Dana P. Palmer Senior Counsel

Dana 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.

Dana chairs the pro bono committee for the Los Angeles office.

  • 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

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

  • Moderator, "Warren-Alquist Act at 40: Four Decades of Cutting-Edge Energy Policymaking in California," Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite, The State Bar of California, October 19, 2014
  • Speaker, "Prop 65 101," Furniture/Today's Regulatory and Compliance Summit, April 23, 2014
  • Panelist, "Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions and the Integration of Renewable Energy: Reliability and Electricity Markets," Energy and Climate Change: California's Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through Renewables, Fuels, and Markets, Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of California, November 14, 2013
  • Speaker, "Land Use Considerations," Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas Annual Conference, December 11, 2012
  • Moderator, "Grid of the Future: How Emerging Policy Trends Could Affect Localized Renewable Energy in the Coming Years," State Bar of California Neighborhood Clean Energy Conference, February 2, 2012
  • Moderator, "Strategic Planning for Renewable Energy: The Big Picture," 2011 Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite, October 21, 2011
  • Moderator, "Energy Efficiency and Demand Response - The Flip Side of California Energy Policy," 2010 Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite, October 24, 2010
  • Co-panelist, "Update on AB 32," State Bar of California Annual Meeting, September 25, 2010
  • Speaker, Energy Law and Regulation in California Conference, June 11, 2010
  • Moderator, "Recent Environmental Law Developments in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and California Supreme Court," 2009 Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite, October 17, 2009
  • Moderator, "Beyond SWPPPs and SUSMPs: The Next Phase of Stormwater Regulation in California," 2007 Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite, October 19, 2007
  • California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Named in "Southern California Rising Stars," Environmental, Energy & Natural Resources, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2012-2014

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