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Nossaman LLP

Steven H. Kaufmann


T 213.612.7875
F 213.612.7801
777 South Figueroa Street, 34th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Steven Kaufmann is one of the foremost Coastal land use lawyers in California. He has more than four decades of experience representing the California Coastal Commission and landowners, developers, public entities and public utilities with matters before that agency. His work has involved a broad array of Coastal Commission administrative matters, as well as a substantial amount of litigation involving challenges to or defense of Commission decisions. Mr. Kaufmann’s expertise includes every aspect of California coastal regulation including coastal development permits, appeals, federal consistency certification review and appeals to the Secretary of Commerce, exemptions, local coastal programs, port master plans, public works plans, enforcement, and legislation, as well as related local entitlements and compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). 

He has a track record for producing successful results for clients on a host of projects involving complex energy or transportation-related issues; wetlands, environmentally sensitive habitat and other habitat-related issues; golf courses, traditional hotels, timeshares and condominium hotels; and residences, subdivisions, commercial uses, and marinas. Prior to joining Nossaman, Mr. Kaufmann spent many years at the California Attorney General’s office, representing the California Coastal Commission from 1977 to 1991, as well as other state agencies, including the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, California State Lands Commission, and State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Representative Work

Advice on Federal Consistency, California Coastal Management Plan, and California Environmental Quality Act Issues:

  • SONGS Decommissioning Project (Southern California Edison): Decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Plant on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego County.
  • North Coast Corridor Project (San Diego Association of Governments and California Department of Transportation): 30-mile Interstate I-5 highway widening and double rail tracking project from San Diego to Oceanside involving rail and highway bridge optimization and replacements over five significant Southern California coastal lagoons, and comprehensive resource and public access enhancements. State Coastal Commission approval of  federal consistency certification for federal permits, federal authorization, and/or federal funding required by the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Transit Administration, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Foothill Transportation Corridor South (FTC-S) Toll Road (Foothill-Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency): Construction of a toll road extension of State Route 241 in southern Orange, connecting to Interstate I-5 in San Diego County and passing through a portion of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton to alleviate future traffic congestion and accommodate the need for mobility, access, goods movement, and future I-5 traffic demands.
  • OceanWay Deepwater Port Project (Woodside Natural Gas): A liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater water port project off the coast of Los Angeles International Airport proposing an offshore terminal in federal waters where liquefied natural gas would be vaporized and delivered to the coast via underwater and buried onshore pipelines.
  • Vahevala Project (ExxonMobil/Sunset Exploration): An onshore directional drilling project from onshore at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County into the Tranquillon Ridge in state and federal waters.

Awards & Honors

Named a Southern California Super Lawyer in 2005, and 2007 – 2014, and 2016.

California Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in 1990.

Steven H. Kaufmann
Steven H. Kaufmann



B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1971

J.D., Loyola Law School, 1974



Supreme Court of California

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Court, Central District of CA

U.S. Supreme Court

Awards & Honors

Named a Southern California Super Lawyer in 2005, and 2007 – 2014, and 2016.

California Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in 1990.

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