F. William Brownell

  • Washington, DC

Bill’s practice focuses on environmental litigation, regulation and counseling.

Bill is chairman of the firm’s executive committee, and former head of its administrative law and environmental practice groups. His practice focuses on environmental litigation, regulation and counseling, including climate change regulation and litigation, clean air regulation, environmental licensing and auditing, and waste management and clean water issues. Bill and his team represent clients in both the United States and Europe. In the United States, his practice involves proceedings before federal and state agencies, courts and Congress; in Europe, it involves advice on European Community law.

Bill is a member of the American Bar Association and is AV® Peer Review Rated in Martindale-Hubbell. He is admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court and the US Courts of Appeals for the DC, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits.

Relevant Experience

  • Defends companies in suits seeking damages and injunctive relief for emissions of greenhouse gases. Representative cases include Little v. LGE, No. 14-508 (6th Cir.); Am. Elec. Power Co., Inc. v. Connecticut, 131 S. Ct. 2527 (2011); Comer v. Murphy Oil USA, 607 F.3d 1049 (5th Cir. 2010); and Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp., 696 F.3d 849 (9th Cir. 2012).
  • Defends companies in environmental nuisance litigation. Representative cases include North Carolina v. Tennessee Valley Auth., 615 F.3d 291 (2010).
  • Serves as lead counsel in significant appellate cases challenging EPA and other rulemaking, including DC Circuit challenges to EPA’s Clean Air Act New Source Review rules, revised air quality standards, and other regulations. Representative cases include Michigan v. EPA; Nos. 14-46, et al. (US Supreme Court); UARG v. EPA, Nos. 12-1146, et al. (US Supreme Court, argued February 24, 2014); EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, 134 S.Ct. 1584 (2014); Mississippi v. EPA, No. 08-1200, 2013 WL 6486930 (DC Cir. July 23, 2013, reissued Dec. 11, 2013); New York v. EPA, No. 06-1148 (DC Cir. Sept. 4, 2009) (order granting unopposed motion for voluntary remand without vacatur); New York v. EPA, 443 F.3d 880 (DC Cir. 2006); New York v. US EPA, 413 F.3d 3 (DC Cir. 2005); and Whitman v. Am. Trucking Ass’ns, 531 US 457 (2001), on remand, 283 F.3d 355 (DC Cir. 2002).
  • Defends companies in EPA enforcement actions, including the Clean Air Act New Source Review enforcement initiative. Provides advice on responding to administrative orders, subpoenas and inspections. Representative cases include US v. DTE Energy, 711 F.3d 643 (6th Cir. 2013); United States v. Duke Energy Corp., 278 F. Supp. 2d 619 (M.D.N.C. 2003), aff’d on other grounds, 411 F.3d 539 (4th Cir. 2005), vacated by Environmental Defense v. Duke Energy Corp., 549 US 561 (2007); and Tennessee Valley Auth. v. US EPA, 278 F.3d 1184 (11th Cir. 2002), withdrawn in part, Tennessee Valley Auth. v. Whitman, 336 F.3d 1236 (11th Cir. 2003).
  • Advises companies on Clean Air Act permitting and compliance issues, and represents companies in related litigation.
  • Advises companies on national and international environmental compliance programs.
  • Advises companies on environmental management, disclosure and compliance issues, including issues related to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Represents companies in rulemakings addressing environmental and natural resource issues.
  • Provides counsel on protection of confidential business information and trade secrets, and on Freedom of Information Act issues and litigation.