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Donald Ristow is an associate in Covington’s Environmental Practice Group. His work focuses on helping companies navigate the application of U.S. environmental requirements in commercial, compliance, enforcement, and litigation matters. Mr. Ristow has advised businesses and investors within all of the traditional areas of environmental law, including on site cleanups and liability, hazardous waste management, emissions regulation, natural resource and species protection, and environmental impact assessments.

An expanding component of his practice focuses on the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and air quality within the energy, electricity, and technology sectors. Mr. Ristow advises multinational companies on greenhouse gas reporting and disclosure requirements applicable within the United States. Since 2015, he also been involved in appellate-level litigation before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, representing a coalition of power companies seeking to advance and defend climate change regulations in several high-profile cases.

  • Represented and advised companies in compliance, enforcement, and permitting matters before a wide cross-section of U.S. federal and state environmental agencies, including EPA, CARB, the CEC, the State Lands Commission, the Coastal Commission, and DTSC, as well as numerous Regional Boards and local air districts.
  • Advised project developers on CEQA and related land use matters in securing approvals for multiple major mixed-use developments and renewable energy projects.
  • Represented buyers and sellers in executing timely regulatory transfer of environmental permits and authorizations in equity and asset transactions.
  • Represented responsible parties in multi-party negotiations and in implementation of site cleanup process under U.S. federal and state law.
  • Advised covered entities and financial institutions on operation of, and compliance with, the California Cap-and-Trade Program, the Mandatory Reporting Regulation, and related programs. 
  • Representing electricity sector clients as petitioners, intervenors, and amici seeking to advance federal climate action in litigation before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, including litigation defending EPA’s Clean Power Plan and challenging its repeal.

Pro Bono

  • Representing unaccompanied minors in securing legal guardianship and seeking immigration relief from removal to their home country.