Co-Founder and Managing Partner

 

 

Tel: (510) 495-1406 

​Cjohnson@egcounsel.com

EDUCATION

  • Smith College 

  • University of Virginia School of Law

PRACTICES

  • Compliance

  • Contaminated Sites

  • Permitting and Enforcement

  • Transactions/Due Diligence

COURT ADMISSIONS

  • All California courts 

  • U.S. District Courts (Northern District, Central District) 

  • U.S. Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)

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Catherine specializes in California and federal environmental law, representing a broad range of clients and industries, including manufacturing facilities, national transportation companies, food companies, a recycling facility, and leaders in the commercial real estate and multi-family housing industry. She has represented a leader in the multi-family homes industry for over twenty years, and served as the sole environmental lawyer for a publicly-traded REIT for over fourteen years. She has represented several of her current clients for over a decade or more.

 

Catherine helps clients comply with environmental laws, remediate contaminated properties, settle enforcement actions and citizens' suits, and move forward with transactions involving environmental liabilities and the transfer of environmental permits.

 

Catherine's areas of expertise include brownfields development, soil vapor intrusion, Proposition 65, pollution legal liability insurance policies, hazardous and solid waste, landfills, Superfund sites, electronic waste, underground storage tanks, asbestos-containing materials, lead-based paint, mold, radon, methane gas, OSHA, Porter-Cologne Act, Truck & Bus Regulation, CERCLA, RCRA, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and all aspects of the investigation, cleanup, and closure of contaminated properties. Catherine has special expertise in environmental due diligence and transactional matters for real estate, stock, and asset acquisitions.

 

Catherine’s transactional and compliance practice at EGC is backed by years of litigation experience, where she served either as lead counsel or co-counsel in several major cases, including citizens’ suits claims (Prop 65, stormwater), CERCLA cost recovery claims, and claims for property damage associated with subsurface contamination and soil vapor intrusion.  Catherine was lead attorney for the landmark case, U.S. v. Chapman, 146 F.3d 1166, 1169 (9th Cir. 1998) (establishing a test for EPA’s recovery of its litigation fees in a CERCLA cost-recovery action) and she was lead co-counsel for SF Baykeeper v. Levin Enterprises, (N.D. CA, 2013) (first decision to address the scope of stormwater permit requirements applicable to the transportation industry).  

 

Before establishing EGC, Catherine was a partner at Hanson Bridgett, LLP, in San Francisco for seven years, and a partner at Wendel Rosen Black & Dean, in Oakland for thirteen years. Catherine started her environmental practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto. Before practicing law, she served as a consultant to ICF, Inc., providing support to the U.S. EPA in development of some of the first environmental regulations under certain provisions of CERCLA and RCRA.

 

Catherine is the Immediate Past Chair of the San Francisco Bar Association's Environmental Section. 

CATHERINE W. JOHNSON

2120 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

510-495-1405