Background - Practices (Details)

Clean Air Act

Crowell & Moring's Clean Air Act practice covers the full range of air quality issues facing regulated industries today. From cutting edge developments in climate change regulation, to the increasingly stringent control of criteria and toxic air pollutants from both stationary and mobile sources, our attorneys have extensive experience providing compliance and regulatory counseling, advocating for clients before regulatory agencies, challenging agency actions both in administrative proceedings and in the courts, and defending clients in enforcement actions and citizen suits. Our clients include stakeholders in the automotive and transportation, utility, oil and gas, mining, chemicals, product manufacturing, fuels, and cement industries.

Of all the air quality issues facing the regulated community today, those associated with greenhouse gas emissions are the most pressing, dynamic, and untested. As part of our Climate Change Practice, our attorneys have been at the forefront of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPAs) various efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. From the original endangerment finding, to car and truck standards, to the proposed Clean Power Plan and the developing methane and aircraft engine standards, we continue to advocate for both stationary and mobile source clients facing present and future regulation, and we provide strategic, creative counseling and solutions for clients seeking to shape or challenge the EPA's novel regulatory efforts.

In addition to our climate change work, we have represented clients in connection with every recent, high-profile air quality rule, including the Cross State Air Pollution Rule, the ozone NAAQS, the utilities Mercury Air Toxics Standards, various Renewable Fuel Standard rules, and light and heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency standards. We have also represented clients in connection with numerous industry-specific air quality rules, such as the New Source Performance Standards for the oil and gas industry, the cement industry, and commercial and industrial solid waste incineration units. In addition, we have direct experience with regard to stratospheric ozone protection and air pollution trading and credits.

Our attorneys can guide clients through the entire course of an agency’s regulatory action, from the initial shaping of a rule at the policy-setting stage, through its formal proposal, to eventual litigation, and finally, to compliance with those that withstand challenge. With longstanding connections to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice, and White House, we counsel clients on emerging rules and policies and assist them with comments and advocacy at all levels of the agency and the executive branch. Following promulgation, we litigate both against and in defense of regulations, on behalf of individual clients, coalitions, and trade associations.

For rules already in force, we provide compliance counseling, including assistance with state and federal permitting programs like New Source Review, Prevention of Significant Deterioration preconstruction permits, and Title V operating permits. This includes advising clients on compliance efforts and facilitating communications and negotiations with regulatory authorities. We also assist clients with public relations and other proactive efforts to deter and defend against challenges from citizen groups.

Our practice has the full capacity and experience to defend clients in Clean Air Act enforcement actions and privately brought citizen suits. We represent clients from the initial information requests through any notices of violation and any enforcement litigation. Our attorneys offer the knowledge and skills to resolve enforcement risks early and effectively in an effort to avert litigation when possible. When litigation is necessary, our experienced team guides our clients through every step of the enforcement lawsuit, including discovery, trial, and, when appropriate, settlement negotiations.