FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Michael S. McDonough

Bingham McCutchen LLP

Los Angeles, CA, USA

Mike McDonough is a partner in Bingham's Environmental and Natural Resources Group and Global Climate Change Practice. Mike represents municipalities and private entities in complex environmental litigation, administrative and enforcement matters at the federal, state and local levels. Mike also provides client compliance counseling on issues ranging from climate change and air quality enforcement, to soil and water quality issues, to environmental management and ISO 14001 issues. Mike's practice focuses on defending enforcement actions, bringing regulatory challenges, and litigating with state and federal regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission, the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, among others. He represents a range of Fortune 500 companies from a variety of industries, including energy production and importing, petroleum refining, freight transportation, consumer products, automobile manufacturing, aerospace, chemical manufacturing, and electronics manufacturing.

Mike has particular experience in the interpretation and enforcement of air quality regulations in California's South Coast Air Quality Management District, the largest and most sophisticated local air quality regulatory agency in the world. Mike represents a range of major industrial clients before the District in defending enforcement matters, prosecuting rule variance and permit appeal petitions, establishing rule interpretations, participating in stakeholder workshops to help s6hape future standards for Best Available Control Technology (BACT), and working with District staff in shaping amendments to programs like the Regional Clean Air Incentives Market (RECLAIM).

In addition to his litigation and regulatory enforcement defense work, Mike regularly assists companies in performing environmental compliance and environmental management system audits, revising company operating procedures, and implementing facility-wide changes to meet environmental requirements. Mike also has experience representing public entities on issues of interpretations of and challenges to environmental regulations and in conducting environmental due diligence.

Mike speaks and writes often on matters involving air quality and climate change regulation. He serves on the editorial board of the Climate Change Law and Policy Reporter, where he has authored or co-authored over 35 articles on current trends and developments in the fields of climate change legislation and regulation, environmental review, climate change litigation, and interaction with other environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act and the California Environmental Quality Act. In the past year, Mike has spoken to client and legal groups on topics ranging from current trends in air quality enforcement under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program, to upcoming federal greenhouse gas legislative and regulatory initiatives, to the adoption and enforcement of SEC disclosure rules related to climate change.   
In addition to his billable client work, Mike participates extensively in the provision of pro bono services to needy and underserved groups in the greater Los Angeles area, with a focus on matters related to special needs children.  Mike is a member of the firm's national Pro Bono Committee and serves as secretary on the executive board of the Disability Rights Legal Center. Since 1999, Mike has been the chair of the firm's Adoption Project, a cooperative effort with Public Counsel of Los Angeles to provide representation of prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt special needs children under county jurisdiction. His pro bono work has included winning a contested adoption matter for a 5-year-old boy improperly threatened with removal from his sixth foster home, and assisting the family of a disabled child secure tens of thousands of dollars in benefits and services from the South Central Los Angeles Regional Center.
o Editor, Climate Change Law and Policy Reporter
o Public Counsel of Los Angeles, 2004 Advocate of the Year
o Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity
o Pepperdine Law Review (1995-1997)
o Moot Court Program, Pepperdine University School of Law
o Edward DiLoreto-Odell McConnell Scholar, Pepperdine University School of Law
o American Bar Association
o Los Angeles County Bar Association
o Board of Directors, Disability Rights Legal Center
o Admitted to practice in California
o U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
o U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
o U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
o U.S. Supreme Court
o U.S. District Court, Central District of California
o Pepperdine University School of Law, Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, 1997
o Stanford University, Bachelor of Arts, 1993


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