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 who 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 Environment, Energy, and Resources Section 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 in The International 2015 Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers, the 2015 edition of Who’s Who Legal: Environment and has been named a Washington, D.C., “Super Lawyer.”
- Successfully negotiated a 92 percent reduction of 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 a private wastewater treatment plant designed to treat a wide array of industrial wastewater.
- Represented an oil and gas services company in a voluntary self-disclosure of criminal Clean Water Act violations related to disposal of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing. The voluntary self-disclosure resulted in a declination of criminal charges against the company.
- Brought a successful summary judgment motion against the EPA on behalf international brick manufacturer Boral Industries Inc. in Appalachian Voices et. al. v. McCarthy. Motion resulted in consent decree requiring the 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.
- Represented an oil and gas midstream services company in a criminal investigation of a large pipeline spill in the Bakken Shale play.
- Provides ongoing counsel to a large off-road engine manufacturer regarding compliance with Clean Air Act standards and import and export issues.
- Representation of the head of regulatory affairs for an international car manufacturer in a pending EPA investigation of alleged Clean Air Act violations pertaining to fuel economy ratings.
- Represented companies and executives in response to EPA civil Clean Air Act Section 114(a) information requests and criminal fraud investigations related to the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.
- Developed an efficient companywide environmental management system for an oil and gas services company as part of the company’s rebranding effort.
- Defending a company in a suit brought by adjacent landowners alleging public nuisance based on alleged odors emanating from the 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 lawsuits.
- Represented crew members and corporations in U.S. Coast Guard criminal investigations into alleged violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.
- 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.
We provide the following guidance for environmental managers and in-house counsel faced with conducting an internal investigation into serious environmental violations. Following these tips will help a company minimize risks during the course of the investigation and in any follow-up interaction with the EPA or state agencies.
July 29, 2015
This article examines the challenges created by self-disclosing environmental violations and provides tips on how to manage the regulatory agencies’ inquiries after disclosure.
June 12, 2015
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,” Environment Reporter, April 30, 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
- Past chair, Environmental Crimes and Enforcement Committee of the Environment, Energy, and Resources Section of the ABA
- D.C. Bar Section on Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Steering Committee
- Oil and Gas Committee of the Environment, Energy, and Resources Section of the ABA
- Maritime Law Association
- Defense Research Institute