Balanced in his approach, Makram is respected by clients and adversaries alike. Makram counsels and defends clients in Clean Air Act matters, drawing upon his experience as an environmental lawyer for the last 20 years and as a practicing professional engineer before that.

In addition to counseling clients on meeting their obligations under the Clean Air Act, Makram helps them obtain and defend permits, defends them in enforcement actions, and represents them in rulemaking proceedings and related Court of Appeals litigation. While he has been involved in matters that run the gamut of Clean Air Act programs, he has focused primarily on the New Source Review (NSR) program and Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs).

Makram has represented companies in numerous enforcement cases and settlements under the NSR enforcement initiative since its inception in 1999. Clients from a variety of industries from the power sector to manufacturing rely on his in-depth knowledge of the NSR program to obtain and defend permits for new and expanded facilities, to counsel them on compliance and, if necessary, defend enforcement actions for existing facilities.

Makram was lead counsel in appellate litigation in an interdisciplinary case involving the intersection of the Clean Air Act’s regional haze program and the Endangered Species Act. He successfully defended his utility sector client. He continues to work on behalf of clients on cross-cutting issues and to find durable solutions to the complex problems they face.

From 1996 to 1997, Makram served as a law clerk in the chambers of Hon. Stanley F. Birch, US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, Georgia. He is admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court, the US Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Tenth, Eleventh, and DC Circuits, the US District Court for the District of Columbia and the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Prior to embarking on a career in law, Makram practiced as a licensed Professional Engineer.

Relevant Experience

  • Advises companies on Clean Air Act permitting for new facilities and expansion of existing facilities. Representative cases include successfully defending New Source Review permits for proposed Illinois facility before the United States Court of Appeals and for proposed expansion of Arizona gas-fired power plant before EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board.
  • Advises companies on compliance with environmental law requirements, including ongoing compliance with the New Source Review and hazardous air pollutant programs under the Clean Air Act.
  • Defends companies in EPA enforcement actions and citizen suits, including the Clean Air Act New Source Review enforcement initiative since its inception in 1999.
  • Represents companies in settlement negotiations of enforcement actions under New Source Review and other Clean Air Act programs.
  • Advises companies on responding to EPA investigations, including extensive information requests and a testing order under Section 114 of the Clean Air Act.
  • Represents utility and other industry organizations in rulemakings under the Clean Air Act and in associated litigation in the United States Courts of Appeals.
  • Defends companies in environmental nuisance litigation. Representative case includes North Carolina v. Tennessee Valley Auth., 615 F.3D 291 (4th Cir 2010), in which the court reversed the lower court’s judgment and injunction against the utility defendant.
  • Represented company in successfully defending source-specific regional haze rule before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. The court agreed with the company that EPA need not seek consultation under the Endangered Species Act for this Clean Air Act rule.
  • Advised owner/operator of hazardous waste recycling facility on compliance issues under RCRA and state analogs.
  • Assisted in post-closure due diligence for the privatization of the refineries and oil installations of the Kingdom of Morocco.


  • Member, American Society of Civil Engineers

Awards & Recognition

  • 2017 Chambers USA Environment Law Firm of the Year
  • Selected as a Best Lawyer and for Environmental Litigation Law (2011), Washington DC, 2010-2016. A description of the selection methodology can be found on Best Lawyers’ webpage.
  • Selected as a Super Lawyer for Environmental Law, Washington DC Super Lawyers magazine, 2013-2017. A description of the selection methodology can be found on Super Lawyers’ webpage.