practice areas


California Environmental Quality Act

Pioneer Law Group’s attorneys are experts in the environmental regulations that affect the way our clients do business, including compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  We provide the strategic advice and reliable counsel necessary to steer complex, and often controversial, projects through the CEQA review process.  From the outset of a CEQA matter, we assist clients in outlining a compliance strategy best suited to their project and its surrounding circumstances.  We position our clients to:

Avoid procedural errors and common CEQA mistakes;

Maximize efficiency and effectiveness of the CEQA process;

Formulate well‑grounded and practical solutions to the business and policy problems caused by CEQA’s ambiguities; and

Minimize the risk of a CEQA lawsuit and increase the likelihood of prevailing if litigation is unavoidable.

The firm’s attorneys have extensive experience litigating CEQA cases and have successfully defended environmental documents, CEQA exemptions, and all manner of CEQA compliance issues in numerous matters, including many of statewide significance.  Recent examples of our CEQA attorneys’ work include:


A 240‑acre redevelopment project recognized as one of the nation’s largest brownfield urban infill redevelopment projects.  The plan proposes to convert former railyards to 12,5000 residential units, 2.3 million square feet of office uses, and 1.8 million square feet of retail.  The firm represented the developer through the CEQA process, and successfully defended the project against four CEQA lawsuits.


Pioneer Law Group’s attorneys served as land use and CEQA counsel to obtain a use permit for a Tulare County ethanol plant involving complex technical issues related to air and water quality, and successfully defended the entitlements in CEQA litigation.  The timely completion and successful defense of the project’s environmental review enabled the developer to establish a leadership position in the ethanol market.


The firm’s attorneys represented an aggregate mining company through the CEQA process and in litigation to obtain and defend entitlements for expansion of the company’s existing quarry.  The lawsuit challenging the project’s CEQA document alleged that the EIR was deficient on various issues, including diesel emissions and the baseline condition, and also raised zoning issues.  The firm’s attorneys successfully defended the client’s entitlements by prevailing at the trial level, and thereafter settling the litigation during the appeal process.


The firm’s attorneys represented a solid waste handling company as land use and CEQA counsel to obtain entitlements for expansion of an existing materials recovery facility.  The project was unanimously approved and community outreach avoided CEQA litigation.


As lead land use and CEQA counsel for the developer, the firm’s attorneys processed entitlements for a Yuba City specific plan and thereafter successfully defended both the project approval and a highly controversial decision to place a Supercenter on the site.


The firm’s attorneys served as land use and CEQA counsel for an approximately 175‑unit subdivision that was opposed by the adjacent city.  We settled the case expeditiously on favorable terms for our client, which is representative of Pioneer Law Group’s focus on our clients’ needs for effective, business‑minded counsel.


The firm represents members of the wine industry in land use and environmental matters, and its attorneys served as CEQA counsel for review of a notable winery’s Napa vineyard expansion project.  Through our outreach to stakeholders in the environmental community, we were able to expeditiously permit the project and avoid litigation.


Represented a petroleum business in relocating tank facilities at the Port of Sacramento, including providing CEQA counsel.


Served as lead CEQA counsel in successful permitting process for a highly controversial hospital expansion in the City of Sacramento, which included close coordination with the lead agency and consultants to resolve environmental issues and avoid litigation delays.  The project’s CEQA document was not challenged in court.


California Environmental Resources Evaluation System

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