Jonathan W. ReddingAttorney

Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP 1111 Broadway, 24th FloorOakland, CA 94607
TEL:
510.834.6600
FAX:
510.808.4685
VCARD:
vcard
Profile

As an environmental and pollution cleanup attorney, Jonathan represents a diverse client base that includes developers, property owners, public entities, auto dealerships, commercial enterprises and estate fiduciaries.  His practice emphasizes the investigation of pollution, negotiation of cost sharing, reimbursement and indemnity agreements, negotiations with environmental regulatory agencies, and management of consultants to minimize the cost of cleanup and maximize the reimbursement of cleanup costs from third parties and insurance companies.  He also advises businesses and fiduciaries on the impact of pollution on property values, and redevelopment and reuse of contaminated properties.

As a land use and entitlement attorney, Jonathan works with owners, developers and their consultants to obtain permits for vineyard development projects and other major projects.  He has expertise in CEQA litigation and compliance, NEPA, Clean Water Act and Stormwater Permits, endangered species, wetlands and wetland mitigation, and water rights. 

He also has successfully defended property owners from enforcement actions from the Department of Fish and Game, the Regional Water Quality Control Board and the District Attorney’s Environmental Protection Division in a number of different locales, actions and contexts.

A former assistant city planner and special consultant to the City of Berkeley’s Hazardous Materials Program, Jonathan brings both public administration and technical environmental experience to bear when helping clients meet the challenges of governmental compliance, site cleanups and obtaining permits for large scale development projects.

Jonathan was Chair of the Environmental practice group at Fitzgerald, Abbott & Beardsley from 1991 to 1999.  He was Chair of Wendel Rosen’s environmental practice group from 2000 to 2007.

Experience

CLEANUP COST RECOVERY AND DEFENSE
Jonathan represents plaintiffs and defendants in prosecuting or defending actions to recover costs and damages related to cleanup of contaminated properties.  He also represents property owners to obtain insurance to investigate and remediate contaminated sites.  He represents owners of underground storage tanks in obtaining reimbursement of cleanup costs from State of California Underground Storage Tank (UST) Cleanup Fund. Recent experience includes:

  • Litigated and obtained a settlement agreement from ExxonMobil under which Exxon assumed responsibility for cleanup of extensive petroleum contamination and methane gases from the subsurface of approximately 25 acres of land at no cost to client. Also obtained reimbursement of litigation expenses from client’s insurance carrier.

  • Negotiated settlement with ExxonMobil in which it paid to clean up petroleum contamination at a San Francisco gas station site at no cost to the client, paid the client for loss of use damages during cleanup and several months thereafter, agreed to pay client for increased development costs arising from the contamination, and reimbursed the client for its attorneys' fees.

  • Obtained multi-million dollar settlement from prior owners and operators of auto dealership facility in Palo Alto.

  • Served as outside environmental counsel for the Port of Oakland on numerous cost recovery cases related to redevelopment of Port properties during the past 17 years.

  • Litigated case against U.S. government at a Formerly Utilized Defense Site (FUDS) and obtained judgment and consent order under which the U.S. government and other responsible parties paid damages to client and assumed all responsibilities for further cleanup.

  • Defended client alleged with fraud in real property transaction and obtained insurance funding to defend case, investigate site and perform the necessary remediation to obtain site closure at the cost of insurance company.

  • Currently prosecuting fraud and cost recovery case against former owners and operators of auto dealer/service facility on four acre site in Palo Alto.

  • Assist property owners in defense against unreasonable government conduct related to contamination cleanups in condemnation proceedings.

  • Represent numerous property owners to obtain reimbursements from the State of California UST Cleanup Fund.

 

DUE DILIGENCE, ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE, REAL PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS AND ADVICE TO FIDUCIARIES
Jonathan provides legal advice, review, and oversight for the leasing, sale and purchase, and redevelopment of contaminated real property, including coordination with environmental consultants, negotiation with environmental regulators and permitting agencies, drafting of environmental indemnity provisions, and assisting clients in the performance of due diligence for real estate transactions. Recent experience includes:

  • Lead outside environmental counsel for Port of Oakland on potential responsible parties (PRP) negotiations and compliance with Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) order involving multiple PRPs at the fuel farms supplying Oakland International Airport. This has also involved regulatory negotiations concerning a multi-year phased cleanup due to the decommissioning of the old tank farm facilities and constructing new state of the art fueling facilities. No litigation filed to resolve this case.

  • Successfully negotiated settlements for investigation, cleanup costs, and indemnity from prior owners and operators, such as major oil companies, at numerous locations for property owners without resorting to litigation

  • Successfully negotiated numerous settlements and agreements regarding scope of investigation and cleanup, including DTSC, U.S. EPA, U.S. DOJ several regional RWQCBs, and numerous county health/environmental departments. In most of these cases, Jonathan retained and/or directed and managed the conduct of the investigations, regulatory reports, and negotiations.

  • Negotiated and worked on team to sell a Brownfield site (former contaminated auto dealership with full service garage) utilizing both private environmental insurance and State of California UST Cleanup Fund to facilitate sale and redevelopment of site into mixed-use commercial and residential site in Oakland, California.

  • Assisted client with negotiations of first voluntary cleanup agreement under DTSC’s Brownfield’s program for the redevelopment of a former coal-gas manufacturing site into a multiplex cinema in Oakland and successfully pursued cost recovery against prior operator for cleanup costs and economic damages attributable to delayed development and obtained millions of dollars of damages.

  • Advise clients, including several national corporations, in environmental due diligence for purchase and lease and refinance transactions.

  • Advise trustees, executors and administrators regarding management and cleanup of properties and related tax and valuation issues.

