Ward Benshoof is a trial lawyer and a partner in the firm’s Los Angeles office. He has specialized in environmental litigation for nearly 30 years, including defense of (a) civil penalty actions under state and federal environmental statutes, (b) hazardous waste litigation under CERCLA and RCRA, (c) toxic tort actions arising from environmental releases and (d) challenges under the California Environmental Quality Act.
Ward has been active in the development of environmental law in California and currently is closely involved in the implementation of California’s Green Chemistry Initiative. He also presently serves on the External Advisory Council to the Director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and has been a regular panelist at the California Air Resources Board’s annual Enforcement Symposium.
Ward graduated from New York University School of Law in 1972, where he was a member of the board of editors of the Law Review. In 1984, Ward, with four other partners, formed the Weston, Benshoof firm. In 2012, he was named by Chambers USA as one of the “highly regarded” environmental lawyers in California, and in 2004 Chambers named Ward as one of the leading attorneys in the nation for water quality litigation.
- Served as lead counsel for a major U.S. airline on jet fuel and solvent contamination issues at Los Angeles International Airport and related LARWQCB and other regulatory matters.
- Representation of a major Southern California airport authority on the prosecution of environmental claims against a former tenant.
- Served as lead environmental and litigation counsel for major industrial clients (oil, chemical and aerospace) on a wide variety of petroleum products and industrial solvent contamination cases.
- Served as lead counsel for a major aerospace client in a multiparty community exposure/toxic tort action.
- Served as chief trial counsel in the earliest cost recovery cases brought under the federal and state Superfund statutes.
- Prosecuted and defended numerous claims for environmental cost recovery and related tort claims on behalf of both public entities and private parties.
- Served as lead counsel for a major oil industry client in a groundwater contamination case brought by a Southern California municipality.
- Key involvement in many of the major appellate decisions that have defined the law of environmental cost recovery, under both statutory and common law.
- Close association with senior members of the environmental regulatory community in California through over 20 years of a leadership participation in the annual California EPA Enforcement Symposium.
- Key relationships with the foremost experts in the environmental/toxic tort consulting community.
“California Chemical Safety Rules Push Constitutional Envelop,” Law360, May 10, 2013.
May 10, 2013
“Missed Opportunity in Green Chemistry,” The Daily Journal, February 4, 2013.
February 4, 2013
Over the course of the last several decades, as compounds such as TCE, PCBs and MTBE have demonstrated substantial impacts upon the environment that were never conceived of when these substances were put into commerce— causing both industry and society in general to incur billions in costs to address the consequences — many in the environmental field have advocated a more rigorous process of identifying chemical risks at the outset. Leading companies have embraced the concept, instituting voluntary measures to carefully screen their chemical usage to minimize the environmental risks of their products.
October 31, 2012
Recent comments submitted by the EU on California's newly proposed Safer Consumer Products regulations demonstrate the complex hurdles faced by California regulators - in this case the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) - in implementing ambitious goals delegated to them by our Legislature that necessarily impact commerce in today's increasingly globalized economy.
October 12, 2012