Experience in water and environmental law at all levels of government
Marc Del Piero, a lifetime resident of Monterey County, has been licensed to practice law in California (State Bar No. 91644) since 1980. Currently, his legal practice consists of representing local governmental agencies and private enterprises throughout California.
He facilitates and supervises infrastructure development, conflict mediation, and the resolution of issues related to water resources, environmental conflicts, natural resources, agriculture, and real estate development. Mr. Del Piero is currently counsel for the Mendocino County Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation District. Additionally, he is actively involved in protecting the anadromous fisheries and water quality of the Russian River for that district, and in preserving the District's water rights for its urban, residential, and agricultural constituencies.
Marc Del Piero is also developing several major public water projects for his other public agency clients. One such project for the Pajaro-Sunny Mesa Community Services District is a large water replacement project to remedy chronic groundwater pollution (seawater intrusion, nitrates, and arsenic) and public health threats to farmers and farm worker communities in the Monterey Bay area. This project includes the construction of an important (up to 21,000 acre feet per year) regional seawater desalination facility in Moss Landing, California. Mr. Del Piero initiated and negotiated the agreement to establish the public/private partnership between the Pajaro-Sunny Mesa Community Services District and Poseidon Resources Corporation that seeks to develop the $165 million dollar project. He also provides pro bono assistance to low-income and minority communities which are seeking to resolve their water quality and public health problems.
Throughout 2003, Mr. Del Piero was engaged by Interstate Technology and Resources Council (ITRC), a nationwide environmental affairs agency representing 47 state governments, to oversee the preparation of uniform protocols addressing the rehabilitation and redevelopment of “brownfields” sites. ITRC is affiliated with the Environmental Council of States, the professional association of the environmental affairs secretaries of each of the 50 states. Additionally, he is recognized for his expertise in the public trust doctrine, water rights and water quality laws, and farmland conservation.
Since 1992, Mr. Del Piero has been an adjunct professor at his alma mater, Santa Clara University School of Law, and teaches water law. Mr. Del Piero also founded and continues to serve on the Board of Directors of the Monterey County Agricultural Land Conservancy, a large farmland preservation trust. The conservancy has permanently protected and preserved (with conservation easements) over 16,000 acres of Monterey County farmland and open space from the threat of urban sprawl and development. The Conservancy continues to work cooperatively with virtually all of the largest landowners and farming companies in both the Salinas and Pajaro Valleys to economically enhance the viability of agriculture while preserving our state's open space areas.
California State Water Resources Control Board
Marc Del Piero served for over seven years as the attorney member of the California State Water Resources Control Board. The Board is the five member, full-time statutory agency charged with protecting all of California's water supplies and the quality of its waters. The Board, which implements and enforces both the federal Clean Water Act and California's Porter-Cologne Act, also allocates surface water supplies for fishery, agricultural, development, and environmental purposes throughout the state.
Twice appointed by Governor Pete Wilson and confirmed unanimously by the California State Senate, Mr. Del Piero individually conducted extensive and numerous water rights and water quality hearings affecting the federally owned Central Valley Project (CVP) and the State Water Project, federal and state endangered species and fisheries issues, urban water quality and supply demands, agricultural irrigation water, Delta water quality requirements, and “public trust” issues. He is best known for his widely heralded Decision 1631, the “Mono Lake Decision”. That hearing lasted for 46 days, involved 14 parties and 19 attorneys, and ended twenty years of litigation and controversy between the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Committee to Save Mono Lake/National Audubon Society. Mr. Del Piero was the sole hearing officer for this matter. This decision, which required the City of Los Angeles to return water and restore the lake, set the precedent for the prote! ction and restoration of public trust resources in California streams. It also guaranteed a sustainable water supply for that city. None of the litigants appealed the decision. Mr. Del Piero was featured in a PBS television documentary for his work. Mr. Del Piero authored the introduction to the Mono Lake Committee's 2004 calendar, a remarkable recognition of the Committee's respect for his fairness, knowledge, and commitment to balancing the needs of both the environment and urban water use.
