Dana P. Palmer practices energy and environmental law, with a particular focus on renewable energy, climate change, environmental due diligence, land use, water quality, and contaminated sites.
He also has experience with laws involving the environmental content of products, including California’s Green Chemistry program and Proposition 65, along with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
Dana has worked on a broad range of environmental issues since the mid-1990s, when he began his career as an environmental consultant in Washington, D.C. His perspective in advancing client objectives is influenced not only by his experience advising private companies, but also by his work in government and in support of nonprofit organizations.
From 2009 to 2010, Dana chaired the California State Bar Environmental Law Section, a position that involved interacting with some of California’s top environmental regulators and activists.
Since enactment of California’s landmark climate change law (AB 32) in 2006, Dana has advised both public- and private-sector clients in rulemakings by the California Air Resources Board. In addition, he has assisted clients with strategic planning in anticipation of the state’s cap-and-trade program.
In the area of renewable energy, Dana has counseled clients on California’s evolving Renewables Portfolio Standard, the state’s feed-in-tariff, and the numerous programs administered by California utilities to encourage the development of renewable energy.
Prior to joining the private bar, Dana served as the inaugural staff attorney at Santa Monica Baykeeper, where he litigated matters concerning water pollution and energy and advocated before state, regional, and local agencies on topics affecting water quality.
At McGuireWoods, Dana relies on this experience in particular when representing clients before California’s Regional and State Water Boards. From 1999 to 2001, Dana was the special assistant to the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
In that position, he advised the Administrator on coastal, marine, fisheries, and climate change issues. While at NOAA, Dana was a member of the U.S. governmental delegation to the international climate change conference at The Hague in November 2000, where he assisted with negotiating an agreement concerning technology transfer.
In 1999, he served on U.S. Senator Robert G. Torricelli’s staff as a legislative fellow. Dana began his career at ICF International, an environmental consulting firm, where he assisted both public- and private-sector clients in the then-nascent area of climate change and with regulations affecting air, land, and water. Upon completion of his Bachelor’s degree, Dana interned in President Clinton’s White House Office on Environmental Policy.
- University of Virginia School of Law, JD, Managing Editor, Virginia Environmental Law Journal, 2004
- Middlebury College, BA, Environmental Studies and Political Science, Editor-in-chief, Symposium (nonpartisan political journal), 1994
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- Immediate Past Chair, 2010-2011; Chair, 2009-2010; Vice-Chair, 2008-2009; Member, 2006-2008, Executive Committee, State Bar of California Environmental Law Section
- Board of Directors, Teaching Green (environmental group focused on teaching sustainable practices to the general public), 2009-present
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