Beveridge & Diamond
 
Karl S. Bourdeau photo

Karl S. Bourdeau

Principal


1350 I Street, N.W.
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005-3311
Washington

Practices
Practices
Education
Education
  • Muhlenberg College (B.S., summa cum laude, 1975)
  • Harvard University (J.D., 1978; Federal Developments Editor, Harvard Environmental Law Review)
Bar Admissions & Memberships
Bar Admissions & Memberships
  • District of Columbia
  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • US-China Green Energy Council, Advisory Board
  • Bay Environmental Technology (Beijing) Corp., Senior Advisor
  • Bureau of National Affairs Environmental Due Diligence Guide, Advisory Board
  • National Aquarium, Board of Directors

For over thirty-eight years, Karl Bourdeau has engaged principally in a wide-ranging litigation, regulatory, transactional and legislative practice involving hazardous substance and hazardous waste issues under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and analogous state laws. He has also been active in representing clients on a variety of international environmental, chemical risk assessment, and federal Information Quality Act issues.

Mr. Bourdeau's practice has focused on a wide range of matters arising under CERCLA and RCRA. This work has included representation of numerous clients in government and private cost recovery litigation under CERCLA, as well as with respect to administrative order and remedial action settlements under that statute. He also has extensive experience with a wide range of RCRA matters, including applicable regulatory requirements, corrective action permits and orders, government enforcement actions, and citizen suits under RCRA. Mr. Bourdeau's practice has also involved substantial participation, beginning with the inception of the RCRA program in 1980, in many of the major RCRA rulemakings and judicial challenges to those rulemakings in the D.C. Circuit. For example, Mr. Bourdeau served as an industry representative on the Hazardous Waste Identification Rule Advisory Committee, which was convened by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to advise it regarding regulatory reforms to the definition of hazardous waste under RCRA.

Mr. Bourdeau has also been heavily involved in legislative issues relating to CERCLA and RCRA. He has participated in industry advocacy with Congressional committee staffers regarding CERCLA remedy selection reform and brownfields issues, and has been involved in drafting and advancing proposed legislative reforms to the regulation of remediation wastes under RCRA.

In the transactional area, Mr. Bourdeau has advised both buyers and sellers of contaminated properties with respect to the clean-up of such sites and the minimization of potential liabilities associated with them. He also has assisted companies with addressing and negotiating the allocation of environmental liabilities in the context of mergers and acquisitions.

Among others, Mr. Bourdeau's clients include companies in the chemical, petroleum, iron and steel, consumer product, communications, high technology, pharmaceutical, pulp and paper, and waste management technology industries. He also represents various trade associations on environmental policy, regulatory, and litigation matters.

Professional Highlights

Mr. Bourdeau is a frequent lecturer and author on hazardous substance liability issues.  Professional accolades that Mr. Bourdeau has received include recognition in the following:

  • Chambers USA Guide to America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Chambers & Partners, 2007-2016;
  • The International Who's Who of Environment Lawyers, Law Business Research, 2007-2016 editions, including recognition as one of the five "Most Highly Regarded Individuals" in environmental law in the U.S. in the 2014 edition;
  • The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, International Bar Association, 2006 and 2010-2012;
  • Guide to the World's Leading Environment Lawyers, Legal Media Group Expert Guides, 2006, where he was nominated by in-house counsel and peers as a "go-to attorney" on environmental matters;
  • The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Environmental Law, 2008-2017 editions; 
  • Super Lawyers in the field of Environmental Law, 2007-2011 and 2013-2017 editions;
  • Washingtonian Magazine named Mr. Bourdeau one of "Washington's Best Lawyers" in environmental law in 2009, 2011 and 2013.