Somach Simmons & Dunn | Attorneys at Law



  • Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of Law (J.D. Cum Laude, 2015)
  • California State University Sacramento (B.S. Cum Laude, 2010)


  • California

Alyson E. Ackerman
LinkedIn Bio

Alyson Ackerman advocates for clients in diverse sectors including public water service providers, land conservation districts, developers, private water users, agribusinesses, and food processors. She counsels her public and private clients in a myriad of practice areas such as water rights, administrative law, air quality, and environmental litigation.  

Alyson works closely with her clients to investigate, develop, perfect, and defend water rights portfolios as well as represent their interests to local irrigation districts, the State Water Resources Control Board, and, where appropriate, trial and appellate courts.  Alyson also assists in providing outside general counsel services to the firm’s special district clients, practicing administrative law and employment law to counsel on various land use and public employment issues.

Alyson’s air quality practice is growing and currently involves helping public agency clients attain compliance with and regulatory relief from state and local air quality standards for stationary and mobile sources, as well as negotiating settlement in enforcement actions.

Alyson champions the firm’s Northern California membership in the Environmental Law Network (ELN) – a group of more than 250 environmental attorneys who collaborate, cultivate, and share resources to create local representation both nationally and internationally. Among other activities, Alyson presents important legal developments in the environmental law sector to ELN.

Prior to joining Somach Simmons & Dunn, Alyson worked for a boutique environmental compliance and litigation law firm where she helped clients seek recovery of cleanup costs associated with contaminated land, amend air permit limits, and determine compliance with Clean Water Act requirements. She assisted clients in enforcement actions with both state and federal entities to evaluate the appropriateness of proposed civil penalties, successfully advocating for reduced penalties in numerous instances.

Outside of work, she is most likely to be found at her favorite locally-owned independent bookstore – Face in a Book – or outside taking in nature with her German Shepherd. She is an avid hiker, having successfully completed a 36-mile thru-hike in Yellowstone National Park, lead climbed some of the Sierra Pacific’s most challenging rock faces, and enjoys deepening her yoga practice and baking.

Insights and Activities

  • Presenter, Status of Clean Water Act’s Waters of the United States Rule, Environmental Law Network, February 2019
  • Co-author of pro-bono amicus brief filed in Court of Appeal, Fourth California Appellate District, April 2019
  • Contributor, ACWA Appellate Case Summaries, since 2018
  • Co-Author, Learning from West, Texas:  Proposed Amendments to Clean Air Act’s Accidental Release Prevention Risk Management Program, Indiana Chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association, March 2016
  • Co-Author, IDEM’s New Non-Rule Policy Documents for “Contained-in Determinations” and Uncontaminated Soil, Indiana Chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association, April 2015
  • Associate Member, Association of California Water Agencies
  • Selected for inclusion, Northern California Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2020-present

Recent Articles

CARB Approves Phased-In Agricultural Burning Ban in San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District

Farmers and ranchers in the San Joaquin Valley (Valley) must now implement alternatives to agricultural burning to comply with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved “near-complete phase-out” of agricultural ... Read More

Key Natural Resource and Environmental Elements to Know About H.R. 133: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021

President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“Appropriations Act” or “Act”) on December 27, 2020.  The Appropriations Act is a true omnibus.  It covers an array of topics, including ... Read More

Court of Appeal for Second Appellate District Determines Plaintiff Not Required to Exhaust Administrative Remedies in Proposition 218 Challenge to Ratemaking Methodology

The Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District recently ruled that a plaintiff challenging the method that a special district uses to calculate rates in a judicial action need ... Read More

Court of Appeal Holds That Imperial Irrigation District Landowners Only Have a Right to Water Service and Not an Individual Appurtenant Right to District Held Water Rights

Imperial Irrigation District (“IID” or “District”), which provides the only source of fresh water to California’s Imperial Valley, implemented an “equitable distribution plan” (EDP) to allocate its water entitlement amongst ... Read More

Aftermarket Vehicle Parts Industry: CARB Considers Updating Its 30-Year Old Procedures for Exemptions to Aftermarket Parts

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is conducting a remote public hearing on July 23, 2020 at 9:00 a.m., to consider adopting “Procedures for the Exemption of Add-On and Modified Part(s) ... Read More


  • Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of Law (J.D. Cum Laude, 2015)
  • California State University Sacramento (B.S. Cum Laude, 2010)


  • California