Bruce Pasfield is an experienced trial attorney whose practice focuses on environmental and business litigation. Clients rely on his nearly 30 years of experience to advise them on their most complex and pressing environmental matters. Bruce also represents clients in challenges to agency rulemaking and regularly assists companies in developing compliance programs that meet both corporate governance and government standards. His clients come from a broad spectrum of industry including transportation, manufacturing, energy development and shipping.
Bruce began his career as a state prosecutor where he successfully tried over 100 criminal jury trials, including high-profile white collar fraud cases. Prior to joining Alston & Bird, Bruce enjoyed a distinguished 15-year career at the U.S. Department of Justice, where, as one of the nation’s top environmental prosecutors in the Environment and Natural Resources Division, he litigated a number of precedent-setting cases.
Bruce is past chair of the Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Committee of the ABA and a regular lecturer for the Bureau of National Affairs. He has written numerous articles on environmental law topics. He is listed on The 2014 International Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers and has been named a Washington D.C. "Super Lawyer" in 2012 and 2013.
- Successfully negotiated a 92% reduction in an EPA civil fine for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act for a company that owned and operated of a private waste water treatment plant designed to treat a wide array of industrial waste water.
- Represented an Oil and Gas Services company in a voluntary self-disclosure of criminal Clean Water Act violations related to disposal of waste water from hydraulic fracturing. The voluntary self-disclosure resulted in a declination of criminal charges against the company.
- Brought successful summary judgment motion against EPA on behalf international brick manufacturer Boral Industries Inc., in Appalachian Voices et. al. v. McCarthy. Motion resulted in consent decree requiring EPA to review its coal ash regulations in a timely manner and prevent negative stigma and uncertainty pertaining to Boral’s use of recycled coal ash in brick products.
- Provide on-going counsel to a large off-road engine manufacturer regarding compliance with Clean Air Act standards and import and export issues.
- Representation of head of regulatory affairs for international car manufacturer in pending EPA investigation of alleged Clean Air Act violations pertaining to fuel economy ratings (on-going).
- Representation of companies and executives in separate investigations of possible Clean Air Act and fraud violations related to EPA’s Renewables Fuel Program. (on-going)
- Developed an efficient company-wide environmental management system for an Oil and Gas services company as part of the company’s rebranding effort.
- Defending a company in suit brought by adjacent landowners alleging public nuisance based on alleged odors emanating from company’s operation of municipal landfill.
- Successfully negotiated a consent decree with EPA Region VI that allowed a company to utilize a hazardous waste disposal option that resulted in a cost savings of approximately $3.5 million.
- Serve as an integral part of a national trial team that defends an asbestos manufacturer in numerous mesothelioma related law suits.
- Representing eight shipping companies in D.C. District Court in suit seeking relief under the Administrative Procedure Act for U.S. Coast Guard exceeding its authority in security agreements entered into with each company. Watervale Marine Co., LTD et. al. v. U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.
- Provided comments on a U.S. EPA national rulemaking that ultimately allowed companies to continue sales of remaining stock of certain ozone depleting chemicals being phased out under the Clean Air Act.
Members of Alston & Bird’s Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources Group were ranked by Who’s Who Legal: Environment 2014.
June 26, 2014
In the News
Bruce Pasfield, partner in the firm’s Environmental & Land Use Group, was quoted in Bloomberg BNA in an article titled “EPA Revised Cement Kiln Standards Upheld; ‘Unavoidable’ Malfunctions Defense Tossed.”
April 18, 2014
In the News
Bruce Pasfield, partner in the firm’s Environmental & Land Use Group, has joined The Environmental Law Institute’s (ELI’s) Leadership Council, which is composed of prominent leaders in the fields of environment, energy and natural resources law and policy, and membership is by nomination through a selection process that recognizes leadership skills and significant contributions to the profession.
August 29, 2013
In the News
With criminal enforcement continuing to be a focus of the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice, our Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources Group looks ahead to see what sectors will receive scrutiny in 2015.
January 16, 2015
This advisory discusses the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s released Clean Power Plan proposed rule to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.
June 3, 2014
“EPA’s Enforcement of RIN Fraud Violations Starts to Bring Stability Back to the Market,” BNA’s Environment Reporter, May 3, 2013.
May 3, 2013
This advisory discusses the U.S. EPA’s recent prosecution of renewable identification number (RIN) fraud violations and how law enforcement’s reaction to this problem, albeit delayed, has started to bring stability back to the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program and to the market.
February 28, 2013
"Enviro Cos., Beware Of More EPA Criminal Enforcement," Law360, February 14, 2013.
February 14, 2013
This advisory discusses U.S. v. John Emerson Tuma, a case in which the former general manager of Arkla Disposal Services was sentenced to 60 months in prison, plus a $100,000 fine, by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. The sentencing followed a jury conviction earlier this year for violations of the Clean Water Act, conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
December 19, 2012
July 13, 2012
“Risky Business: 3 Circuits Affirm CWA Simple Negligence,” Law360, June 15, 2012.
June 15, 2012
September 1, 2011
October 14, 2010
- Past chair of the ABA Environmental Crimes and Enforcement Committee
- Member of the D.C. Bar Section on Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Steering Committee
- Member of the ABA Oil and Gas Committee
- Maritime Legal Association
- Defense Research Institute
- Environment Energy and Natural Resources Section of the D.C. Bar