Air Quality Enforcement and Litigation

To successfully defend against law-enforcement actions, businesses must understand the nuances of air-quality regulation. Troutman Sanders provides results-oriented representation to companies facing fines, injunctions or even criminal violations associated with alleged violations of air-quality laws.

Our extensive experience gives us the tools to provide practical, effective guidance to our clients when responding to federal, state and local enforcement actions in virtually every state. We have also handled major environmental air litigation at the appellate level and in the trenches at the trial and district court levels across the United States.

We also have a robust Clean Air practice with several attorneys who focus exclusively on air quality-related issues, particularly for our utility industry clients. Our expertise includes the full gamut of air issues. We work with our utility clients on NAAQS implementation and interstate transport issues, NSR and NSPS compliance determinations for existing major sources, obtaining PSD and/or Nonattainment NSR permits for new sources, Title V permitting and compliance, responding to Title V petitions for objection from environmental groups, development of compliance strategies under the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), and compliance with other MACT standards applicable at power plant sites (such as RICE MACT). We also advise companies and states on regional haze compliance and work with companies and their states on regional haze SIP development issues. We are currently working with utilities and states on their response to the SSM SIP Call, and we are working with utilities and their states on Clean Power Plan petitions for reconsideration and implementation strategies.

Enforcement Actions

We have represented a wide range of industry clients; some of our engagements include the following:

  • Represented a consortium of companies in challenges to EPA's eight-hour ozone and particulate matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
  • Represented one of the largest electric utility companies in the United States in the context of a nationwide federal NSR enforcement initiative against the electric utility industry. The representation has included:

    • Responding to extensive information requests and preparing for and participating in plant inspections conducted by EPA.
    • Representing the company in a civil enforcement action in federal district court.
    • Representing the company in two appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
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Some of our litigation engagements include the following:

  • Represented parties at the U.S. Supreme Court in two environmental cases regarding the issues of climate change and the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases.
  • Represented numerous parties challenging EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule in the D.C. Circuit, helping win a rare judicial stay of the rule in December 2011 and helping win vacatur and remand of the Cross State Rule in August 2012.
  • Settled a citizen suit case against an Iowa utility brought by the Sierra Club alleging Clean Air Act opacity violations at numerous facilities over a five year period, with the proposed consent decree now pending in the federal district court for the Southern District of Iowa.
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