Located in Sacramento, Ms. Gorsen focuses her practice on providing strategic public policy, litigation and regulatory advocacy and counsel to a wide range of product manufacturers, brand owners, industrial facilities and landowners. She represents clients in enforcement defense and regulatory compliance issues before administrative agencies in Sacramento and numerous state capitols, and provides international permit and compliance counsel on environmental, product and supply chain regulation issues. With laws governing corporate social responsibility on the rise, Ms. Gorsen assists clients in developing their corporate policies to meet sustainability, chemical supply chain transparency, anti-slavery and human trafficking, conflict minerals and related statutes.
Ms. Gorsen is the former director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, where she directed soil and water clean-ups under CERCLA, RCRA, water and brownfields laws, and the regulation of solid and hazardous waste, as well as spearheaded the California Green Chemistry Initiative and the new laws governing toxics in products sold in California.
Ms. Gorsen is the former general counsel of the California Environmental Protection Agency, where she oversaw the enforcement policies and activities of the myriad state, regional and local agencies that enforce California’s environmental laws. She is also the former general counsel for the California Natural Resources Agency.
- Successfully settled an EPA enforcement action against a client’s former subsidiary for hazardous waste violations at its facility in Union City, California, reducing the initial multimillion-dollar penalty request to $120,000.
- Represented a client against violations of RCRA and the Clean Water Act in connection with the client’s chemical plant in Pittsburg, CA. Negotiations regarding the alleged surface water discharge and waste handling issues resulted in a $40,000 settlement.
- Advise clients on EPA’s TSCA chemical data reporting rule.
- Prepare web, document and product label disclosures under SB 657 and related human trafficking, conflict minerals and supply chain legal requirements.
- Advise clients on Prop 65 compliance.
- Advised the client on green chemistry issues affecting their LEED green building certification regarding indoor air quality.
- Develop litigation and regulatory advocacy strategy for a client and successfully suppressed new biological and genetic testing regulations by a state agency.
- Secured for a client regulatory approvals for the residential use of a fully constructed mixed-use project in Oakland that was previously the subject of underground storage tank removals, remediation and soil excavation.
- Developed regulatory and media advocacy strategy for a client and successfully obtained repeal of onerous NPDES permit conditions.
- Successfully settle large multijurisdictional cases alleging improper labeling, packaging and disposal of consumer products.
- Provide legal memoranda and opinion on eligibility of projects and products under the renewable portfolio standard, rechargeable energy efficiency standards, and carbon allowances under AB 32.
Maureen Gorsen, partner in the firm’s Environmental & Land Use Group, was quoted in a Law360 article discussing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) critique of the State Department addressing environmental impacts of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which could delay the department’s decision to approve or reject the project and could cause legal challenges from pipeline opponents.
April 23, 2013
In the Press
Maureen Gorsen, partner in the firm’s Environmental & Land Use Group, was quoted in a Law360 article discussing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s delay of a rule capping greenhouse gas emissions for new power plants and how that shouldn’t be taken as a sign that the agency won’t eventually issue tough standards for new coal-fired plants.
April 15, 2013
In the Press
Maureen Gorsen was quoted in a Law360 article discussing the California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) new Green Chemistry draft changing the limits of what chemicals are subject to regulation and how the push to curb harmful ingredients in consumer products may pose huge cost and compliance hurdles for companies.
February 1, 2013
In the Press
One hundred and forty-seven Alston & Bird attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. The publication is universally regarded as among the few definitive guides to legal excellence, and its rankings are based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 36,000 leading attorneys cast almost 4.4 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas.
September 18, 2012
In the Press
Maureen Gorsen was quoted in a Law360 article discussing Scott Miracle-Gro’s record $2.5 million payment in criminal fines and civil penalties for violation of federal pesticide laws and other related civil allegations with the EPA.
September 10, 2012
In the Press