Ryan began practicing environmental law in 1999 and has been active in Southern California’s environmental community for over 20 years.

Ryan’s practice focuses primarily on the representation of individuals, public and private entities and non-profit organizations.

A large percentage of Ryan’s practice is devoted to representing clients in matters involving environmental, health and safety, and regulatory and compliance-related matters in California.  This work involves day-to-day interface with Federal, State and local regulatory agencies.

Ryan handles a wide variety of environmental, compliance and regulatory matters, including, but not limited to: (1) groundwater contamination; (2) air quality permitting; (3) zoning and land use; (4) Prop 65 warnings (and related litigation); (5) emergency response (e.g., chemical and oil spills); (6) due diligence reviews for environmentally impacted property and/or sales of industrial facilities; (7) Phase I and II assessments; (8) CEQA reviews and related litigation; (9) after-market auto part enforcement proceedings and litigation; and (10) related civil and criminal proceedings concerning environmental and environmental compliance.


During his career, Ryan has handled a wide variety of environmental, regulatory and compliance-related matters, several types of which are identified below:

  • Large property developers and corporations on numerous issues, including: (i) land survey; (ii) entitlements and zoning issues; (iii) due diligence and historical site investigation; (iv) asbestos surveys and removal; and (v) contract negotiations (purchase and sale, leases, subleases, drafting environmental provisions, access and lender reviews).
  • Industrial plating facilities on compliance and regulatory issues, including: (i) alleged violations of air permits; (ii) air permit renewals; (iii) response to civil and criminal proceedings concerning alleged unlawful air emissions and water discharge; (iv) Prop 65-related cases; (v) alleged violations of hazardous waste laws (e.g., RCRA); (vi) efforts to close facilities under oversight of governmental agencies; and (vii) purchase and sale of plating operation facilities.
  • Employees of large national and international oil/energy companies involved in federal criminal proceedings [for example, represented six employees of a company involved in a federal probe relating to alleged illegal air emissions at major port facility in California.]
  • Companies relating to emergency response situations, including oil and chemical spills, pipeline ruptures and hazardous materials releases [for example, Ryan represented the company that led the response to the cargo ship M/V Cosco Busan oil spill in San Francisco, California.  The matter involved the representation of the client in multiple federal, state and local investigations, including proceedings filed by the United States Department of Justice, the United States Coast Guard, the National Transportation Safety Board and the California Department of Fish and Game Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response].
  • Companies that manufacture, sell and/or purchase after-market car and marine parts that are subject to regulatory enforcement proceedings by the California Air Resources Board. Representation of several public and private water agencies (including cities and water purveyors) on the following issues: (i) complex groundwater pollution investigations and cleanups; (ii) litigation related to soil and groundwater pollution (including chemicals such as perchlorate, petroleum hydrocarbons, MTBE, PCBs and VOCs); (iii) administrative hearings related to soil and groundwater pollution; (iv) applications for funding under California’s UST Cleanup Fund; and, (v) compliance with CERCLA’s National Contingency Plan.
  • Large school district in matters related to the district’s massive school construction program. Specifically, Ryan represents the district on a wide variety of environmental and land use-related issues, including: (i) air quality issues, including compliance with California’s global warming law AB 32; (ii) review of potential school sites and assisting in the review of environmental impact reports and other environmental planning documents; (iii) negotiating environmental provisions of purchase and sale agreements; (iv) access agreements; (v) railroad safety assessments and other health risk assessments; (vi) pipeline-related issues, including pipeline removal projects; (vii) storm water projects; (ix) analysis of issues related to diesel emissions from the district’s bus fleets; (x) condemnation of environmentally impacted properties; and, (xi) numerous groundwater pollution cases. Representation of clients on global warming/climate-change related issues, including extensive analysis of California’s AB 32.

Ryan typically handles cases involving, among others:

In handling matters for his clients, Ryan frequently interfaces with many government agencies and law enforcement offices, including, but not limited to:

  • US Environmental Protection Agency
  • United States Department of Justice
  • California Attorney General’s Office,
  • California Environmental Protection Agency
  • California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC)
  • California Air Resources Control Board (CARB)
  • State Water Resources Control Board (and all of its regional boards)
  • Southern California Air Quality Management District (AQMD)
  • County Fire Departments
  • Cities and Local Agencies


In 1999, prior to beginning his environmental practice, Ryan acted as lead legal counsel for the Belmont Learning Center Commission (“BLCC”), a commission convened by the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education to review and consider many environmental concerns and safety issues related to the then-planned $200 million Belmont Learning Complex in Downtown Los Angeles.  As lead counsel for the BLCC, Ryan assisted the commissioners in reviewing all applicable laws and regulations related to the planned joint venture and also worked with the BLCC to conduct interviews of those involved in the approval of the school site, including interviews of regulators, school officials, private parties and other members of the public.  Ultimately, the BLCC issued a report that led to safety recommendations and environmental reviews, and the school site ultimately was constructed with those safety measures in place.


  • McGeorge School of Law, Juris Doctorate, 1999
  • Vising Student, Loyola Law School, J.D., 1999
  • University of Colorado, Boulder, B.A. in Political Science, 1994


  • State Bar of California
  • United States District Court for the Central Districts of California


  • While attending McGeorge Law School, Ryan attended Loyola Law School in 1999 as a visiting student, where he was on the staff of the Loyola Law Review.
  • 2002 through 2004: Ryan was a Board member for the Mono Lake Committee, an organization committed to protection the Mono Lake Eco basin.
  • 2006 through 2011:  Ryan was a member of the Executive Committee for the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Environmental Section, which helps promote and educate attorneys and other professionals on environmental matters important to Southern California.
  • 2008:  The Los Angeles Business Journal named Ryan as one of the top 50 environmental attorneys in Los Angeles
  • 2009 and 2012:  Ryan was named a Rising Star by Los Angeles Super Lawyers Magazine, an honor limited to no more than 2.5% of attorneys within California.
  • Hiete is a frequent speaker on matters pertaining to environmental issues affecting California businesses.


Ryan is active in the County of Ventura, spending time working the local YMCA programs, and also coaching his daughters’ basketball and softball teams and his son’s tackle football teams.