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Image: Ira J. Klein

Ira J. Klein

Associate, Real Estate Department

Overview

Ira J. Klein is an associate in Paul Hastings’ Environment and Energy practice and splits his time between the Los Angeles and San Francisco offices. His practice focuses on a broad range of environmental regulatory, occupational health and safety, hazardous and universal waste regulation, land use, and remediation issues arising under federal and state environmental law. He also represents businesses on prevailing wage matters.  

Mr. Klein represents large and small businesses in compliance counseling, regulatory and legislative advocacy, enforcement defense, and project development work on energy and environmental issues. His efforts have been recognized by Chambers as an "Associate to Watch", noting that he "provides superlative legal and regulatory research, and his analysis and use of data in advocacy and framing presentations to advocate for his client is at a level of excellence seldom seen and rarely matched." He has represented clients in the telecommunications, real estate, pharmaceutical, waste-to-energy, solar, and biomass industries, among others, and has a significant brownfields/contaminated property redevelopment practice. Mr. Klein’s representations include:

  • Settlement of a state-wide investigation by the California Attorney General and Alameda County District Attorney at over 250 facilities throughout California on behalf of a large telecommunications client, and five years later, termination of the injunction with the consent of the prosecutors, which is rarely given.
  • Representation of various clients in the acquisition, disposition, remediation, and development of "brownfields" and contaminated properties, including at former landfills and properties affected by oil field and refinery wastes and regional groundwater contamination. Successful representations have included obtaining prospective purchaser and CLRRA agreements in order to minimize ongoing liability for property developers.
  • Representing clients that hold a hazardous waste facility permit with respect to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s new Violation Scoring Procedure program, pursuant to which the agency may take adverse permit action against the regulated facilities.
  • Guiding pharmaceutical companies in a variety of complicated regulatory issues, including RCRA Subpart AA/BB compliance, laboratory waste accumulation, unexpected release response obligations, and health and safety matters.
  • Representing a municipal solid waste incinerator on waste and permitting issues, including the recycling of large quantities of post-combustion metal.

Clients also turn to Ira as a "go-to" resource and expert for complicated occupational health and safety matters, including key advice on responding to the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic, immediate "boots on the ground" support for catastrophes and fatality investigations and response actions, and issues implicating and affecting workforce-wide practices and operations. He has represented a wide variety of clients in compliance counseling and defending against alleged violations of occupational health and safety standards, including:

  • Guiding various employers, including a large meatpacking company, with respect to OSHA issues and liability in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Guided solar companies in response to the risk of contracting "Valley Fever" during construction in areas with potential exposure to fever-causing spores.
  • Representation of a telecommunications company in response to worker safety measures necessary during widespread forest fires in California and on other workforce-wide issues, such as the use of flammable clothing, rooftop work and fall protection, and heat stress.
  • Fatality defense matters for a variety of clients, including a home builder, natural gas fired power plant, treated wood products company, trucking, and steel pipe manufacturer.
  • Represented a bakery in response to a multi-facility enforcement investigation regarding amputation and other health and safety issues.
  • Advice on scientific diving programs for research institutions.

Mr. Klein also advises clients on prevailing wage matters, including with respect to project development (e.g., a large development on the San Francisco waterfront; telecommunications projects; development of permanent supportive housing for people with mental illness) and enforcement defense.

Mr. Klein also has an active pro bono practice, including representation of conservation organizations (Nature Conservancy, Trust for Public Land) and of clients in asylum and immigration matters.

Mr. Klein earned his J.D. from New York University (cum laude, McKay Scholar) in 2010, where he was an Articles Editor of the New York University Environmental Law Journal. During law school, Mr. Klein was named a Herbert Z. Gold Student Fellow at New York University's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. Prior to law school, he received a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (cum laude) in 2005.

Mr. Klein is admitted to practice in the State of California.

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