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Fifth Circuit Holds that Dallas Taxicab Rule is Not Preempted by the Clean Air Act

On June 13, 2013, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion upholding a 2010 Dallas city ordinance that allows taxi cabs powered by compressed natural gas ("CNG") to have priority over gasoline-powered taxi cabs in lines for passengers at Dallas’ Love Field airport.

The Association of Taxicab Owners, which represents gasoline-powered taxis in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, challenged the ordinance on the basis that it was preempted by the federal Clean Air Act, as it constituted a backdoor manner of regulating new vehicle emissions. A three judge panel of the Fifth Circuit upheld the ordinance, finding that it did not impose emissions controls either directly or through its indirect effects, as it did not create a mandatory standard compelling the conversion of taxi cabs to CNG and taxi cabs had alternative available methods to recover any losses derived from losing a place in line at Love Field.

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Edward Grauman, Environmental Lawyer, Beveridge & Diamond Law Firm
Principal

Edward M. Grauman’s practice focuses on high-stakes, complex commercial and environmental litigation at both the trial and appellate levels. He works with clients across a wide spectrum of industries, including chemicals, consumer products, financial services, high tech, insurance, media, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, security services, and telecommunications. His experience across industries and subject-matter areas gives him a deep understanding of the business considerations involved in large-scale disputes and enables him to provide clients with sound strategic...

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Karen Hansen, Environmental Lawyer, Beveridge & Diamond Law Firm
Principal

Karen M. Hansen’s environmental law practice focuses on the Clean Water Act and state programs for regulating and permitting water discharges and water supply/use.  She has extensive experience assisting industrial and municipal clients in preparing strategies for and pursuing water permits for ongoing operations, expansions and new operations, including permit challenges. Ms. Hansen also represents clients that must defend CWA and state water law enforcement actions, including claims pursued by governmental as well as third party entities. She recently led a multi-year, complex negotiation of a consent decree for the San Antonio Water System, which was targeted for sewer overflow reductions under EPA's national "wet weather" enforcement initiative. Ms. Hansen advises clients on business strategies related to increasing water scarcity, and counsels clients on emerging trends in water quality programs, including initiatives such as watershed-based permitting, TMDLs, trading and allocation, and land-based impacts on coastal and ocean resources.  She also has extensive experience assisting clients with conducting compliance audits and managing related disclosures, and with developing and implementing management systems for environmental compliance.

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Madeleine Boyer Kadas, Environmental Lawyer, Beveridge & Diamond Law Firm
Principal

Maddie Kadas brings over twenty years of experience advising multinational corporations on U.S. and international environmental matters. She founded the Firm’s Austin, TX office and served as its first Managing Shareholder.

Maddie represents clients on a variety of regulatory and enforcement matters under U.S. and Texas environmental laws, with a focus on air and waste issues affecting the chemical manufacturing and petroleum refining sectors. Fluent in Spanish, Maddie assists industrial sector clients on the full range of environmental, health...

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Laura LaValle, Environmental Lawyer, Beveridge & Diamond Law Firm
Principal

Laura LaValle is the Managing Principal and a founder of Beveridge & Diamond’s Texas office, and is Co-Chair of the Firm’s Air Practice Group.  Her practice has focused on Clean Air Act matters for the past eighteen years.  Ms. LaValle’s air quality experience includes advising and representing entities on a broad range of permitting, compliance, and policy issues.  She has represented chemical manufacturing operations, electric utilities, petroleum refineries, municipal solid waste landfills, steel manufacturing facilities, mining operations, municipal waste combustors, trade...

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Bryan Moore, Environmental Lawyer,  Beveridge & Diamond Law Firm
Principal

Bryan helps industrial, commercial, and oil and gas industry clients navigate and resolve contested environmental permitting proceedings, compliance audits, enforcement actions, and litigation so they can construct, operate, and expand their facilities. 

Whether in the substantive area of waste, water, or air regulation, Bryan provides comprehensive representation and strategic counseling from the agency rulemaking and permitting process to the administrative hearing and, ultimately, before the court to which an appeal may be taken.  Bryan...

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