Pete Nyquist

Chair, Environmental Practice Group
Fax 310-553-0687

Representative Matters

  • Lead litigation counsel for defendant Union Pacific in Arconic, Inc., et al. v. APC Investment Co., et al., USDC California Central District Case No. 2:14-cv-06456-GW, a CERCLA contribution action involving over $125 million in alleged past and future response costs to address the contaminant plume impacting Operable Unit No. 2 of the Omega Superfund Site.
  • Environmental counsel for Southern California Edison in response to a Notice of Violation issued by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board stemming from an inadvertent discharge of 7,000 gallons from the on-site sewage treatment plant at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. After a thorough “cause evaluation” showing zero or de minimis harm to the ocean, aquatic life or human health, the San Diego Regional Board concluded it was a minor violation event with sufficient corrective actions to mitigate future harm, resulting in a zero penalty assessment.
  • Lead litigation counsel for defendant Broan-NuTone in Slauson Super Mall, Inc. v. Broan-NuTone, USDC California Central District Case No. 2:21-cv-7257-DSF-AFM, an action alleging liability under CERCLA and RCRA against the purported corporate successor to a former Scovill subsidiary for environmental response costs at a Los Angeles facility. Previously, following an initial determination by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (“DTSC”) that Broan was a liable party, we prepared intricate corporate history and legal arguments that resulted in DTSC reversing its PRP designation based on a “lack of sufficient evidence.”
  • Environmental counsel for San Diego Gas & Electric Company in connection with San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board Investigative Order R9-2017-0083, regarding sediment chemistry in the San Diego Bay. Previously, defended SDG&E in the San Diego Shipyard Sediment Site, and related SDRWQCB Cleanup and Abatement Order proceedings and in City of San Diego v. NASSCO, et al. (S.D.Cal. Case No. 09-cv-02275-W-WVG) resulting in “good faith” settlements and CERCLA bar order.
  • Lead litigation counsel for defendant Coast United Advertising Inc. in California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Region v. Mei-Hon Lai, et al., Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC707671, addressing the alleged failure to comply with a Cleanup and Abatement Order. Negotiated a favorable settlement applying settlement funds from another party towards future cleanup costs, and substantially reducing initial civil penalty demands from the Attorney General’s office.
  • Environmental counsel for La Terra Development in connection with the 777 N. Front Street project in Burbank, which involved the acquisition, remediation and forthcoming redevelopment of the 8-acre former Zero Corporation facility into a mixed-use campus with 573 residences and hotel component adjacent to the Burbank Town Center. Successfully negotiated CLRRA Agreement and conditional approval of Response Plan to implement multi-tiered remedial and mitigation measures designed to fully protect the health of future residents.
  • Co-litigation counsel for plaintiff in Occidental Chemical Corp. v. 21st Century Fox America, Inc., et al. (D.N.J. Case No. 2;18-cv-11273), seeking cost recovery and contribution under CERCLA from 100+ defendants in connection with past and future response costs to implement a dredge and cap remedy of impaired sediment in the Passaic River in Newark, New Jersey.
  • Environmental counsel for Embee Processing (formerly Embee Inc. and Triumph Processing) in a RCRA corrective action under DTSC’s oversight to address hexavalent chromium, perchlorate and VOC contamination in soil and groundwater; advised client through public participation and hearing process, resulting in the approval of proposed remedial measures. Served as expert witness in related insurance recovery litigation stemming from Orange County Water District v. Sabic Innovative Plastics US, LLC, et al., OCSC Case No. 30-2008-00078246.
  • Trial counsel for plaintiffs in Occidental Research Corp., et al. v. Tamkin Trust (C.D.Cal. Case No. 2:17-cv-04621-MRW, a CERCLA and RCRA action seeking cost recovery and injunctive relief. Following the start of trial before the (deceased) Hon. Manuel Real, achieved a favorable settlement, culminating with a court-approved CERCLA bar order and fairness determination.
  • Environmental counsel for Autoliv ASP in connection with the 650+ acre UTC and Department of Defense site in the Potrero Hills, a former NIKE missile battery, and currently under oversight of the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board. Previously negotiated strategic acquisition of adjacent property to facilitate monitoring and related activities.
  • Lead litigation counsel for affiliate of Valence Technologies in the defense and successful resolution of a Clean Water Act citizen suite (San Francisco Baykeeper v. CSL Operating, LLC, N.D.Cal Case No. 5:15-cv-5633), and Aurora Casting in thwarting a demand for substantial attorneys’ fees in a separate Clean Water Act citizen suit matter by obtaining a “No Exposure Certification” at minimal expense to the client.
  • Environmental counsel for NavCom Defense Electronics, Inc. in connection with draft Cleanup and Abatement Order for former facility within El Monte Superfund Site. Factual and legal presentations to Regional Board resulted in withdrawal of proposed Cleanup and Abatement Order to client.
