Mark D. Harrison's Profile Image
2801 T Street

Sacramento, CA
(916) 706-2575
(916) 382-4380

Our People

Mark D. Harrison

Mark Harrison has a well-earned reputation for bringing seasoned legal advice to the firm's clients. Mark's counseling, governmental relations and litigation practice encompasses natural resource development, land use permitting, CEQA, NEPA, and air and water quality regulations. He represents private clients in the mining, land development and construction industries, as well as representing public entities and trade associations.

Mark focuses on getting results for clients, public and private, in complex regulatory settings. In representing mining and construction interests, for example, Mark has applied his knowledge of the permitting processes and the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act to help his clients in obtaining reclamation plan approvals, operating permits, environmental clearances and the full array of state and federal permits and approvals that accompany the permitting process. His expertise encompasses hard-rock mining and in-stream operations, each of which are subject to specific regulations and considerations. For any given project, Mark is prepared, if necessary, to form a quality technical team by drawing upon his extensive contacts with experts in reclamation, traffic, air quality, noise, hydrology, geomorphology, biological resources and public relations.

Mark and other members of the legal team provide continuity to clients, handling matters from the preventative planning stage, through the administrative level, up to resolution in court, if necessary. Mark was lead counsel in the California Supreme Court's landmark vested rights case, Hansen Bros. Enterprises v. County of Nevada (1996) 12 Cal. 4th 533. Mark has also served as lead counsel for local government in matters involving local control over land use decision making and has state and national trade groups in litigation concerning the proper regulation of air toxics from natural sources.

Mark speaks extensively:

  • He regularly addresses mining and trade association conferences on various topics, including water quality regulation, air quality regulation, vested mining rights and settlement strategies for controversies related to mining operations.
  • He presents regular seminars on mining law that are well-attended by the industry and public agencies. He also makes in-house presentations to clients and others on environmental compliance.
  • He has written on a wide variety of environmental topics, including land use permitting, air permitting, Proposition 65, vested mining rights, insurance coverage for environmental claims and toxic cleanup.

Mark is admitted to practice before the California Supreme Court and the United States District Courts, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and United States Supreme Court. He earned his B.A. with honors in Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley in 1984, and his J.D. degree in 1989 from the University of California, Davis, School of Law.


  • Cal-CIMA, Environmental Committee member, Executive Committee member
  • National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, Council of Counsels member
  • State Bar of California, Environmental Law Section, member
  • Sacramento County Bar Association, Environmental Law and Administrative Law Sections, member
  • Federal Bar Association, member
  • Cache Creek Conservancy, Board of Directors/Executive Committee member/President
  • Flood Control Task Force, City of Woodland


  • Communities for a Better Environment v. South Coast Air Quality Management District (2010) 48 Cal.4th 310 -- California Supreme Court decision concerning the proper baseline for environmental review of existing industrial operations.
  • People ex rel. Dept. of Conservation v. El Dorado County (2005) 36 Cal.4th 971 -- California Supreme Court case concerning standing under the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act.
  • "Maximizing the Value of Vested Mining Rights," Aggregates Manager, January 2000.
  • "California Proposition 65 Creates New Reporting Requirements for the Aggregates Industry," Aggregates Manager, August 1999.
  • "Businesses Hold a Few Cards When It's Time to Clean Up," Sacramento Business Journal, August 14, 1998.
  • Hansen Bros. Enterprises v. County of Nevada (1996) 12 Cal.4th 533 - California Supreme Court landmark vested mining rights case.
  • "Major Victory for Policy Holders," Woodland Daily Democrat, September 1995.
  • "Deadline Looms for Discharge Permits," Sacramento Business Journal, March 23, 1992.
  • "Deadline Nears for Underground Tank Cleanup Funds," Sacramento Business Journal, December 23, 1991.


  • CEQA Seminar (Sacramento, September 2014)
  • The Surface Mining and Reclamation Act, November 4, 2009, and November 10, 2009.
  • Current Opportunities to Shorten Mine Permitting, California Construction & Industrial Materials Association 2009 Annual Education Conference, October 15, 2009.
  • Surface Mining and Reclamation Act and Construction Materials Permitting, November 12, 2008.
  • A Practical Guide to Development Agreements and Exactions, October 3, 2007, and November 14, 2007.
  • Aggregate Resource Protection and Permitting in California, September 27, 2007.
  • Intensive SMARA Seminar, October 25, 2005, November 9, 2005 and October 19, 2006.
  • Williamson Act Seminar, September 16, 2005, November 16, 2005, and October 26, 2006.
  • SMARA Seminar, July 13, 2004, July 27, 2004, September 7, 2004, September 21, 2004, October 5, 2004, October 19, 2004, November 9, 2004.
  • Does SMARA Need to be Reformed?, Construction Materials Association of California, March 4, 2004.
  • Overview of Current Issues Under SMARA, Construction Materials Association of California SMARA Workshop, January 15, 2004.
  • Construction Aggregate Production and Use in California, Northern California Engineering Contractor Association (ECA), November 19, 2003.
  • Guide to Environmental Compliance and Enforcement, Granite Construction Company, June 28, 2002.
  • How to Comply with Prop. 65 and Addressing Lawsuits Under Prop. 65, Construction Materials Association of California, January 24, 2002.
  • Vested Mining Rights: What They Are and What They Mean, California Mining Association, March 7, 2001.
  • Modification of Use Permits, Construction Materials Association of California, February 14, 2001.
  • Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Asbestos, Construction Materials Association of California, Executive Committee, September 19, 2000.
  • How to Avoid a Proposition 65 Lawsuit, Construction Materials Association of California, February 1999.
  • SMARA Compliance Roundtable, panel member and participant, 1999 and 2000.
  • Construction Law and Environmental Law, builders exchange/private companies, January 1999-present.
  • Vested Rights, Construction Materials Association of California, February 1997.
  • Reduce Your Environmental Costs By Planning Ahead, California Fertilizer Association (now California Plant Health Association), December 1996.
  • Trial of the Environmental Case, Sacramento County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, May 1995.