climate change/global warming-related issues, hazardous waste management, energy, environmental insurance, brownfields, real estate development and construction projects (including CEQA analysis and litigation), landfills, asbestos, access issues, above and underground storage tank cases, zoning and land use planning and drafting legislation.  Mr. Hiete’s recent work on such matters includes the following:

  • Representation of large property developers and corporations on numerous issues, including: (i) land survey; (ii) entitlements and zoning issues; (iii) due diligence and historical site investigation; (iv) asbestos surveys and removal; and (v) contract negotiations (purchase and sale, leases, subleases, drafting environmental provisions, access and lender reviews).
  • Representation of industrial plating facilities on compliance and regulatory issues, including: (i) alleged violations of air permits; (ii) air permit renewals; (iii) response to civil and criminal proceedings concerning alleged unlawful air emissions and water discharge; (iv) Prop 65-related cases; (v) alleged violations of hazardous waste laws (e.g., RCRA); (vi) efforts to close facilities under oversight of governmental agencies; and (vii) purchase and sale of plating operation facilities.
  • Representation of employees of large national and international oil/energy companies involved in federal criminal proceedings [for example, represented six employees of a company involved in a federal probe relating to alleged illegal air emissions at major port facility in California.]
  • Representation of companies relating to emergency response situations, including oil and chemical spills, pipeline ruptures and hazardous materials releases [for example, Mr. Hiete represented the company that led the response to the M/V Cosco Busan oil spill in San Francisco, California.  The matter involved the representation of the client in multiple federal, state and local investigations, including proceedings filed by the United States Department of Justice, the United States Coast Guard, the National Transportation Safety Board and the California Department of Fish and Game Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response].
  • Representation of companies that manufacture, sell and/or purchase after-market car and marine parts that are subject to regulatory enforcement proceedings by the California Air Resources Board.
  • Representation of several public and private water agencies (including cities and water purveyors) on the following issues: (i) complex groundwater pollution investigations and cleanups; (ii) litigation related to soil and groundwater pollution (including chemicals such as perchlorate, petroleum hydrocarbons, MTBE, PCBs and VOCs); (iii) administrative hearings related to soil and groundwater pollution; (iv) applications for funding under California’s UST Cleanup Fund; and, (v) compliance with CERCLA’s National Contingency Plan.
  • Representation of a large school district in matters related to the district’s massive school construction program. Specifically, Mr. Hiete represents the district on a wide variety of environmental and land use-related issues, including: (i) air quality issues, including compliance with California’s global warming law AB 32; (ii) review of potential school sites and assisting in the review of environmental impact reports and other environmental planning documents; (iii) negotiating environmental provisions of purchase and sale agreements; (iv) access agreements; (v) railroad safety assessments and other health risk assessments; (vi) pipeline-related issues, including pipeline removal projects; (vii) storm water projects; (ix) analysis of issues related to diesel emissions from the district’s bus fleets; (x) condemnation of environmentally impacted properties; and, (xi) numerous groundwater pollution cases.
  • Representation of clients on global warming/climate-change related issues, including extensive analysis of California’s AB 32.
  • Representation of medical/health facilities on pollution-related issues, to ensure that sensitive receptors of the medical facilities are properly accounted for and protected.

In 1999, before beginning his private practice, Mr. Hiete acted as legal counsel for the Belmont Commission, a commission charged with reviewing and analyzing all of the environmental and safety issues associated with the then-planned Belmont Learning Complex, a $200 million proposed joint use project in Downtown Los Angeles.  In this capacity, Mr. Hiete reviewed all of the legal issues associated with the project, including land use, CEQA, CERCLA, nuisance, trespass, Prop. 65, the CWA and CAA and seismic-related issues.  Mr. Hiete also worked with the individual commissioners in analyzing environmental legal issues and interfacing with experts called to testify before the commission.

While attending McGeorge Law School,  Mr. Hiete attended Loyola Law School in 1999 as a visiting student, where he was on the staff of the Loyola Law Review.  Mr. Hiete is former member of the Executive Committee of Los Angeles County Bar Association, Environmental Section, and in 2007, the Executive Committee appointed him to be the Section’s Global Warming Advisor.  He also is a former Board member of the Mono Lake Committee, an organization charged with protecting Mono Lake and the Mono Eco-basin.  Mr. Hiete was selected in 2009 and 2012 to be a Southern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.  In 2008, the Los Angeles Business Journal named Mr. Hiete as one of the top 50 environmental attorneys in Los Angeles County.

In his spare time, Mr. Hiete is an assistant tackle football coach for the Newbury Park Steelers organization.


  • University of Colorado at Boulder, B.A., 1994
  • McGeorge School of Law (University of the Pacific), J.D., 1999

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of California


K. Ryan Hiete
Office: Westlake Village
Phone: (805) 418-3124
Fax: (805) 418-3101
Email: K. Ryan Hiete
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