Described as “absolutely one of the leaders in the field,” by Chambers USA, 2016, F. William Brownell is highly sought for his consummate understanding of environmental law.
Bill has been lead counsel for some of the most important and precedent-setting environmental law cases of his time, including regulatory challenges on greenhouse gases, air toxics regulation and cost/benefit analysis.
Bill and his team litigate environmental cases before the US Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court, manage proceedings before federal and state agencies and courts, and speak regularly before Congress. He also represents clients before State Attorneys General around the country.
Beginning his legal career shortly after the enactment of the Clean Air Act, Bill has been on the forefront of every critical Clean Air regulatory proceeding facing the energy sector since then.
He partners with Fortune 500 clients to promote sound regulation, to challenge regulatory overreach, and to build dynamic strategies for their future growth and success. Bill and his environmental team, represent trade associations, energy and manufacturing clients, and States and municipalities.
Bill is recognized for his groundbreaking work in environmental law related to litigation, regulation and counseling, and assists clients with matters relating to environmental regulation and litigation, climate change law, clean air regulation, environmental licensing and auditing, and waste management and clean water issues.
Colleagues in other law firms consult Bill for advice on case strategy and legal analysis. According to Law360, 2010, he is widely regarded as one of the most admired attorneys in the environmental legal community not only by clients, but by his peers.
Bill has chaired the firm’s executive committee, and is former head of its administrative law and environmental practice groups.
- Serves as lead counsel in significant appellate cases challenging and defending EPA and other rulemaking, including DC Circuit challenges to EPA’s greenhouse gas rules, Clean Air Act New Source Review rules, revised air quality standards, and other regulations.
- Defends companies in citizen suits brought under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
- 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.
- Defends companies in suits seeking damages and injunctive relief for emissions of greenhouse gases.
- Defends companies in environmental nuisance litigation.
- 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.
- JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 1978
- MS, Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, 1978
- BS, Georgetown University, 1974
- District of Columbia
- Member, bars of the US Supreme Court, US Courts of Appeals for the DC, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits and various district courts
- Board Chair, National Park Trust
- Member, Executive Committee, National Coal Council
- Member, Environmental Law Advisory Committee, National Chamber Litigation Center, US Chamber of Commerce
- Member, American College of Environmental Lawyers
- Member, Litigation Counsel of America
- Member, American Bar Association
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