Amantea, Chris

Chris Amantea


Chris Amantea focuses his practice on environmental, transactional and judicial proceedings, as well as product liability claims action and other complex litigation. Chris has successfully represented clients in matters involving hazardous substances, air and water quality, land use, toxic torts and other environmental matters, including state and federal Superfund liability, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting and compliance issues, California's Safe Drinking Water & Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65) and hazardous waste regulatory issues.

Chris’ trial experience includes matters in both state and federal courts. He has argued several cases before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit including a case that was argued before an en banc panel of the court. He also has extensive experience in resolving environmental matters through mediation and arbitration proceedings, and working with various state and local environmental agencies.

Chris is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Litigation and Environment, Energy and Resources Sections of the American Bar Association. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and a member of the Disability Rights Legal Center’s Board of Directors.

Chris has authored numerous articles on environmental and energy issues. He is also a national contributing author for the environmental chapters of Thomson-West’s Business Law Deskbook series including the California Business Law Deskbook. Chris was recently quoted by Law360 on the Toxic Substances Control Act in “Environmental Regulation To Watch In 2013” and “Calif.’s New Green Chemistry Draft Won’t Ease Cos.’ Concerns.” He is recognized in Chambers USA, Who’s Who Legal 100 and The Best Lawyers in America for his environmental work.


  • Defending a major oil company from allegations by Communities for a Better Environment involving more than 3,000 gasoline service station sites in California regarding alleged discharges of benzene and toluene to “sources of drinking water.” In a similar case, brought by Consumer Advocacy Group (CAG), won a motion for summary judgment in which the court ruled the CAG lawsuit was barred by the doctrine of res judicata, because of an earlier settlement and consent judgment entered in the Communities for a Better Environment case.
  • Acting as lead counsel in negotiating terms of a proposed NPDES permit for storm water discharges for a battery manufacturing client.
  • Representing numerous industrial companies and local agencies in negotiating and addressing NPDES permit issues including wastewater and storm water discharges.
  • Representing corporations in suits brought under Proposition 65 involving a wide variety of consumer products.
  • Advising companies on Proposition 65 compliance and strategy issues.
  • Acting as lead environmental counsel for plaintiffs in Carson Harbor Village, Ltd. v. Unocal Corporation, et al. before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court involving issues of first impression under the federal Superfund statute.
  • Successfully resolving litigation brought by a multinational recycling company alleging breach of contract, fraud and other claims related to the acquisition of assets including a defective wastewater treatment system integral to the operation of the business.
  • Representing a redevelopment agency in multiple matters addressing environmental issues associated with brownfields redevelopment.
  • Successfully resolving a complex environmental litigation matter resulting from a tire fire in northern California, which included resolution of a class action lawsuit and a related civil enforcement action brought by state environmental officials.
  • Representing a recycling company in environmental cleanup litigation brought by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control under the federal Superfund statute; and successfully arguing in District Court that the useful products exception applied to the transactions at issue. Representing appellee in appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Case ultimately settled.
  • Defeating a preliminary injunction filed against a major airport for alleged failure to comply with the general conformity standards under the federal Clean Air Act during an expansion project.
  • Counseling corporate clients on requirements for compliance with state and federal environmental laws and regulations including California’s new Safer Consumer Product regulations and the Green Chemistry Initiative.
  • Representing a major retail company in investigations by California District Attorneys alleging improper disposal of hazardous and universal wastes.


  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., 1989
  • University of California, Davis, B.S., 1977


  • California, 1990
  • Illinois, 1989
Publications & Speaking Engagements
  • Quoted, “Plaintiffs challenge longstanding lead standard under Prop. 65,” Daily Journal, January 27, 2015.
  • Presenter, “Update on Stormwater Management Legal Issues,” National Association of Flood & Stormwater Management Agencies Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, December 2013. 
  • Moderator and presenter, “It Isn't Easy Being Green,” addressing the recent spate of greenwashing lawsuits and issues associated with so-called green claims, presented to the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, July 2012. 
  • Presenter, “EPA Guidance Letter on the Clean Water Act: Implications for California Water Users,” 19th Annual Conference California Water Law, Sacramento, CA, Dec. 9, 2011. 
  • Presenter, “Energy I California: The Current State of California Energy Markets, Regulation, Legislation and the Potential Issues Which Determine Success,” Nov. 3-4, 2011. 
  • Presenter, “Doing Business in an Increasingly Litigious Environment,” CalCIMA 2011 Annual Educational Conference, Monterey, California, Oct. 11, 2011. 
  • Presenter, “Lamenting the Perils of Being Green - Not Just a Problem for Kermit the Frog!,” Association of Corporate Counsel, Southern California (ACCA-SoCal), March 15, 2011. 
  • Presenter, “The Challenges of Being Green,” Corporate Counsel West Coast Conference, San Francisco, California, Nov. 2010.

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