 

LAND USE, PERMITTING AND ENDANGERED SPECIES
Jonathan advises clients on development permits for major projects, including CEQA and NEPA compliance and drafting of EIRs (including air and water quality issues); risk assessment; contaminated site closures and cost-effective reuse strategies; negotiation of mitigation plans for endangered species; wetlands delineation and exemption claims, mitigation and restoration policies; and selection and management of consultants to reduce costs and ensure achievement of client objectives. Recent experience includes:

  • Advised developer for reuse of Mare Island Navy Dredge Disposal Ponds in connection with preparation of EIS/EIR and response to comments for proposed commercial reuse and wetlands restoration

  • Defended client and City of Berkeley in litigation related to project approval pursuant to a CEQA exemption, which was successfully resolved in favor of the City.

  • Assisted Port of Oakland on CEQA compliance related to cleanup actions and site reuse.

  • Wrote White Paper for Alameda County Congestion Management Agency (ACCMA) explaining AB32, SB375 and the challenges and available opportunities to ACCMA.

  • Defended CEQA and legal challenge brought by a citizen group related to Napa County’s approval of 360-acre vineyard development.

  • Advised major Napa Valley vintner on CEQA, wetlands and vineyard development permits.

  • Defended developer client from Corps enforcement proceedings and obtained after-the-fact permits for filling of more than five acres of wetlands in connection with a housing and marina development project adjacent to the Sacramento delta, without litigation and without payment of any civil penalties.

  • Defended developer client from potential RWQCB fines and penalties related to failure to control stormwater discharges during major storm events.

  • Defended and successfully settled (for several thousand dollars) RWQCB threatened enforcement action with potential fines of several million dollars.

  • Defended and successfully settled (i.e. client paid no fines or penalties) a threatened enforcement action by local district attorney, related to alleged improper vineyard development and natural resources damages.

  • Represent national housing developer in Central Valley project in connection with strategies and mitigation measures in connection with areas impacted by wetlands, Vernal Pool Habitat Critical Designation, and possible presence of the California Tiger Salamander.

  • Represented owner of proposed 360-acre Napa Valley vineyard project in connection with existence of the endangered red legged frog on the property.

  • Assisted developer on issues related to an endangered Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse.

 

LITIGATION

  • Polanco Act and Condemnation case (Successfully settled without litigation)

  • Case No. C 92 0380MHP (Property case, transfer of liability to US Army Corps of Engineers and other responsible parties)

  • Case No. C 92 0380MHP (Property case, transfer of liability to US Army Corps of Engineers and other responsible parties)

  • Case No. 917089 (Property damage, loss of use and transfer cleanup liability to Chevron)

  • Case No. BG0734-2925 (Defended city and client in writ of mandate proceedings challenging City’s determination of CEQA exemption)

  • Case No. C89-01271 (Fraud and property damage – gas station)

  • Case No. V-001959-2 (NPL site, contamination cost recovery case)

  • Case No. C 02-4555 (Fraud and contamination property damage)

  • U.S. District Court for the Central District Case No. CV03-6109 DT (SHSx) (Lease dispute and contamination property damage claims)

  • (Assisted Port in emergency response activities and defended Port from Government Tort Act claim filed by Kinder Morgan)

  • Case No. VC008290 (Oil and gas lease, property contamination)

  • Case No. 733888-1 (Cleanup case, valuation of contaminated property)

  • Case No. H-170038-5 (State superfund site, cost recovery and liability transfer case)

  • Case No. 02-029568 JSW (Contamination cost recovery case, and cleanup and liability transfer to ExxonMobil)

  • Case No. C-95-03721-RB (Contamination cost recovery case)

  • Case No. 8001317 (Contamination cost recovery case)

  • Case No. C-92 0380MHP (Contamination cost recovery case)

  • Case No. 720166 (Contamination cost recovery case)

  • Case No. C91-04959 (Contamination cost recovery case, diminution of property value)

  • Case No. H-169600-4 (Loss of use and property damage case)

Publications

Available Articles:

Affiliations

ASTM Vapor Intrusion Task Group
  • Developed E 2600-08 for the assessment of vapor intrusion into structures involved in real estate transactions

Bay Area Air Quality Management District Indirect Source Review (ISR) Technical Advisory Group

Air Waste Management Association, Golden Gate Chapter
  • Board of Directors

State Bar of California
  • Real Property Section, Environmental Law Section

Alameda County Bar Association 
Presentations

  • “CEQA Reform/Prospects, Proposals, and the Nature of the Debates to Come,” conference and panel moderator, Air & Waste Management Association Golden West Section Conference, May 2, 2013
  • “Climate Action Plans and CEQA,” moderator, Air & Waste Management Association Golden West Section conference, Current Developments in CEQA Guidance – The Road Ahead, September 21, 2011
  • “The Role of Mandated and Voluntary Emission Reductions Programs in CEQA,” moderator, Air & Waste Management Association Golden West Section Conference, Current Developments in CEQA Guidance – The Road Ahead, September 21, 2011
  • “GHG & CEQA: Straight from the Source,” moderator, Wendel Rosen Educational Seminars, June 10, 2009
  • Lecturer for the California Redevelopment Association on brownfields redevelopment and institutional controls
  • "CERCLA Clean Up and Cost Recovery," Northwestern Environmental Training Center, February 8, 2006
  • "Remediation of Contaminated Property," Northwestern Environmental Training Center, February 8, 2006

 

Featured Presentations:

Recognitions

 

  • Selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyers magazine, 2014-2017
  • Wendel Rosen's Environmental Practice Group selected as one of top three in the San Francisco Bay Area in The Recorder's 6th Annual "The Best" survey, 2012