Morrison & Foerster Advises on Landmark Environmental Protection Win

Firm Secures Completion of Largest Particulate Air Pollution Control Project in U.S. History


Environmental Litigation, Environmental Permitting + Regulation, and Litigation

MoFo News Item

Morrison & Foerster prevails on behalf of client Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District against Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), with the California Superior Court ordering the completion of the largest particulate matter air pollution control project in the nation’s history on December 30.

The project will reduce harmful air pollution by an amount equal to more than 75,000 tons of dust per year at the dried Owens Lake bed, the nation's largest single source of dust pollution. This ruling culminates a series of judgments over the past three years against LADWP, which had attempted to delay or prevent enforcement of air pollution laws to combat dust in the area of the lakebed.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang approved a stipulated judgment against the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) requiring completion of the project, located east of the Sierra Nevada. The fine dust particles of the lake bed -- created by the diversion of water from Owens Lake to the Los Angeles Aqueduct more than 100 years ago -- were especially dangerous to children and the elderly.

Morrison & Foerster partner Peter Hsiao, head of the firm's Environment and Energy Group in Los Angeles, represented Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District.

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