Utilizing his prior experience as a professional engineer and more than 20 years of legal experience, Makram brings a balanced approach to counseling and defending clients under federal environmental laws.
Makram’s practice focuses primarily, though not exclusively, on the Clean Air Act. He regularly partners with clients to help them obtain and defend permits, defend enforcement actions, and represent their interests in rulemaking proceedings and related Court of Appeals litigation under the Clean Air Act. While involved in matters that run the gamut of Clean Air Act programs, he has deep experience in 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–in the power sector, oil and gas, and 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, to defend enforcement actions for existing facilities.
Clients look to Makram to guide them through cross-cutting issues and to find durable solutions to the complex problems they face. Serving as lead counsel, he successfully defended a utility industry client in appellate litigation in an interdisciplinary case involving the intersection of the Clean Air Act’s regional haze program and the Endangered Species Act.
Makram defended a Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen suit alleging unauthorized discharges to surface water and groundwater from coal ash basins at a large electric generating company’s facilities. He has also counseled a hazardous waste recycling facility on compliance with hazardous waste laws, and he has defended clients under the Superfund law.
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. Prior to embarking on a career in law, he practiced as a licensed Professional Engineer.
Advise 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 two Arizona gas-fired power plants before EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board.
Advise companies on compliance with environmental law requirements, including compliance with the New Source Review and Hazardous Air Pollutant programs under the Clean Air Act.
Representation of a coalition of industry organizations in submitting a novel petition to delist the combustion turbine source category from regulation under the hazardous air pollutants program (Section 112) of the Clean Air Act.
Defense of companies in EPA enforcement actions and citizen suits, including the Clean Air Act New Source Review enforcement initiative since its inception in 1999.
Representation of companies in settlement negotiations of enforcement actions under New Source Review and other Clean Air Act programs.
Advise companies on responding to EPA investigations, including extensive information requests and a testing order under Section 114 of the Clean Air Act.
Representation of utility and other industry organizations in rulemakings under the Clean Air Act and in associated litigation in the United States Courts of Appeals.
Representation of large electricity generator in the defense of a CWA citizen suit alleging unauthorized discharges to surface water and groundwater from CCR units at a company facility.
Defense of 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.
Representation of 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.
Advise owner/operator of hazardous waste recycling facility on compliance issues under RCRA and state analogs.
Assist in post-closure due diligence for the privatization of the refineries and oil installations of the Kingdom of Morocco.
First Honor Graduate, Order of the Coif, Executive Articles Editor, Emory Law Journal, 1996
Member, American Society of Civil Engineers
Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America, Litigation – Environmental, 2010-2022
Selected for inclusion in “Legal 500 United States,” Environment: Litigation, 2018-2019, 2021; Environment: Transactional, 2019; Environment: Regulatory, 2021
Selected for inclusion in America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Environment, North Carolina, Chambers USA, 2021
Selected for inclusion in "500 Leading U.S. Environmental & Energy Lawyers" list, Lawdragon, 2021
Recognized as a leader for Environmental Law, Who’s Who Legal, 2021
Named a Client Service "All Star," BTI Consulting, 2020
Selected as a Super Lawyer for Environmental Law, Washington DC Super Lawyers magazine, 2013-2019
McGuireWoods Achieves Top Rankings in Chambers USA’s 2021 Leading Lawyers Guide
May 21, 2021
Lawdragon Names Six McGuireWoods Partners "Leading Environmental & Energy Lawyers"
April 2, 2021
Nine McGuireWoods Partners Named to Elite List of BTI Client Service All-Stars
December 14, 2020