Areas of Practice
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., 1989
  • University of California, Davis, B.S., 1977
Bar & Court Admissions
  • California
  • Illinois
633 West Fifth Street
Suite 700
Los Angeles CA 90071
TEL: +1 213 439 9424
FAX: +1 213 439 9599

Chris Amantea focuses on environmental, transactional, and judicial proceedings, as well as product liability claims action and other complex litigation.  Mr. Amantea has successfully represented clients in matters involving hazardous substances, air and water quality, land use, toxic torts and other environmental matters, including state and federal Superfund liability, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting and compliance issues, California's Safe Drinking Water & Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65), and hazardous waste regulatory issues.

His trial experience includes matters in both state and federal courts.  He has argued several cases before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit including a case that was argued before an en banc panel of the court.  He also has extensive experience in resolving environmental matters through mediation and arbitration proceedings, and working with various state and local environmental agencies.

Mr. Amantea is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Litigation and Environment, Energy and Resources Sections of the American Bar Association.  He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and a member of the Disability Rights Legal Center’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Amantea also writes and speaks frequently on environmental and energy issues, and is often quoted by the legal press – including by Law360 on the Toxic Substances Control Act in “Environmental Regulation To Watch In 2013” and “Calif.’s New Green Chemistry Draft Won’t Ease Cos.’ Concerns.”  He has been recognized in Chambers USA, Who’s Who Legal 100 and The Best Lawyers in America for his environmental work.

Representative Matters

  • Defending a major oil company from allegations by Communities for a Better Environment involving more than 3,000 gasoline service station sites in California regarding alleged discharges of benzene and toluene to “sources of drinking water.”  In a similar case, brought by Consumer Advocacy Group (CAG), won a motion for summary judgment in which the court ruled the CAG lawsuit was barred by the doctrine of res judicata, because of an earlier settlement and consent judgment entered in the Communities for a Better Environment case.
  • Acting as lead counsel in negotiating terms of a proposed NPDES permit for storm water discharges for a battery manufacturing client.
  • Representing numerous industrial companies and local agencies in negotiating and addressing NPDES permit issues including wastewater and storm water discharges.
  • Representing corporations in suits brought under Proposition 65 involving a wide variety of consumer products.
  • Advising companies on Proposition 65 compliance and strategy issues.
  • Acting as lead environmental counsel for plaintiffs in Carson Harbor Village, Ltd. v. Unocal Corporation, et al. before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court involving issues of first impression under the federal Superfund statute.
  • Successfully resolving litigation brought by a multinational recycling company alleging breach of contract, fraud and other claims related to the acquisition of assets including a defective wastewater treatment system integral to the operation of the business.
  • Representing a redevelopment agency in multiple matters addressing environmental issues associated with brownfields redevelopment.
  • Successfully resolving a complex environmental litigation matter resulting from a tire fire in northern California, which included resolution of a class action lawsuit and a related civil enforcement action brought by state environmental officials.
  • Represented a recycling company in environmental cleanup litigation brought by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control under the federal Superfund statute; and successfully argued in District Court that the useful products exception applied to the transactions at issue.  Represented appellee in appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Case ultimately settled.
  • Defeating a preliminary injunction filed against a major airport for alleged failure to comply with the general conformity standards under the federal Clean Air Act during an expansion project.
  • Counseling corporate clients on requirements for compliance with state and federal environmental laws and regulations including California’s new Safer Consumer Product regulations and the Green Chemistry Initiative.
  • Representing a major retail company in investigations by California District Attorneys alleging improper disposal of hazardous and universal wastes.


  • Chambers USA “Recognized Practitioner,” Environment (California), 2016-2017
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Environmental Law, 2013-2018
  • Who’s Who Legal: Environment, 2015

Select News & Events

Selected Publications

Professional Affiliations

  • Director, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Litigation and Environment, Energy and Resources Sections, American Bar Association