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Kevin Poloncarz
San Francisco +1 415 591 7070 kpoloncarz@cov.com Download V-card

Kevin Poloncarz represents a broad range of clients on policy, regulatory, litigation, commercial, and enforcement matters involving air quality, climate change, and clean energy. He has been deeply involved in the development of regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the federal Clean Air Act and the California Global Warming Solutions Act, AB 32.

Mr. Poloncarz is recognized as a leading expert on California’s suite of air quality and climate change programs. He has extensive experience with California’s Cap-and-Trade Program, Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and carbon pricing in other jurisdictions. He is also deeply involved in the state’s programs to achieve its renewable energy targets and broader efforts led by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to support the state’s attainment of its climate and air quality goals.

  • Representing four major electric utilities in litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit challenging the U.S. EPA's determination that its greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks are not appropriate and should be revised to be less stringent (No. 18-1162).
  • Represented coalition of nine major U.S. power companies as intervenors in support of the U.S. EPA in litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (D.C. Circuit) challenging EPA's Clean Power Plan (No. 15-1363) and related carbon pollution standards for new, modified, and reconstructed electric generating units (No. 15-1381).
  • Represented energy company in litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit challenging U.S. EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan as amicus curiae in support of respondent EPA (In re Murray Energy Corp., 788 F.3d 330 (D.C. Cir. 2015).
  • Represented coalition of five major utilities as proposed amici curiae seeking to defend a source of revenue for electric vehicle incentives and charging infrastructure provided by the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) Low Carbon Fuel Standard in a challenge brought by ethanol producers.
  • Represented developer of 620-MW combined cycle power plant in obtaining the first federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit to limit emissions of GHGs and in successfully defending associated appeals to the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
  • Representing major conservation organization in securing role for natural and working lands in California's climate programs.
  • Represented electric generators in petitions for reconsideration of EPA’s national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE) and advised on related litigation in the D.C. Circuit.
  • Represented clients in energy and refining sectors in enforcement actions concerning compliance with rules promulgated by CARB pursuant to AB 32.
  • Represented power producer with respect to proposed legislation concerning extension of California GHG reduction targets and Cap-and-Trade Program and Oregon’s development of linked cap and invest program.
  • Represented owner of simple-cycle power plant in permitting of conversion to 320-MW combined cycle power plant and associated appeals.
  • Represented power producers in enforcement actions concerning alleged violations of PSD/New Source Review (NSR) requirements at electric generating and cogeneration facilities.
  • Represented petroleum refiner in resolution of hundreds of Notices of Violation issued by CARB and local air districts concerning air quality requirements.
  • Represented developer of geothermal power plants in obtaining PSD permits and assessing GHG impacts under California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
  • Represented clients in purchase of Climate Reserve Tonnes and ARB Offset Credits from several ozone depleting substances destruction, U.S. forests, and livestock projects.
  • Advised with respect to Emission Reductions Purchase Agreement for REDD+ Verified Emission Reductions issued pursuant to Verified Carbon Standard and submitted for validation pursuant to Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standard.
  • Represented power producers in several states in negotiating terms of power purchase and steam sales agreements concerning compliance with cap-and trade programs for GHG and criteria pollutants.
  • Represented investment bank in negotiations with upstream and downstream counterparties for purchase and sale of renewable power and associated renewable energy credits (RECs).
  • Advised seller of Climate Reserve Tonnes from U.S. forest projects on regulation of contracts under Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulation.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Director, Environmental Law Institute, Board of Directors
  • Advisory Board, Center for Applied Environmental Law and Policy
  • Articles Editor, Energy Law Journal, Energy Bar Association
  • Fellow, American College of Environmental Lawyers
  • Chambers USA, Environment (2013-2018) and Climate Change (2016-2018)
  • National Law Journal, "Energy & Environmental Trailblazer" (2017)
  • Who's Who Legal, Environment (2011-2018) and Climate Change (2016-2018)
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Environmental Law (2011-2018)
  • Law360, Environmental Law "Rising Star" (2013)