Projects - Environmental Law Group, LLP


Representative Projects

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San Diego Downtown Ballpark

The attorneys of Environmental Law Group LLP, formerly known as Opper & Varco teamed with CCDC staff to accomplish one of the most complex and ambitious redevelopment and environmental cleanup and cost recovery matters in San Diego County history. Environmental assessment and clean-up costs approached $20 million, but by pursuing cost recovery claims against responsible parties, our clients incurred approximately less than 3% of this amount. This project created a model for teaming with regulatory agencies and performing environmental investigation, remediation and redevelopment as a combined effort through the use of a Master Work Plan. The project provided a “Clean Footprint” to the Padres, and was a regulatory and economic success that won an “Award of Excellence” from the California Redevelopment Association, an “Alonzo” award from the Downtown Partnership in 2002, and a prestigious Phoenix Award in 2006.

Kinder Morgan Mission Valley Terminal

Environmental Law Group LLP, formerly known as Opper & Varco represents the City of San Diego in the administrative proceedings that are ongoing as a result of Kinder Morgan’s release of over 250,000 gallons of petroleum related products at the Mission Valley Terminal, adjacent to Qualcomm Stadium. This matter has required ongoing negotiations with San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board staff, appearances at multiple Board hearings, and administrative petitions challenging agency action.


Smart Corner, Downtown San Diego

An Environmental Law Group LLP, formerly known as Opper & Varco client acquired property for a redevelopment project that turned out to be heavily contaminated. After conducting extensive historic research, the attorneys of Opper & Varco located a responsible party for some of the contamination at the site and recovered approximately $800,000 in cleanup costs from the responsible party. Environmental Law Group LLP also applied for and received one of the first grants from the Orphan Site Cleanup Account for additional clean up funds of approximately $600,000. Between the settlement and the grant, Environmental Law Group LLP recovered all of the cleanup costs incurred by the client for the project.



Flower Hill Promenade, Del Mar, California

Environmental Law Group LLP, formerly known as Opper & Varco represented Protea Flower Hill West, LLC, successfully defending challenges to its Environmental Impact Report prepared pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act and jurisdictional challenges before the California Coastal Commission. The opening of Whole Foods in the Promenade was a great success for the community.


Urban Development Projects

Environmental Law Group LLP, formerly known as Opper & Varco assists private developers in the management of environmental issues during urban development. Our work begins during due diligence in assisting with the identification of environmental challenges. Our goal is to reduce the environmental uncertainties that can negatively impact a project by allocating responsibility for cleanup costs, pursuing responsible parties, negotiating with regulators to achieve appropriate cleanup goals, providing comfort to lenders regarding the environmental obligations, and finding available money to assist with cleanup costs. Environmental Law Group LLP has secured over $10 million in grant funding to assist our various clients with site assessment and cleanup.

Redevelopment of Brown Field Airport

Environmental Law Group LLP attorneys have represented Brown Field International Business Park, LLC (“BFIBP”) as both land use and general counsel. BFIBP reached a crucial milestone on October 7, 2013 with approval by the San Diego City Council of the master plan to develop 331 acres of the airport. Since 2007, Environmental Law Group LLP attorneys worked with BFIBP to create a plan that will include significant expansion of general aviation with ancillary maintenance support and hangers for small to large executive jet aircraft, an 8-10 MW solar field, commercial and industrial space and two business hotels with retail and restaurant opportunities. The project will turn Brown Field from an underutilized airport to a significantly integral part of the region’s systems of airports that will provide approximately 8,000 long-term construction jobs throughout its multi-phased construction, and 4,000 permanent jobs. It is uniquely situated to take advantage of the availability of industrial land in South County and its location near the international border with Mexico. Proponents, who include the San Diego Regional Chamber, South County Economic Development Council, the Otay Chamber of Commerce and others tout the positive ripple effect that redevelopment of Brown Field will have not only in Otay Mesa, but throughout the binational region.

Entitlement of Harmony Grove Village

O&V attorneys provide legal support for entitlements, including the construction of a standalone waste water treatment plant as well as the negotiation of conservation easements with a local stream conservancy, the army corps, and US Fish and Wildlife Service for Harmony Grove Village, a 468 community being developed by Standard Pacific Homes in north eastern San Diego County. Central to the development is the Village Core, a mixed-use community hub that includes public meeting and recreation space, office and retail uses, and live/work housing. Harmony Grove Village is planned for approximately 740 single-family residences, ranging in size from small bungalows to estate lots.

Development of Premier Jet at Palomar Airport

Environmental Law Group LLP, formerly known as Opper & Varco attorneys, serve as general counsel for Premier Jet, a fixed-based operator offering complete flight support operations, state-of-the-art aircraft and pilot services, office and conference facilities, and aircraft storage and refueling The $33 million facility includes 19 first-class hangars from 3,000 to 15,000 square feet in size and 14 luxury offices starting at 1,500 square feet. Environmental Law Group LLP attorneys assisted Premier Jet in the development of a 30 year pre-paid lease for its tenants which allows the tenants to enjoy most of the benefits of fee ownership on a public airport.