honors + affiliations
Member, American Bar Association
Member, EPA's National Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (1995–2005)
Co-Chair, EPA's National Clean Air Act Subcommittee for Air Toxics, Permits and Enforcement (1997–2005)
Member, North Carolina Law Review, University of North Carolina Law School
Member, Order of the Coif
Listed, Who's Who in America
Listed, Who's Who in American Law
Listed, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2003–2012)
Listed, Who's Who Legal: USA: Environment (2005–2010)
Listed, The Best Lawyers in America (2007–2011)
Listed, Washington D.C. Super Lawyers (2007–2010)
Listed, The BTI Client Service All-Star Team (2008)
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Supreme Court
- D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Sixth and Seventh Circuits
- Washington, D.C.
1111 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004-2541
William H. Lewis, Jr. is senior counsel in Morgan Lewis's Environmental Practice. From 1984 to 2004, he was a partner in the firm. Mr. Lewis has more than 30 years experience dealing with federal and state clean air issues, and is leader of the firm's clean air practice. For the past 20 years, his practice has focused almost exclusively on issues related to implementation of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. In the 1980s, he provided advice under the clean air, clean water, toxic substances, and hazardous waste statutes.
Since 1981, Mr. Lewis has represented a broad range of corporate and trade association clients. He represents clients on clean air issues in appellate litigation, rulemaking proceedings, enforcement actions, new source review and Title V permitting matters, and compliance counseling.
Some of the significant regulatory and litigation matters Mr. Lewis has handled are described at the end of this biographical sketch.
Mr. Lewis is counsel to the Clean Air Implementation Project, an organization of major corporations he co-founded in 1991 to address EPA rulemakings and guidance that will affect a broad cross-section of American industry. CAIP has challenged numerous EPA rulemakings in the D.C. Circuit. Since founding the Clean Air Act Information Network in 1995, he has acted as counsel to this organization of corporate and law firm members.
Mr. Lewis has written many articles on environmental and related constitutional issues that have been published in various journals, newspapers and magazines.
From 1978 to 1981, Mr. Lewis was Director of the congressionally-established National Commission on Air Quality. Prior to that, he was Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board. Before joining the State Board, Mr. Lewis was a corporate and securities lawyer in a Los Angeles law firm and, while on a leave of absence from that firm, served as deputy campaign coordinator for a state-wide gubernatorial campaign. In the 1990's, Mr. Lewis taught a course on the Clean Air Act at the University of Virginia Law School.
Mr. Lewis served as a board member for more than ten years and as President of the Board from 1987 to 1991 of FLOC (For Love of Children). He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Virginia chapter of The Nature Conservancy.
Mr. Lewis was a founding director in 1998 of the Montpelier Foundation, which manages the operations of James Madison's historic home. He served as Chairman of the Board of the Foundation from 1998 to 2006. He is currently Chairman Emeritus and a member of the Board. Since 2000, the Foundation has undertaken the full restoration of Madison's home; the construction of a new Visitor Center/museum complex; the establishment of a Center for the Constitution and a surrounding campus for education of teachers, state Supreme Court justices and others about the U.S. Constitution; and the opening of an emancipated Madison slave's home on the property. After Mr. Lewis concluded his service as Chairman, the new academic building for the Center for the Constitution was named in honor of him and his wife—"William and Peyton Lewis Hall."
Mr. Lewis and his colleagues have represented clients in four industries in defending against enforcement actions in which the EPA alleged major violations of the new source review permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act. These representations have included providing advice and assistance to groups of companies in two targeted industries and to many facilities in four industries in defending against investigations and enforcement actions. He is currently representing the facilities of two companies that are the target of EPA's NSR enforcement initiative.
Highlights of Mr. Lewis's litigation experience:
In 1984-1985, Mr. Lewis represented a multi-state business organization in connection with successfully defending against the third challenge to the Federal Highway Administration's approval of the "Blue Route" transportation project, outside Philadelphia, under section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act. In two prior challenges, the court had overturned the FHWA's approval of the project. Based on the argument Mr. Lewis developed, the court found that the plaintiffs had not presented evidence to support a substantive challenge and their procedural challenges were without merit, which led to completion of this highway.
In 1985, Mr. Lewis represented Rollins Environmental Services in a Fifth Circuit appeal of a federal district court ruling on Rollins' challenge of an ordinance of the Parish of St. James, Louisiana that blocked the operation of its local disposal facility. The district court had ruled in response to Rollins' motion for a preliminary injunction that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the challenge under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Mr. Lewis convinced the appellate court that the lower court not only had jurisdiction, but that the Fifth Circuit should issue a decision on the merits and, in a landmark decision, rule that the ordinance was expressly preempted under the federal statute.
In 1987, Mr. Lewis filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court in connection with an appeal of an award of civil penalties to a citizen group under the Clean Water Act, arguing that the citizen suit authority for civil penalties is a violation of the separation of powers doctrine. The court set aside the lower court decision on the grounds that the statute did not confer jurisdiction to bring actions for "wholly past violations."
Mr. Lewis successfully represented the American Petroleum Institute (API) beginning in 1992 and continuing over several years as an intervenor in cases in New York and Massachusetts which involved the issue of whether states adopting California car standards must also adopt California clean fuel requirements. This litigation resulted in seven court decisions. Mr. Lewis participated in the briefing and oral argument on the two issues of concern to API.
Since 1992, Mr. Lewis has represented the lead industry petitioner, Clean Air Implementation Project, in connection with the multiple challenges to EPA's Title V operating permit regulations. He has acted as a principal spokesperson for industry in connection with stakeholder settlement discussions that were ongoing intermittently through the 1990s.
Mr. Lewis represented the Chemical Manufacturers Association in its 1995 D.C. Circuit challenge to the EPA's longstanding requirement under the "potential to emit" (PTE) definition that controls must be federally enforceable to be considered in determining whether a source's emissions exceed Clean Air Act applicability thresholds. In that case, the Court rendered a decision invalidating that requirement under section 112. Following that, he filed a Motion for Summary Vacatur of the PTE definition under the Title V rule. The D.C. Circuit then set aside the federal enforceability requirement under that program's PTE definition as well.
Since the early 1990s, Mr. Lewis has represented various industry trade associations in connection with numerous other D.C. Circuit challenges to EPA Clean Air Act rulemakings, both as petitioner and intervenor. Among these are the New Source Review litigation in which he represented ten national trade associations.
- University of North Carolina School of Law, 1969, J.D.
- University of North Carolina, 1965, A.B.