Administrative Law

Overview

Within the regulatory process, litigation often becomes necessary when a rulemaking or other final agency action is unlawful or unreasonable, or when a client must defend itself against an ill-founded or overreaching enforcement action.

Consistent with the Firm's broad substantive experience, we litigate regulatory issues under every federal statutory scheme in the environmental area including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act , the Safe Drinking Water Act, RCRA, CERCLA, NEPA, the Endangered Species Act, FIFRA, EPCRA, TSCA and the Section 404 Wetlands Permit program.

Our most frequent forum for litigating agency rules is the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. However, we have pursued challenges to agency action in every federal circuit and in federal district courts throughout the country. Litigation involving enforcement defense may also occur in any part of the country; we handle such matters for our clients in federal district courts and their state counterparts across the United States.

Full Description

Environmental regulation at the federal and state level now extends to all sectors of the economy, touching every aspect of American business. Working with our clients, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. advocates regulatory approaches that are environmentally responsible, technically feasible and economically reasonable.

Our efforts typically involve participation in the regulatory process through stakeholder groups, workshops, public hearings and written comments on rulemakings. However, it often becomes necessary to pursue litigation when rulemakings or other final agency action prove to be unlawful or unreasonable.

We have challenged rules under nearly every federal environmental statute including the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), the CWA Section 404 Permit program and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Most of these actions have been challenges to major rulemakings in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. However, we have also pursued challenges to agency action in each of the other federal Circuit Courts in the United States and in numerous federal district courts. These actions have targeted not only rulemakings, but also all other forms of final agency action, such as permits, NEPA determinations and FIFRA registrations.

We also litigate on behalf of our clients who are the subject of an enforcement action by federal or state regulatory authorities. Drawing upon the same understanding of legal, technical and scientific issues that we successfully employ in the rulemaking arena, we defend against unreasonable or overreaching enforcement actions aggressively and effectively. Often such actions can be resolved without penalties or unreasonable remedial actions through administrative or judicially approved settlements. Where appropriate, we will negotiate resolutions that will serve the best interests of our clients and the public. The Firm has a distinguished record in achieving tailored settlements that accommodate the particular business needs and objectives of its clients.

As a complement to its federal regulatory litigation portfolio, Beveridge & Diamond also regularly pursues administrative challenges to rulemakings and other final agency actions under state environmental programs, including permit appeals and enforcement actions.

Finally, the Firm regularly pursues administrative appeals before U.S. EPA's Environmental Appeals Board and prepares petitions and pursues administrative appeals within the Agency pursuant to the Information Quality Act.

Representative Matters
Representative Matters
  • In a landmark decision, we brought a successful rulemaking challenge that, for the first time, compelled EPA to use the best available science in setting risk-based human health standards. Chlorine Chemistry Council v. EPA , 206 F.3d 1286 (D.C. Cir. 2000).
  • We brought a successful challenge to EPA's regulatory definition of solid waste promulgated under RCRA as part of its Land Disposal Restriction Rule. Association of Battery Recyclers v. EPA , 208 F.3d 1047 (D.C. Cir. 2000).
  • We intervened to defeat a challenge to Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) emission limits for medical waste incinerators that, if successful, would have been used by environmental petitioners to argue for unreasonably stringent standards across a wide range of industries. Sierra Club v. EPA , 167 F.3d 658 (D.C. Cir. 1999).
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