K. RYAN HIETE
Ryan Hiete is a partner in the firm’s Westlake Village office and is a member of the firm’s Public and Environmental Law Practice Group. Mr. Hiete’s practice covers the full spectrum of environmental law, including compliance, governmental environmental reviews and investigations, administrative hearings, real property transactions involving environmentally impacted sites, due diligence and litigation. 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, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the California Air Resources Board, the California Attorney General’s Office, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, various regional water quality control boards, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Office of State Fire Marshal, local fire departments, and health and safety departments of various counties and cities.
Mr. Hiete’s environmental practice is focused on the representation of public entities. Mr. Hiete represents and has represented cities, school districts, public water districts, colleges and public health care centers. Although focused on public entities, Mr. Hiete also represents a wide variety of private entities, including private water companies, property owners and developers, large international corporations, industrial/manufacturing companies, commercial enterprises, private member organizations, family trusts and national banking institutions.
Concerning CEQA, Mr. Hiete has counseled clients on and assisted in the review and preparation of environmental impact reports and various other types of documentation prepared pursuant to CEQA. Mr. Hiete also has represented clients in litigation defending and challenging environmental documents under CEQA.
Mr. Hiete also has extensive experience in other areas of environmental law, including surface and groundwater pollution cases, contaminated soil and soil gas-related issues, storm water discharge, air emissions and permitting, climate change/global warming-related issues, hazardous waste management, energy, environmental insurance, brownfields, real estate development and construction projects, landfills, asbestos, access issues, above and underground storage tank cases, zoning and land use planning, drafting environmental legislation, and handling responses to federal, state and local criminal cases. Mr. Hiete’s recent work on such matters includes the following:
In 1999, before beginning his private practice, Mr. Hiete acted as legal counsel for the Belmont Learning Center 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 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 currently a 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 a 2012 Southern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.