Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. has built one of the largest and most comprehensive air quality law practices in the nation. More than twenty-five attorneys working together from offices across the nation belong to our Air Practice Group. The Firm has been involved in virtually every major development under the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) since its inception, scores of air-related federal, state and local regulatory, counseling and enforcement matters, and with increasing frequency, issues arising under international law.
Beveridge & Diamond has remained at the forefront of contemporary global, national and state air quality law issues for more than three decades. Our attorneys have decades of hands-on experience working with a wide variety of industrial and commercial clients and as a consequence, are highly skilled in dealing with legal issues that stem from complex technical and industrial process problems. Our day-to-day involvement with CAA issues keeps our attorneys abreast of the underlying science of air quality law; engineering processes of many core industries; market-place issues affecting client capacity and products; and agency regulatory and enforcement initiatives. With this historical and practical foundation, our legal and strategic advice is effective, efficient and innovative.
The Air Practice Group provides an extensive suite of legal services. We represent clients on rulemakings, permitting and regulatory compliance issues under all of the CAA’s major programs and similar state air laws and regulations. Working closely with our Environmental Litigation Group, we participate in company audits and investigations, defend companies against federal and state civil and criminal enforcement actions, and have appealed all types of agency decisions. Together with our International Environmental Law Group, we represent clients on treaty negotiation and implementation issues.
- The Firm successfully negotiated major Clean Air Act settlements under EPA’s refinery enforcement initiative on behalf of two major refiners. We addressed the very disparate needs of numerous refineries, state and local regulatory agencies, EPA Regions, EPA Headquarters, and the Department of Justice. The final settlements not only resolve refiners’ liability for alleged past violations, but also give them the flexibility necessary to undertake the major capital projects necessary to meet the new EPA fuel standards without undergoing complex federal permitting processes.
- We represented an in-house environmental attorney for a petroleum refinery in a criminal prosecution alleging multiple violations of the benzene waste operations NESHAP, conspiracy, and false statements in two grand jury proceedings in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. All charges against our client were dismissed.
- We represented a trade association for the trucking industry in EPA’s enforcement initiative against the diesel truck engine manufacturers, the largest CAA enforcement action in the Agency’s history. As part of that effort, we represented our client in the negotiation of the consent decree that was ultimately agreed upon with the government.
- We successfully defended a paint manufacturer in connection with Notices of Violation (NOV) for alleged VOC emissions violations issued by the South Coast Air Quality Management District in California (SCAQMD). We persuaded the SCAQMD to dismiss the NOVs in their entirety based on flaws in the air district's rules and prescribed test methods, saving the client approximately $500,000 in penalties.
- We were involved in planning a comprehensive environmental audit at a large natural gas fractionation facility. The audit led to the discovery of numerous air program violations, including new source review and new source performance standards. We worked with a team of experts to implement a response strategy to the findings, which included a short facility shut-down, disclosures to federal and state authorities, and extended compliance negotiations. All matters were resolved without the imposition of any penalties.
- We assisted a glass manufacturing company permit a new facility in upstate New York. Opponents brought lawsuits challenging the permit in New York state court, federal district court and at EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board and sought to halt construction. We succeeded in having all suits dismissed without any delay in construction of the facility.
- We represented a petroleum refinery in response to a citizen suit threat regarding flaring of certain waste gases. First, we settled a case with the State of Delaware regarding the same allegations. When the citizens sued, we successfully moved to dismiss their case.
- We represent the industry association for the major North American airlines with respect to international and potential domestic requirements for CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. Our attorneys have participated in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process and engaged in working groups and negotiations within the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations body charged with setting emission standards for international aviation, the European Commission and United States federal and state agencies to minimize the impact of climate change policy on the airlines. Our attorneys were credited as significant contributors to the defeat of proposals within ICAO to levy greenhouse gas charges on the airlines.
- We have helped numerous companies prepare Title V operating permit applications and negotiate their terms since the inception of the Title V Program. We have helped companies prepare semi-annual deviation reports and annual compliance certifications. Finally, we have both appealed and defended several Title V permits in state administrative proceedings.
- We have substantial experience with federal and state requirements for all fuels, including conventional, reformulated, and alternative fuels and fuel additive products. We regularly assist companies with all aspects of the production, refining, distribution and importation of fuel products in U.S. markets, including compliance with CAA registration and reporting requirements, and we offer extensive experience in related environmental permitting and land-use issues. Our work in this area also includes assessment of the impacts of current legislative and regulatory initiatives affecting biofuels, including recently enacted changes to the federal Renewable Fuel Standard that incorporate new land cultivation limitations for biofuel feedstocks, as well as greenhouse gas lifecycle requirements for all new renewable fuels.