Kathryn L. Oehlschlager

Partner / Executive Partner of S.F. Office

With nearly twenty of experience in environmental law, Kathryn Oehlschlager has built a robust practice spanning environmental and land use compliance counseling, state and federal enforcement defense, and major litigation.

Public and private clients turn to Kathryn for advice on compliance with all facets of environmental and land use law, including CEQA, NEPA, federal and state endangered species laws, contaminated site remediation, water quality and supply issues, and laws regulating solid and hazardous waste. She routinely represents clients in all aspects of the CEQA project review process, including preparation, review, and analysis of negative declarations, draft environmental impact reports, and final environmental impact reports. Kathryn also has substantial experience managing contaminated sites, from investigation and remediation through the entitlement process and redevelopment.

Kathryn also has a proven track record with high-stakes litigation, having handled numerous land use and environmental cases in state and federal trial courts and through the courts of appeal. Kathryn is equally comfortable handling writs of mandamus and traditional civil litigation matters, and regularly represents clients in administrative appeals, including the second appeal ever heard by the Delta Stewardship Council.

As a compliance counselor, Kathryn’s goal is to help her clients minimize downstream risk and avoid litigation and enforcement. As a litigator, Kathryn’s goal is to achieve the best results for her clients, deftly navigating administrative proceedings, negotiations with regulators and opposing parties, and high-stakes trials.


Professional, Community And Pro Bono Involvement

  • Women in Environment, 2018-present; Board of Directors, 2018-2020
  • Association of Environmental Professionals
  • Environmental Law Institute
  • Groundwater Resources Association
  • California Women Lawyers
  • Bar Association of San Francisco, Environmental Law Section
  • California Lawyers Association, Environmental Law Section
  • American Bar Association

Honors & Rankings

  • Best Lawyers in America©, Environmental Law, 2023
  • Sacramento Magazine, Top Lawyer, Land Use/Zoning, 2018-2019
  • Representing Norway-based aquaculture corporation in connection with redevelopment of contaminated pulp mill site in Northern California to construct large state-of-the-art on-shore aquaculture facility to raise Atlantic Salmon.
  • Representing the University of California in connection with various land-use projects and litigation, including development of the Long Range Development Plan for the University of California, Santa Cruz, and litigation challenging that plan under CEQA and the Education Code.
  • Representing large utility in Northern California in connection with entitlements for large-scale vegetation removal and management along high-power utility lines for purposes of fire prevention.
  • Representing two Reclamation Districts in litigation filed against the California Department of Water Resources challenging the Lookout Slough Tidal Habitat Restoration Project.
  • Representing the Tahoe Forest Hospital District in obtaining entitlements for a 30-year Specific Plan for campus redevelopment and expansion.
  • Representing Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in connection with a wide variety of environmental issues, including compliance with NEPA in preparation of its Site-Wide Environmental Impact Study.
  • Representing large municipality in defense of numerous land use litigation matters, including claims under CEQA, the Coastal Act, the Planning and Zoning Law, and local municipal code.
  • Represented a joint powers agency in defense of CEQA, Public Trust Doctrine, and real estate claims challenging environmental review and approval of a multimillion-dollar flood control project on the San Joaquin River. The trial court found in favor of the agency on all claims in two separate actions, and the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed in both cases.
  • Represented a joint powers agency in defense of the second-ever appeal of a Delta Plan Consistency Certification, appearing in multiple proceedings before the Delta Stewardship Council, which were resolved in the client’s favor.
  • Represented the California Grocers Association in a successful CEQA challenge to a municipal ordinance that would have had a significant negative impact on the industry.
  • Representing a private club seeking entitlements to divert surface water from an on-site stream in order to reduce the need for municipal water supply.
  • Represented self-storage company in connection with obtaining site approvals for flagship development in Chino Hills.
  • Counseling large municipality and several special districts on legal issues related to Native American cultural resources and tribal consultation requirements under AB 52.
  • Represented the largest private property owners’ association in the Tahoe basin in connection with permitting and entitlements for management of aquatic invasive weeds.
  • Counseling a large aerospace company in connection with post-closure maintenance of deep injection wells at legacy sites.
  • Representing munitions testing facility in connection with CEQA review and negotiation of complex endangered species issues for remediation project on land designated as critical habitat for a variety of protected species, including negotiation of state and federal incidental take permits.
  • Represented Muslim community group in connection with CEQA compliance and litigation arising out of application to construct religious and community center in San Martin, California.
  • Represented semiconductor manufacturing company in defense of toxic tort action alleging in utero exposure to contaminants in early semiconductor “clean rooms” in Silicon Valley.
  • Represented large industrial entity identified by EPA as a CERCLA potentially responsible party for former uranium mine site in New Mexico.
  • Represented Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company in complex toxic tort action filed in federal court by over 2,000 plaintiffs, alleging exposure to hexavalent chromium in groundwater and dust emissions.
  • Defended large landowner in defense of contractual, common law, and statutory claims in dispute over property slated for redevelopment as major technology campus in Mountain View, California.

Announcements

5 related items

In the News

1 related items

Speaking Engagements / Events

13 related items

Blogs

23 related items

Legal Alerts

4 related items

Publications

16 related items

Kathryn is the proud mother of two young children, and is very active in their local schools and sports programs.


Professional, Community And Pro Bono Involvement

  • Women in Environment, 2018-present; Board of Directors, 2018-2020
  • Association of Environmental Professionals
  • Environmental Law Institute
  • Groundwater Resources Association
  • California Women Lawyers
  • Bar Association of San Francisco, Environmental Law Section
  • California Lawyers Association, Environmental Law Section
  • American Bar Association

Honors & Rankings

  • Best Lawyers in America©, Environmental Law, 2023
  • Sacramento Magazine, Top Lawyer, Land Use/Zoning, 2018-2019