Mr. Del Piero was appointed by Secretary James Strock as the California Environmental Protection Agency's Dredging Coordinator for all dredging and related water quality and port issues in the State. A significant portion of this additional assignment included particular emphasis on the protection of the San Francisco Bay and the Delta of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Rivers. He served on the 20-member group with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that prepared the Long Term Dredging Disposal Plan for all harbors in San Francisco Bay. Further, Mr. Del Piero led three separate training task forces to Chile between 1995 and 1998 at the invitation of US EPA and the Chilean National Commission on the Environment. He conducted numerous classes on the development of water quality regulations and enforcement strategies. These regulatory and environmental protection programs were precedent to the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Chile finally executed by President! George Bush in September, 2003.
Additionally, Mr. Del Piero represented the California Environmental Protection Agency for seven years on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. This Council provided guidance to the U.S. Department of Commerce on the operation of our nation's largest marine sanctuaries.
Del Piero represented the State Water Board on Governor Wilson's Interagency Task Force on Wetlands that developed mitigation and restoration policies for wetlands lost due to development. For six years, he chaired the statewide task force that established standards for the use and reuse of reclaimed water in new developments. Mr. Del Piero regularly dealt with both urban runoff regulations and toxic cleanup standards. Additionally, the State Water Resources Control Board operates California's underground storage tank cleanup program and he represented the Board on the state task force on clean-up strategies for the gasoline additive MTBE in 1999 due to his extensive experience in both water quality and air pollution issues.
Monterey County Board of Supervisors
Marc Del Piero served for three consecutive terms on the five-member Monterey County Board of Supervisors, and served as Chair in both 1982 and 1988. Elected in 1981 at the age of 27 to represent Northern Monterey County, the City of Marina, and the City of Salinas, he is recognized as a specialist in coastal resources management and planning. Supervisor Del Piero was responsible for the development of five public sanitary sewer systems, four public water systems, three congregate nutrition and service centers for senior citizens, two flood control districts, and a daycare facility for the children of migrant workers in the community of Pajaro. His district encompassed large agricultural areas and significant wetlands and environmental resources. Monterey County employed over 2700 employees and had a budget of over $160,000,000.00 annually.
With then Supervisor Sam Karas and Carmel Mayor Clint Eastwood, Supervisor Del Piero raised significant funds to develop a replacement housing program for homeless migrant farm workers after the Loma Prieta earthquake. He has also participated in writing numerous general plans and local coastal plans for Monterey County, and was the founder and Monterey County representative on the Central Coast Regional Studies Program, a four-year, three-million dollar effort by six coastal counties to develop environmental and economic studies to block the potential impacts of the Interior Department's then proposed off-shore oil lease plans. Del Piero was appointed by then Congressman Leon Panetta and served on the founding committee that developed the plan for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the largest marine sanctuary in the United States. President George Bush created this sanctuary in 1992.
Additionally, Mr. Del Piero served on the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District, a multi-county air pollution control agency, for eleven years. During his tenure as chair, the District adopted the first local air toxics rule in California and adopted the first air pollution regulation requiring coordination of urban growth with air emission goals.
Mr. Del Piero also served for six years on the Board of Directors of the San Felipe Division of the Central Valley Project. This water system is operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and serves four counties and the Silicon Valley area.
Monterey County Planning Commission
Appointed at the age of 24, Marc Del Piero served for three years on the Monterey County Planning Commission. During that time, he prepared and gained certification for the North Monterey County Local Coastal Plan that developed regulations to preserve and protect the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve, and participated in the drafting and approval of the Big Sur Local Coastal Plan that guaranteed the preservation of over 70 miles of one of the most ecologically significant coastal areas on the Pacific Rim. He was the founder and first chairman of the Board of Directors of the Monterey County Agricultural and Historical Land Conservancy, a nonprofit land trust that has guaranteed the preservation of thousands of acres agricultural land in the Salinas Valley of Monterey County. He also served as vice-chair of the Planning Commission between 1978 and 1980.
A native of Monterey County, Marc Del Piero is an attorney who resides on the Monterey Peninsula. The son of a farming family that for four generations has been actively involved in California agriculture, Mr. Del Piero served for over ten years and attained the rank of Captain in the California Army National Guard. He originally received his commission from the Santa Clara University Army ROTC program.
Marc Del Piero is married to Tina Tomlinson Del Piero, and has two sons, Paul and John.