Energy, Infrastructure & Environment

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 understand that maintaining compliance with air quality permitting and regulatory requirements is integral to our clients’ operations, and we have substantial experience providing practical, business oriented advice in all aspects of the Clean Air Act and its state counterparts.


Quarles & Brady attorneys have over 30 years’ experience representing clients in a variety of industries, including chemical, energy, food and beverage, mining, pharmaceutical, pulp and paper, printing, packaging, 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”), Nonattainment New Source Review (“NNSR”) and Title V permits for facilities located throughout the United States.
  • Regularly counseling utilities and other clients on matters involving complex Clean Air Act issues such as implementation of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (“NAAQS”); federal and state New Source Performance Standards (NSPS); the federal Acid Rain Program and the Cross State Air Pollution Rule, National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (“NESHAP”) and ozone depleting substances.
  • Routinely working with clients on the review of federal regulations, the preparation of comments on proposed rules, and, where necessary, petitioning the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) for reconsideration of regulations.
  • 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.
  • Representing clients in complex air enforcement cases brought by U.S. EPA and state governments, to include enforcement of state and federal permitting requirements, NSPS and NESHAP requirements.

High Profile Representations

  • Successfully negotiated two major settlements on behalf of a power generation client in EPA’s power plant enforcement initiative, one of which was one the first settlements that resolved not only all potential past violations of the federal PSD and NNSR regulations rules but provided a future resolution of certain claims concerning those permitting rules.
  • Represented utility clients before the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in challenges to the Cross State Air Pollution Rule and the NESHAP for Major Sources: Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters (aka the IB MACT Rule).
  • Assisted a large Midwestern utility in permitting the major modification of two coal-fired generating units subject to the PSD and NNSR programs. This permitting action included the generation of emission offsets for the fine particulate matter and the establishment of greenhouse gas best available control technology (BACT) limitations.
  • Counseled an international beverage company in responding to an information request issued pursuant to Section 114 of the Clean Air Act that included large scale emission testing of the facility.
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