Mediation Support for Cleanup Litigation


A client named in cleanup litigation trusted Farallon to protect its interests during mediation.

A beautiful California lake has been the subject of water quality complaints for more than a decade.  In response to reports of visible pollution, a sulfuric smell, and fish kills, the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) placed the 80-acre lake on a list of polluted water bodies and ordered the owner to take steps to clean it up.  The lake owner brought a lawsuit against four public entities, claiming they were responsible for the contamination and should pay diagnostic and cleanup costs. 

Farallon was retained as a technical consultant by one of the parties of the lawsuit, and acts as chair of the team of all parties’ technical consultants.  By effectively coordinating the activities of dissimilar parties with diverse agendas, Farallon has kept the remediation project on course. 

According to a Farallon Principal and manager of the project, “Keeping technical investigatory and remedial option work on track in a five-party lawsuit can be challenging.  Farallon has developed a strong working relationship with RWQCB Project Managers, who ultimately will weigh in on the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study and potential remedies for the lake.”

Farallon coordinates the technical team’s actions and communicates its decision-making process to stakeholders.  Farallon also reviews technical documents, analyzes sampling and modeling programs, prepares budgets, and guides next steps, while maintaining compliance with the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan.  The client relies on Farallon to protect the confidentiality of the mediation process and represent its interests while keeping the mediator abreast of issues facing the technical team.