  • Environmental counsel for Costco Wholesale Corporation in the acquisition or leasing and development of several Southern California brownfield/infill sites for new retail warehouse facilities, including warehouse facility in Monterey Park at the former Operating Industries, Inc. Superfund Site, with tailored successor-in-interest protections under existing Consent Decrees.
  • Defended DIRECTV in connection with the Ultra-Chem Site in San Jose; successfully developed and asserted successor liability defense, resulting in DTSC’s removal of client from multiparty corrective action order.
  • Environmental counsel for the ownership of Pacific Palisades Village in connection with its sale to Caruso Affiliated. Included investigation, response and approved DTSC Response Plan pursuant to CLRRA Agreement to address multi-million dollar PCE impacts from former dry cleaner operations.
  • Lead litigation counsel for Hess Corporation in RECLAMATION DISTRICT NO. 2116, et al. v. Arcady Oil Co., et al., (E.D.Cal. Case No. CIV-S-96-1473), a multi-party CERCLA/RCRA action in the California Central District; following focused discovery strategy, obtained a stipulated dismissal based on demonstrated lack of causal evidence.
  • Environmental counsel for The Dow Chemical Company in response to citizen suit claims by Northern California River Watch alleging violations of RCRA and the federal Clean Water Act at a San Francisco Bay Area facility; achieved pre-litigation settlement based on RWQCB compliance requirements
  • Environmental counsel for Federal Investment Realty Trust in connection with the acquisition, investigation, cleanup and successful redevelopment of “The Point” retail center in Manhattan Beach, CA (formerly General Chemical pesticide manufacturing facility).
  • Litigation counsel for LAUSD in Los Angeles Unified School District v. Pozas Brothers Trucking Co., et al. (LASC Case No. BC391342), a cost recovery action related to $85 million in response costs at South Gate school complex, resulting in “good faith” settlements with former owner/operators at 35+ individual parcels.
  • Environmental counsel to 99 Cents Only Stores in connection with its lease of the Garfield Corporate Center in Commerce, among the largest industrial infill lease ever signed in Los Angeles County.
  • Represented The Boeing Company in connection with NPDES permitting issues at the Santa Susana Field Lab before the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, challenging the most stringent numeric effluent limits for stormwater ever proposed to date in California; included multiple administrative hearings, and a successful request for stay and appeal of infeasible permit conditions before the State Water Resources Control Board. See In the Matter of the Petition of Boeing Company, SWRCB Order WQ 2006-002; In the Matter of the Petition of Boeing Company, SWRCB Order WQ 2006-007.
  • Litigation counsel for EEMUS Corp. and Servex Corp. in the San Gabriel Valley Superfund Site SEMOU CERCLA groundwater litigation (San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority v. Aerojet-General Corporation, et al. (C.D. Cal. Case No. CV 02-4565), and related cases) and USEPA proceedings. Successfully negotiated two Consent Decrees with USEPA and “good faith” settlements with water entity plaintiffs, resulting in combined client contributions of less than 2% of projected remedy costs. See San Gabriel Valley Water Co. v. Aerojet General Corp., 606 F.3d 1142 (9th Cir. 2010)
  • On trial team for Unocal Corporation in defense of CERCLA cost recovery action; briefed successful motion for summary judgment and Ninth Circuit appeal on grounds that plaintiff had failed to satisfy RI/FS and public participation elements of the NCP. Ninth Circuit unanimously affirmed, holding in a precedential decision that NCP compliance is a prima facie element of a CERCLA section 107(a) cost recovery claim. See Carson Harbor Village, Ltd. v. Unocal Corporation, 433 F. 3d 1260 (2006) Carson Harbor Village, Ltd. v. Unocal Corp., 287 F. Supp. 2d 1118 (C.D. Cal. 2003).
  • Environmental counsel for Westfield in connection with storm water compliance issues at a $400 million shopping center redesign; the LARWQACB concurred post-construction controls were adequate, resulting in rescission of a NOV and avoiding need to implement costly additional controls.
  • Represent various other clients in connection with ongoing matters involving the USEPA, DTSC, regional water quality control boards, and/or other potentially responsible parties. Assisted numerous clients in obtaining “no further action” letters and “site closure” determinations, including negotiating of various forms of immunity agreements, land use covenants, comfort letters, CLRRA Agreements, etc.
  • Represented clients at following California federal and state Superfund sites or sediment sites: Aerojet- General (Sacramento); Ultra-Chem Site; Baldwin Park Operable Unit, El Monte Operable Unit, Puente Valley Operable Unit, and South El Monte Operable Unit (San Gabriel Valley Superfund Sites); Casmalia Resources; Operating Industries, Inc.; North Hollywood Operable Unit, and Pollock Operable Unit (San Fernando Valley Superfund Sites); Rialto-Colton/BF Goodrich; San Diego Shipyard Site; Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine.