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Michael Wall, Senior Attorney, San Francisco

Michael Wall

I am a litigator, an environmentalist, and a dad. As the head of NRDC’s San Francisco litigation team, my colleagues and I go to court to protect families and communities from pollution, to preserve endangered wildlife and wild places, and to fight for a healthy, sustainable environment.  In the past few years, I’ve had the chance to brief, argue and try major cases at all levels of the federal judicial system, including cases to restore Chinook salmon to a vast river that the federal government had dried out sixty years earlier; to clean up hazardous waste hot spots in the San Francisco Bay and in rural Tennessee; to prevent the imminent extinction of fish in California’s Bay-Delta estuary; and to protect the rights of private citizens to petition federal agencies without being sued by hostile interests.  Before joining NRDC, I practiced labor, environmental, and First Amendment law at a small San Francisco firm, and before that, I served for several years in the environment division of the U.S. Department of Justice.  I learned something about the law at Harvard Law School, and a lot more while clerking for the Honorable Edward E. Carnes on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.  I learned something about life at Harvard College, but far more from my parents, my family, and my friends.  I run, read, wander, very occasionally bodysurf, and (as often as can be) play with my wife and our two boys.

Recent Posts

Ghost Fleet Cleanup Protects SF Bay from 300 Tons of Hazardous Waste

Posted October 16, 2012 by Michael Wall in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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Last Friday, I joined Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Congressmen George Miller and Mike Thompson, and Maritime Administrator David Matsuda at the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet.  MARAD announced that it is ahead of a court-ordered deadline for it to remove...continued

Ghost Fleet inspection shows welcome progress

Posted September 3, 2010 by Michael Wall in Curbing Pollution

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  I'm sharing this space today with guest-blogger and legal fellow Jon Wiener. I grew up gazing at the Suisun Bay Ghost Fleet through the window of my parents’ car as we would cross the Benicia Bridge on our way...continued

Goodbye, Ghost Fleet

Posted March 31, 2010 by Michael Wall in Curbing Pollution

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This was a good day for the ecology of San Francisco Bay, the people of California, and the rule of law. This morning, with scores of former military support ships rusting in the background, the U.S. Maritime Administration, NRDC, Arc...continued

Judge: Ghost Fleet pollution illegal

Posted January 21, 2010 by Michael Wall in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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For decades, the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) and its parent agency, the Department of Transportation (DOT), have moored dozens of decrepit and non-operational former military support vessels in San Francisco Bay and abandoned them to the ravages of time and...continued

Ghost Fleet Images

Posted November 6, 2009 by Michael Wall in Curbing Pollution

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A few recent pictures. (See my March and October '09 posts for background on the "ghost fleet" in Suisun Bay.)...continued

Two vessels (almost) down, 55 to go. Much work remains to be done.

Posted October 22, 2009 by Michael Wall in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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Today the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced that two vessels from the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet will, at long last, be removed for disposal. This is good news. The marine paint on these two inoperable...continued

Mothball Fleet's Flaking Paint Poisons and Pollutes San Francisco Bay

Posted March 14, 2009 by Michael Wall in Reviving the World's Oceans

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There's a reason why most ocean-going vessels need regular paint jobs and maintenance. Old paint, exposed to weather, can peel or chip off.  The toxic material in many vessels' paints can poison local waterways and ecosystems.  That's why NRDC, Arc...continued

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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