Our Air Quality team closely monitors new regulations and policy developments involving air pollution and counsel clients on their issues of concern. We have significant expertise in all the major federal and state air pollution arenas, including California, which is recognized as a leader in aggressively addressing air pollution. We have an unusually robust degree of expertise in the climate change and greenhouse gas control approach taken in California, as well as on the national stage. To ensure that our clients stay informed about important regulatory developments, we hold in-house seminars, give presentations at our clients' own compliance meetings, send environmental alerts and create extranets that allow us to provide secure, individualized compliance counseling to our clients in a timely and efficient manner.
Alston & Bird’s Air Quality Team is regarded as one of the most comprehensive in the country. We assist a wide range of clients regarding proposed regulations, particularly in California and Washington, D.C., and assist them in participating in the rule development process. We also routinely advise clients on environmental compliance issues arising under the Clean Air Act and state air quality programs, and represent them in administrative hearings to obtain variances when immediate compliance is not achievable. Where enforcement action has been taken, we negotiate settlements with regulators or defend the action, including defense of Clean Air Act citizen suits. Similarly, we guide clients through the air quality permitting process for capital projects and defend challenges to the permits before federal, state and administrative tribunals. Our experience includes working with industrial, institutional, infrastructure and public clients with respect to conventional air pollutants, toxic air contaminants and greenhouse gases. When we anticipate that industrial emissions may lead to toxic tort actions by facility neighbors, we coordinate with our colleagues in the Toxic Tort Group.
We are leaders in our field, with seven partners on our team recognized among the foremost legal practitioners in the field of environmental law by Chambers USA describing us as “a phenomenal group at the top of the industry.” In addition, one of our partners is a former chair of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy & Resources, and another is the immediate past director of California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control. Our team also includes former senior enforcement officials from the Environmental Enforcement Section and Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as the Office of General Counsel for U.S. EPA.
Bringing Value to Our Clients
Increasingly stringent rules regarding air emissions can impose substantial control costs, require changes in manufacturing processes, and drive evolution of product content, including substitution of raw materials. When we provide early warning of proposed regulatory changes, we give our clients the opportunity to participate in the regulatory process and, where justified, seek to have their unique issues addressed through exemptions, a special category of standards, or a more realistic timetable for compliance. Where special standards are not justified, we assist clients in developing the most effective compliance strategy aimed at achieving their business objectives.