Makram is the co-leader of McGuireWoods’ Environmental Enforcement & Regulatory Counseling practice group. Utilizing his prior experience as a professional engineer and more than 20 years of legal experience, he 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.
Emory University School of LawJD
First Honor Graduate, Order of the Coif, Executive Articles Editor, Emory Law Journal1996
- University of California BerkeleyPhDGeotechnical Engineering1989
- University of California BerkeleyMSGeotechnical Engineering1985
- American University of BeirutBS1984
Member, American Society of Civil Engineers
- Panelist, "The Supreme Court’s Energy Docket: Where It Has Been, and Where It Is Going", 2023 EBA Mid-Year Energy Forum, October 11, 2023
- Speaker, "New Source Review Reform (Redux)", Energy, Utility and Environment Conference (EUEC), San Diego, CA, March 2019
- Speaker, "The Utility New Source Review Enforcement Initiative—One Last Update?", Energy, Utility and Environment Conference (EUEC), San Diego, CA, March 2018
- Speaker, "The NSR Enforcement Initiative: More than a Decade Old and it Keeps Going and Going", Energy, Utility and Environment Conference (EUEC), Phoenix, AZ and San Diego, CA, 2012-2017
- Hon. Stanley F. Birch III, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, 1996-1997
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit
Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America, Environmental Law, Litigation – Environmental, 2024, Woodward/White, Inc.
Selected for inclusion in “Legal 500 United States,” Environment: Litigation, 2018-2019, 2021-2023; Environment: Transactional, 2019; Environment: Regulatory, 2021-2023
Selected for inclusion in America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Environment, District of Columbia, Chambers USA, 2021, 2022, 2023
Named to “Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers,” Environmental Law, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2013-2020, 2022, 2023
Selected for inclusion in “Lawdragon Green 500: Leading Environmental Lawyers,” Lawdragon, 2023
Recognized as a leader for Environmental Law, Who’s Who Legal, 2021, 2022
Selected for inclusion in “500 Leading U.S. Environmental & Energy Lawyers” list, Lawdragon, 2021
Named a Client Service “All Star,” BTI Consulting, 2020
- Quoted, "‘Barrage’ of Air Emission Rules to Bring Challenges for Industry", Bloomberg Law, April 13, 2022
- Author, Data Centers Still Critical in 2022 for Infrastructure, Environmental and Policy Developments, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, February 22, 2022
- Quoted, DOJ’s New Enviro Cases Down Nearly A Third, Law360, July 18, 2019
- Author, NSR Enforcement Litigation: What You Need to Know, Natural Gas & Electricity, September 2018