Esposito, Elisabeth L.

Combining a background working with and for government agencies, Liz Esposito leverages her diverse, hands-on natural resources experience to provide strategic counsel and advocacy at the junction of water and land use law.

On behalf of private and public clients, Liz assists in the acquisition, development, maintenance, and protection of water rights. When it comes to the far-reaching scope of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Liz has a detailed eye for both analyzing large natural resources projects and developing tailored strategies for compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Liz also regularly assists in complex natural resources litigation, including at the appellate level.

Prior to re-joining Brownstein, Liz worked as an Attorney for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the General Counsel, advising the U.S. Forest Service on a variety of natural resources and land management issues arising under NEPA, the National Forest Management Act, the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the Clean Water Act (CWA) and representing the agency before the U.S. Civilian Board of Contract Appeals.  Liz further developed expertise in forestry and federal land management issues as a NEPA Planner for the U.S. Forest Service and as a legal intern for the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division.

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Brownstein Water Blog

Brownstein Water: Current Trends in Water Law & Policy
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Industrial Storm Water Permittees Face New Challenge—TMDLs

Posted on March 23, 2016 by Brownstein Water Group

When the State Water Resources Control Board (“State Board”) adopted the Industrial General Storm Water Permit in 2014 (the “IGP”), the State Board reserved for a later day how to incorporate Total Maximum Daily Load (“TMDL”)-specific requirements for watersheds around the state into the IGP. Specifically, the State Board set July 1, 2016, as the... Continue Reading » 


Who Owns the Water?

Posted on February 12, 2016 by Brownstein Water Group

Water Rights Require Balance of Interest

Russ McGlothlin authored an article for the Pacific Coast Business Times on the common question of who owns the water in California? The piece, titled “Water Rights Require Balance of Interest” appeared in the January 29, 2016 publication. 


Brownstein’s Annual California Water Rights Compliance Checklist

Posted on January 26, 2016 by Brownstein Water Group

Brownstein’s California Water Group is pleased to provide you with our California Water Rights: Compliance Checklist for 2016. This Checklist provides a summary of state water right reporting requirements and applicable deadlines for users of surface water and groundwater in California. Use the link below to find: Our summary of filings required for all surface water and… Continue Reading »

  • J.D., 2014, UC Berkeley School of Law, Certificate of Specialization in Environmental Law
  • B.S., 2009, with distinction, University of California at Berkeley
  • California

Finalist, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck Pro Bono Attorney of the Year, 2016

Publishing Editor and Programs Director, Ecology Law Quarterly

Co-President, Environmental Law Society

Semifinalist (2013) and Quarterfinalist (2014), National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition

2013 and 2014 Winner, Ecology Law Quarterly Energy and Climate Change Legal Writing Award

2013-2014 Berkeley Law Co-Chair, California Water Law Symposium