With more than 25 years of experience as a regulator and lawyer in state and federal land use, environmental and energy law, Hope Schmeltzer provides public agencies and private clients with practical legal advice in the development and operation of complicated projects. Her projects include renewable power generation and energy storage, EV charging sites, high speed rail, high-tech and biotech research and development campuses, hospitals, wastewater treatment plants, and high-density residential and mixed-use developments.
Hope counsels public agencies and developers to ensure defensible California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Coastal Act and other land use and environmental approvals. She understands the complexities of working with lead agency counsel, advising elected and appointed boards, including the nuances of the Brown and Bagley-Keene Acts and the Political Reform Act.
She is adept at guiding intricate developments through required land use and environmental, health and safety approvals, with a particular focus on renewable energy project strategies. Hope’s hazardous waste management and brownfields redevelopment experience includes managing multi-party chlorinated solvent groundwater sites, radioactive contamination, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), petroleum hydrocarbons and heavy metals contamination.
Prior to joining the Monchamp Meldrum LLP, Hope served as Chief Counsel of the California Coastal Commission, Director of the Governor’s Clean Energy Green Team, Environmental Group Leader for the University of California’s Office of Legal Counsel, and Assistant Regional Counsel, U.S. E.P.A. Region 9. She also served for 12 years as the public member of San Francisco’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), which enabled the creation of CleanPowerSF, and worked at the law firms of Landels, Ripley & Diamond, LLP and McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen, LLP. She is an active volunteer with the Cleantech Party, the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, and the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition. She is a member of the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and a Trustee of the Drew School.
- California Bar Association- Environmental Law Section
- University of Michigan, A.B., Philosophy and English
- Georgetown University Law School, Juris Doctor, cum laude
- State Bar of California
- All California state and federal courts
Select Presentations and Speaking Engagements
- Permitting the Future of Renewable Energy (panel speaker), Environmental Law Conference, California Lawyer’s Association, Yosemite, October 14, 2022
- Five Things to Know About Offshore Wind in California, Lexology, October 26, 2021
- Fast Track Opportunity for Battery Storage Projects in California, Lexology, September 8, 2021
- Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events, Bar Association of San Francisco, March 5, 2020.
- Justice and Equity in Land Use and Energy Law (Occasional Series), Office of General Counsel, University of California Office of the President, 2019-2020
- RCRA: The Basics (Hazardous Waste), American Bar Association, Webinar: October 20, 2016.
- The 17th Annual Conference on Litigating Takings Challenges to Land Use and Environmental Regulations: Adaptation to Coastal Change, UC Davis School of Law, Sept. 19, 2014.
- Regional Planning in California: Lake Tahoe, California’s Coast, The Delta & Elsewhere, California Bar Real Property Law Section Conference, May 3, 2014.
- Promoting a Low Carbon Resilient Future Together: A State-Federal Dialogue “Lessons in Resilience”, Georgetown University Law Center, February 22, 2013.