Peggy Otum has represented clients on complex environmental issues at the federal and state level for well over a decade. Her practice focuses on advising corporate clients on a broad range of environmental enforcement, litigation, and transactional matters, primarily involving hazardous waste requirements, natural resources, and real estate issues under the major federal environmental statutes and state analogs.

Ms. Otum counsels companies in a variety of sectors, including chemicals, energy, pharmaceutical, electronics, real estate development and private equity. Her litigation experience includes toxic tort defense in addition to routinely representing clients in enforcement actions brought by federal and state regulators for violations of RCRA, CERCLA, EPCRA, TSCA, and the Clean Air Act, as well as state extended producer responsibility and product stewardship laws. Her transactional experience includes counseling clients with respect to M&A and real estate environmental due diligence for large scale and single parcel transactions, insurance and risk mitigation counseling, and post-sale indemnity disputes.

Ms. Otum is an ardent supporter of women leaders in business and law and has helped cultivate the firm's San Francisco WomenConnect program, which provides a forum for San Francisco Bay Area women lawyers and senior-level clients to network and learn from each other. She was recently featured on Working Mother magazine's list of "The 2015 Working Mothers of the Year."

Experience

  • Oil Spill Cleanup and Litigation. Represented BP in connection with multiple aspects of the environmental regulatory, cleanup and litigation matters, primarily involving the use of chemical dispersants in the spill response to the Deepwater Horizon incident.
  • California Air Resources Board. Represent vehicle and engine manufacturers in several regulatory matters before CARB, including emissions testing and defect reporting.
  • California Consumer Product Recycling Regulations. Provide compliance advice to consumer products clients subject to California consumer product recycling regulations, including e-waste, used paint and mercury thermostat disposal regulations.
  • RCRA Enforcement in EPA Region 9. Represent California nutritional supplement manufacturer in RCRA enforcement case alleging violations of federal hazardous waste storage and disposal requirements.
  • National RCRA Enforcement Defense. Represent the Mosaic Company in defense of a "national initiative" by EPA and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) seeking rigorous enforcement of RCRA hazardous waste requirements at mineral processing facilities subject to the Bevill Amendment, which excludes certain such activities and whose scope and applicability are the subject of dispute between the industry and the government.
  • Toxic Tort Class Action Defense. Defended mining company in two 7,500-person class actions seeking damages for alleged impacts to property values and health of residents from groundwater plume associated with former fertilizer manufacturing facility.
  • Cost Recovery Under Government Contract. Obtained contribution from a federal agency on behalf of former WWII industrial manufacturer.
  • Cost Recovery Litigation. Successfully represented client in litigation to recover contractual indemnification in excess of $20 million for liabilities incurred in the defense of class action litigation arising from the purchase of a facility that was the subject of a federal Superfund cleanup.

Perspectives

California's Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017—What Businesses Must Do to Prepare
Webinar, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, Consumer Specialty Products Association, American Cleaning Institute, ISSA—The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association
The Chemical Compound—October 2017
Legal and Regulatory Updates on High Priority Chemicals
California Legislature Passes First in Nation Cleaning Products Disclosure Law
Seller Beware: Consumer Protection Insights for Industry
The Chemical Compound—June 2017
Legal and Regulatory Updates on High Priority Chemicals
Resisting Environmental Rollbacks: California Environmental Law During the Trump Administration
ABTL Northern California Report
More

Recognition

The Legal 500 US
"Next Generation Lawyer" – Product Liability, Mass Tort and Toxic Tort: Defense (2017)
"Next Generation Lawyer" – Environment: Regulatory (2017)
Northern California Super Lawyers
"Rising Star" – Environmental (2016)
Working Mother Magazine
Featured in "Working Mothers of the Year" article (2015)
More

Credentials

Education
  • JD, Howard University School of Law, 2003
  • BSc, Neuropsychology, University of Toronto, 1999
Admissions
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
Activities
  • Board of Directors, California Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)

  • Leadership Advisory Committee, National Women’s Law Center (NWLC)

  • American Bar Association Committee, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources

  • Black Women Lawyers Association of Northern California

  • Leadership Council, The Environmental Law Institute
Overview

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