Energy, Environment & Natural Resources

Air Regulations & Permitting

Since passage of the Clean Air Act, Quarles & Brady has been advising clients on matters of air pollution control and compliance. As a result, we are well-versed in the statutes, regulations, and guidance documents that inform day-to-day implementation of the Act. We have substantial experience assisting clients as they prepare permit applications and negotiate conditions in operating and construction permits with state, federal, and tribal authorities.


We have assisted clients from a variety of industries, including the automotive, aerospace, chemical, energy, mining, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, pulp and paper, and steel, on a diverse range of issues related to the Clean Air Act. Our experience includes:

  • Helping clients obtain Prevention of Significant Deterioration (“PSD”) and Nonattainment New Source Review (“NNSR”) permits for facilities located throughout the United States, including assisting a client in obtaining two of the first Best Available Control Technology (BACT) determinations for greenhouse gas emissions for the biomass facility and the modified coal generating facility.
  • Assisting clients in obtaining Title V permits in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Wisconsin and elsewhere.
  • Assisting clients in preparing for inspections under the Clean Air Act and comparable state laws and in responding to federal requests for information pursuant to the Clean Air Act.
  • Regularly counseling utilities and other clients on matters involving complex Clean Air Act issues such as the 1997 8-hour ozone and PM2.5 rules; EPA’s 2002 NSR Reform rules; the revised 1-hour SO2 and NO2 NAAQS standards; federal and state New Source Performance Standards (NSPS); and National Emission Standards of Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP).
  • Successfully representing a client in a two-week-long contested case hearing and follow-up judicial review action involving a third party challenge to the New Source Review air permit for one of the largest coal handling and transshipping facilities in the western hemisphere.
  • Successfully representing a major investor-owned utility in an administrative proceeding that upheld the Clean Air Act construction permit for a new $2.2 billion, 1260 MW coal-fired, baseload electric generating facility. This was the first administrative case which determined that Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) process technology was not required by law to be considered as an alternative air emission control technology in the BACT and LAER analyses for two proposed Super Critical Pulverized Coal (SCPC) generating units.
  • Representing clients in complex air enforcement cases brought by U.S. EPA involving violations of federal NSR and NESHAPs, including a recent case where U.S. EPA initially sought a $100 million penalty.