William C.B. Underwood


William C.B. Underwood

With more than twenty years of experience in federal, state, and local air quality laws and in representing clients across the U.S. from a variety of industries, Bill is uniquely skilled at providing effective counsel and working toward solutions that best serve his client’s specific needs.  Bill is dedicated to helping clients understand their compliance obligations under the myriad of air quality programs, regulations, and agency guidance so that such obligations can be managed as effectively and efficiently as possible.  Given the multi-disciplinary nature of air quality matters, Bill often serves as a catalyst for creating a team approach to problem solving by working closely with management, technical and operational personnel, consultants, and regulators to achieve favorable results for his clients.

A hallmark of Bill’s practice is assisting clients obtain air quality permits or permit revisions to authorize new facilities or changes at existing facilities in a timely manner.  Bill helps clients identify applicable requirements, prepare applications, and negotiate with permitting authorities to establish permit terms that clearly and accurately reflect underlying legal obligations, impose conditions that are least burdensome as possible, and provide necessary operational flexibility.  He also regularly assists clients in developing systems that ensure compliance after permit issuance, as well as with the preparation of compliance certification, monitoring, and other reports required by the permit.

While Bill counsels clients to take a proactive approach to air quality regulatory compliance, even the most well-managed facilities can experience problems.  When problems occur, Bill counsels clients in taking appropriate corrective action and providing applicable notifications to regulators.  Moreover, Bill has substantial experience assisting clients in responding to agency requests for information, notices of violations, and enforcement actions. With his keen insight, Bill has helped clients successfully resolve compliance issues and, when necessary, negotiate orders or other settlement agreements with enforcement authorities.

Representative Experience

  • Representing major industrial, manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, and utility clients in obtaining county, state, and federal air quality permits, including Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD), Nonattainment Area New Source Review (NSR), and Title V operating permits.
  • Conducting environmental compliance audits at major industrial, manufacturing, and mining facilities and assisting clients obtain protections afforded under state and federal self-disclosure, audit privilege, and immunity provisions.
  • Counseling major industrial, manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, rock products, and utility clients on compliance with county, state, and federal air quality regulations, including New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), Regional Haze, Accidental Release Prevention, Stratospheric Ozone Protection, and Asbestos.
  • Assisting major industrial, manufacturing, and mining clients with the development of environmental management systems and compliance management strategies.
  • Defending major industrial, manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, rock products, and utility clients against county, state, and federal enforcement actions alleging violations of air quality regulations and permit conditions.
  • Representing industry and trade group organizations in county, state, and federal rulemaking and legislative actions, including comprehensive revisions to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality NSR permitting rules.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Arizona, 1997
  • Texas (pending)
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1998

Associations & Memberships

  • State Bar of Arizona, Member
  • State Bar of Arizona, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section, Member
  • Maricopa County Bar Association, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section, Member
  • Arizona State University, Center for Environmental Studies, Past Adjunct Faculty
  • Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Air Quality Subcommittee, Member
  • Arizona Mining Association, Air Quality Subcommittee, Member