Cynthia Burch is a practitioner in the regulatory, transactional and litigation arenas, concentrating in several areas of administrative law, including environmental compliance and due diligence, compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), land use permitting and public-private partnerships. She serves as counsel for Southern California Edison, a major utility company; energy and chemical company clients including Shell, BP, ARCO and ConocoPhillips; transportation companies including BNSF Railway Company; and numerous manufacturing and retail facilities, developers and lenders.
She heads the firm’s multidisciplinary practice servicing infrastructure and public-private partnership projects. This integrated approach allows the group to deliver a complete set of services by drawing upon the experience of lawyers in the firm’s leading practice areas, including corporate, project finance, public finance, real estate, environmental land use.
Cynthia obtains environmental land use permits, franchises, leases and variances for large industrial and commercial facilities, including power generating stations, refineries, cogeneration facilities, oil and gas fields and pipelines, retail facilities, logistics and transportation facilities including port and intermodal facilities, and quarries. She leads teams in preparing and defending environmental impact statements and reports under both NEPA and CEQA in compliance with federal and state laws, and assists in the permitting and development of infrastructure projects, residential and commercial developments, and brownfields.
Clients seek Cynthia's counsel in performing due diligence and disclosures for the purchase, sale and financing of industrial facilities including generating stations, refineries, oil and gas production fields, pipelines, transportation facilities including port and intermodal facilities, printing companies and paint manufacturers. She also performs due diligence and disclosures for transactions involving residential and commercial developments.
Additionally, Cynthia is experienced in contracting and guiding work with technical, government and public relations consultants in the preparation of environmental impact reports; the development, sale, leasing and permitting of industrial, energy, retail and transportation facilities including port and intermodal facilities; real estate development projects; and the evaluation and performance of remediation activities of significant public import.
In representing potentially responsible parties at federal and state Superfund sites, Cynthia has negotiated remedial investigations, feasibility studies and remedies, clean-up orders and consent decrees. She has negotiated with the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) and related agencies the remediation of state Superfund sites in phases, allowing development to occur on portions of sites prior to remediation of the entire site. This innovative approach has precedential impact statewide.
Cynthia conducts administrative hearings and public meetings before the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California state, regional and local governmental agencies, including Cal/EPA; state and regional water quality control boards; and local air districts, including the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Coastal Commission, the California Energy Commission, the Public Utilities Commission, the California Air Resources Board, the State Board of Equalization, and the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. She acts on behalf of clients in advocating for new and amended federal, state and local statutes, regulations, rules and policies concerning, for example, implementation of goods movement and major infrastructure initiatives, risk assessment, listing of toxic contaminants, air, groundwater, Superfund and consumer products.
Cynthia has represented clients in litigation involving injunctions against administrative orders; injunctions against state and local regulations; the compliance of major industrial facilities with NEPA and CEQA; the compliance of newly created environmental laws with the Administrative Procedure Act and CEQA; tort litigation; federal and state preemption and interference with interstate commerce; groundwater contamination; government contracts; and federal and state Superfund-related common law theories and contribution actions.
She is active in the area of project development, including large-scale infrastructure and public-private partnerships. She chaired panels at the annual Public Private Partnerships USA Summit held in Washington, DC. Cynthia and her partners assist in securing speakers from the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and state DOTs, other state and local transportation authorities, and executives from the shipping, rail and construction industries.
Shown below is a selection of Cynthia’s engagements.