Elizabeth Cousins Recognized as Environmental MVP


Elizabeth Cousins was profiled by Law360 after being selected as a 2022 Law360 MVP (subscription required) for the Environmental practice area. She is just one of a handful of attorneys recognized nationally in the category. Law360 highlighted Elizabeth’s work “on multiple environmental and sustainability projects in California and beyond, including the East County Advanced Water Purification Project, which aims to improve San Diego's sustainable water supply.”

Providing an overview of the East County related matters that Elizabeth led, the publication wrote she “has worked on a series of four progressive design build packages [for East County].” Elizabeth commented, “In the last year, [Nossaman] was able to finalize the second phase of the first three packages, essentially transitioning the project from design to construction.” She added that it is a “huge project that's going to provide a safe, sustainable, drought-proof water supply for San Diego County…It's a really exciting project for the county and for the state, and we're seeing many similar projects being picked up by other municipal water agencies.”

Discussing her other projects, Law360 notes that Elizabeth is “working on another water project that is in its early stages and will hopefully help improve the drought conditions in California…the project would pump winter flows from the Sacramento River and stormwater through existing canals. An offstream surface storage reservoir would be built in the Sacramento Valley, and particular agencies would own rights to the storage.”

Elizabeth added that as more of her projects reach completion, the greater “amounts of water that we'll ultimately be able to use [in California]…It feels very real in the current state of California and in many states across the U.S. and throughout the world that we are having to find alternative sources of water.”

Speaking on the novel work that Nossaman is doing, Elizabeth mentioned that “convincing agencies to take a different approach to project delivery” is one of her favorite endeavors. “[We do] alternative delivery, which sometimes combines design, construction, operations and management with the goal of minimizing risk and maximizing spend…[and] we are seeing a bit of a groundswell movement, particularly on the water side, towards alternative delivery. I think agencies are starting to get more comfortable with it than their traditional…design-bid-build, delivery, and it's not going to be the solution for every project.”

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