Lucas Quass advises clients on environmental matters, including land use, regulatory approvals, water resources, and related litigation.

Mr. Quass helps clients develop a full spectrum of projects in the western United States and along the California coast. From project inception to completion and ongoing monitoring, he helps clients navigate:

  • Regulatory approvals and permitting (including CEQA, the Coastal Act, and local planning and zoning laws)
  • Water rights and adjudication
  • Project opponents and community relations
  • Related litigation from local courts through to the California Supreme Court

Mr. Quass has a sophisticated understanding of the interplay of regulation, water rights, and environmental factors that affect residential, commercial, and industrial development projects. He provides clients an unusual complementary litigation strength to his regulatory work, having litigated one of only a handful of water basin adjudications in California and successfully representing clients in disputes in state and federal courts.

Mr. Quass has been steeped in water issues his whole career; prior to graduating law school, he worked for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the largest supplier of treated water in the United States. Mr. Quass currently serves as the Vice Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources. He frequently writes and speaks on water and environmental issues, including CEQA, the Subdivision Map Act, and Prop 65. He also maintains an active pro bono practice, including representing the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, California.

Mr. Quass’ experience includes:

  • Entitlements and environmental approvals for mixed-use development projects in Southern California
  • Representation of multiple development projects in the California Coastal Zone
  • Defended multiple challenges to development projects on CEQA and other grounds before California trial and appellate courts
  • Water rights and environmental due diligence for real estate finance companies, public agencies. and agricultural operations involving the purchase, sale. and lease of real property
  • Clean Water Act enforcement and permitting
  • Prepared water rights opinions and assessments for multi-million dollar real property transactions
  • Representation of a large multi-residential property owner in the Antelope Valley Groundwater Basin Adjudication
  • Advised clients at all levels of the product distribution chain concerning Prop 65, including warning requirements, reformulation, preemptive sampling, and defense of litigation concerning alleged violations of Prop 65’s warning requirements

Thought Leadership

Mr. Quass has taught several courses as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California Law School, including Persuasive Advocacy. Mr. Quass has also authored many articles and client alerts on new developments in land use, water resources, and environmental law.

Land Use

  • “CEQA Case Report: 2021 Year in Review,” LW Environment, Land and Resources (2021)
  • “California Appeals Court: Which Conflicting Limitations Period Applies to CEQA Claim,” LW Environment, Land and Resources (2018)
  • “California Appeals Court Determines When a Second Challenge Meets Res Judicata,” LW Environment, Land and Resources (2018)
  • “California Court of Appeal Upholds CEQA Exemption for Alterations to Archery Range,” LW Environment, Land and Resources (2018)
  • “California Court of Appeal Overturns Specific Plan EIR for Inadequate Air Quality Impact Mitigation,” LW Environment, Land and Resources (2018)
  • “California Court of Appeal Rejects City’s MND in Historic District Due to Aesthetic and Traffic Impacts,” LW Environment, Land and Resources (2018)
  • “California Court of Appeal Upholds CEQA Exemption for Wireless Communications Facility,” LW Environment, Land and Resources (2018)
  • “California Court of Appeal Approves Environmental Analysis for Oil Refinery Propane Recovery Project,” LW Environment, Land and Resources (2018)
  • “California Supreme Court: CEQA Requires Study of Potential Impacts to ESHA,” LW Client Alert (2017)
  • “California Supreme Court Addresses Subsequent Review Under CEQA; Rejects Lishman 'New Project' Test,” LW Client Alert (2016)

Water Resources

  • “EPA and Army Corps Seek to Redefine Waters of the United States,” LW Environment, Land and Resources (2021)
  • “A Dry 2021 in California Prompts Water Conservation Response,” LW Environment, Land and Resources (2021)
  • “California Water Law: Legal Challenges of Water Supply Assessments,” LW Environment, Land and Resources (2021)
  • “California WaterFix: an Historic Vote Is a Major Step Forward,” LW Environment, Land and Resources (2018)
  • “California Court of Appeal: Challenges to Water Supply Assessments Appropriate After EIR Certification,” LW Environment, Land and Resources (2018)
  • “Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Clean Water Rule Case Jurisdictional Challenge,” LW Environment, Land and Resources,” LW Client Alert (2017)
  • “California Adopts Comprehensive Groundwater Basin Adjudication Law,” LW Clean Energy Law Report (2015)
  • “EPA and Army Corps Issue Final Rule to Govern Federal Clean Water Act Jurisdiction,” LW Client Alert (2015)
  • Co-author, “California’s Human Right to Water Law Will Frame Future Policy Debates,” Bloomberg BNA’ s Water Law Policy & Monitor, (Mar. 2013)

Bar Qualification

  • California


  • JD, University of Southern California, 2011
    Order of the Coif
  • BA, University of California, Davis, 2005