Jocelyn N. Thompson - Alston & Bird LLP

Jocelyn N. Thompson

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2007

Jocelyn Thompson has extensive experience in environmental permitting and land use approvals for industrial and infrastructure projects. She is well versed in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). She excels in shepherding complex projects through the challenging, multi-step approval process required by these and other federal, state and local laws, from project conception to the final approval hearing. When the approvals are challenged, Jocelyn defends them through both administrative appeals and litigation. Jocelyn’s clients include businesses engaged in energy generation, manufacturing, and development and processing of natural resources, as well as infrastructure and goods movement.

In addition, Jocelyn advises clients regarding compliance with the full range of environmental laws, including air quality, water quality, coastal development, endangered species protection, hazardous waste management, and disclosure and reporting laws. She advises companies regarding environmental sustainability and climate change regulations. Jocelyn also assists clients in conducting compliance audits and in environmental due diligence associated with mergers, acquisitions and financing.

Since 2003, Jocelyn has been ranked as one of California’s top attorneys in environmental law by Chambers & Partners in their annual surveys of U.S. attorneys, and has received similar accolades from numerous other publications. Jocelyn was recognized in the 2015 edition of Who’s Who Legal: Environment.

University of California Santa BarbaraBA 1978University of California Los AngelesJ.D. 1982
State Bar of California Environmental SectionCalifornia Construction and Industrial Minerals AssociationWildwoods FoundationLos Angeles County Bar AssociationCalifornia State Bar Environmental Section The Ebell Rest Cottage Association The Ventura Hillsides Conservancy

Case History

  • Overcame substantial opposition to achieve the approval of a $750 million upgrade to a California refinery. Issues included hazards, endangered species, air quality impacts and others. Drafted one of the first comprehensive analyses of climate change impacts in an environmental impact report.
  • Assisted a gold mining company in obtaining approval of the first new gold mine in California in nearly 20 years. Developed a strategy that resulted in the dismissal of all administrative appeals and the avoidance of litigation.
  • Obtained permits for the 200-acre expansion of a limestone mine. Worked with a world-renown bighorn sheep expert to develop the mitigation proposal for a nearby herd of bighorn sheep. Worked closely with community outreach experts to ensure community support and avoid litigation.
Part 2
  • Assisted an electric generation developer in permitting a 120 megawatt solar photovoltaic facility on 960 acres in Kern County, California. The project was approved over objections from a defense contractor that the facility would interfere with sensitive research and testing programs ten miles away.
  • Obtained the approval of a 26-mile jet fuel pipeline through five cities and the county of Los Angeles to deliver fuel from the Port of Los Angeles to LAX. Successfully defended challenges to the environmental impact report’s analysis of risk of release and hazards. Defeated the plaintiff’s motion for more than $400,000 in attorneys’ fees. Additional analysis of alternatives was not challenged.
  • Represented manufacturers, refineries and other clients in hundreds of hearings concerning air quality compliance and permitting.

Office Location

333 South Hope Street, 16th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071-3004
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2017 Lawyer of the Year in Environmental Law of the Los Angeles Metro Area
Jocelyn N. Thompson has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2017!

Practice Areas

Environmental Law (Administrative/Regulatory, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Climate Change, Coastal Zone Management, Environmental Permitting, Land Use and Zoning, Mining)
Litigation - Environmental