Allison C. Smith
Sacramento, CA
(916) 319-4759 Direct
(916) 447-4781 Fax


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  • French

Allison C. Smith


Allison Smith focuses her practice in environmental and energy law. Her experience includes CEQA and land use litigation, and permitting solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and gas-fired energy facilities. Allison conducts environmental due diligence and negotiations for mergers and acquisitions and project finance transactions. Allison also counsels companies on federal and state air quality and greenhouse gas regulations, including permitting, compliance, and enforcement actions.

Prior to practicing law, Allison was a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Côte d'lvoire and taught English in Tokushima, Japan with the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program.

Representative Work

  • Provide CEQA and permitting advice for the development of solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and gas-fired energy facilities throughout California.
  • Conduct permitting and environmental due diligence for the sale, financing, and acquisition of energy facilities. Negotiate contractual terms related to environmental matters and give environmental and permitting opinions for such transactions.
  • Helped successfully defend the City of Sacramento and Redevelopment Agency against CEQA challenges to a large-scale mixed use redevelopment project.
  • Defended a biomass plant against multiple CEQA law suits, settling both suits and obtaining a release of all claims against the project owner.
  • Counsel electricity producers and importers on compliance with the California cap and trade program and mandatory greenhouse gas emissions reporting.
  • Negotiated an amendment of a power purchase agreement with Southern California Edison to provide for reimbursement to the facility owner of California cap and trade compliance costs.
  • Advised an investment bank on the risks and liabilities associated with a loan to purchase real property to create a forest offset project under the California cap and trade program, helped draft related terms of the loan and security agreement.
  • Counseled a timber company on creating a project to generate carbon offsets from forest lands for sale in the California cap and trade market, including negotiation of a carbon development services agreement.
  • Handled the sale of emission reduction credits, including drafting a purchase and sale agreement.
  • Assist with permitting and provide advice on compliance with the Clean Air Act new source review and prevention of significant deterioration programs, as well as local air quality regulations, including San Diego Air Pollution Control District, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, and South Coast Air Quality Management District rules.
  • Defend sellers and manufacturers of consumer products against enforcement by the California Air Resources Board.
  • Defended a pollution control device manufacturer against lawsuits for civil penalties brought by the California Air Resources Board, South Coast Air Quality Management District, and Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.

Professional Activities

  • Editor, Climate Change Law and Policy Reporter
  • California Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, Environmental Legislation Committee Co-Chair
  • American Bar Association, Environment, Energy and Resources Section
  • Sacramento County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section
  • Women Lawyers of Sacramento
  • Member, Power Association of Northern California
  • Member, Association of Women in Water, Energy and Environment
  • Member, California Women in Energy


  • "EPA Enforcement Update," Stoel Rives 2015 Workshop Series, Oct. 15, 2015.
  • "Growing Trends in Forest Offset Projects: The legal landscape of development for the California carbon market," Stoel Rives Forest Products Industry Webinar, Nov. 19, 2013
  • "Strategies for Complying with Current GHG Regulations in California," EUEC 2012, Feb. 2012
  • "Getting Ready for Greenhouse Gas Requirements in California," Infocast Webinar, Oct. 2011
  • "Land Use Implications of Renewable Energy Projects," Northern California County Counsel Association Annual Conference, July 2010
  • "Renewable Energy Facility Siting," California Bar Association Environmental Law Section Spring Roundtables, June 2009
  • "California's Green Building Standards," LSI Legal and Regulatory Issues in Green Development, Jan. 2009


  • Regular contributor to the Stoel Rives Renewable + Law Blog and the California Environmental Law Blog
  • "California Dreaming," PV Magazine, July 2015
  • "The Short and Long Game of California's GHG Reduction Plan," Law360, May 2015
  • "Get Ready for California's Energy Storage Boom," Solar Industry Magazine, April 2014
  • "Supreme Court to Review EPA's Authority to Regulate Stationary Sources of Greenhouse Gases," Law360, Oct. 2013
  • "California's Cap and Trade Program under AB32 – a Primer" (co-author), Stoel Rives LLP December 2012
  • "Siting Plants (All Scales)" Chapter, The Law of Biorefineries and Advanced Biofuels, Stoel Rives LLP, 2012 Edition
  • "Sacramento Railyards: How the City of Sacramento is Facilitating Development of the Largest Brownfield Infill Site in America" (coauthor), California Real Property Journal, Vol. 29, No. 2, 2011
  • "Wind Projects Enter New Permitting Reality: Policies Addressing Wind Development on Federal Lands May Favor the Easiest – Rather Than the Best – Projects" (coauthor), North American Windpower, Vol. 8, No. 9, Oct. 2011
  • "How to Negotiate Like a Lawyer", Comstock's Magazine, March 2011
  • "California Adopts its Cap-and-Trade Program for Greenhouse Gas Emissions," Fresno Bar Journal, Feb. 2011
  • "Ailing California Works to Solve Wind Slowdown," (co-author) North American Windpower, Oct. 2009
  • "Water—Know Your Rights," (co-author) Wine Business Monthly, Dec. 2008


  • Tulane University Law School, J.D., 2005
    Certificate in Environmental Law
    Member, Environmental Law Journal
    Order of the Barristers
    Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Competition, Quarter Finalist
    Chair, Tulane Law School Summit on Environmental Law
    Vice President, Environmental Law Society
  • University of Virginia, B.A., Environmental Science and Anthropology, 1996


  • California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District, California

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