About NRDC

Melissa Lin Perrella

Melissa Lin Perrella Director and Senior Attorney, Southern California Air Program

Press Contact:
Kimiko Martinez

Areas of Focus

Air pollution, environmental justice, ports, rail yards, diesel, preemption, national environmental policy act, California Environmental Quality Act.


Melissa Lin Perrella is a Senior Attorney and Director of Western Air Quality and Environmental Justice in NRDC’s Santa Monica office. Melissa specializes in representing communities adversely affected by our nation’s freight transportation system. She is an expert on the health effects of diesel emissions and on solutions for reducing air pollution from port and rail yard operations. Melissa has litigated to enforce the National Environmental Policy Act and California Environmental Quality Act, and has helped develop and defend landmark state and local clean air initiatives against federal preemption claims.

Melissa joined NRDC in 2004 after working in private practice at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in Los Angeles, CA as a general litigation associate. She received her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and bachelor’s degrees in Ethnic Studies and Social Welfare from U.C. Berkeley. Melissa is also a mother and proud finisher of the Boston Marathon.

*Admitted to practice in California

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