P. STEPHEN GIDIERE III is a partner in the firm’s Environmental and Natural Resources Section and Environmental Litigation Practice Group. His experience and practice cover a wide variety of environmental, natural resources and administrative law topics.
Mr. Gidiere has significant experience litigating civil matters against the federal government and non-governmental organizations in administrative hearings and trial and appellate courts. He represents businesses, local governments, and trade associations in environmental litigation, including enforcement actions, under federal environmental statutes like the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act, and also in challenges to agency administrative action under those laws.
Clean Air Act (CAA)
Mr. Gidiere specializes in litigation under the Clean Air Act. This includes defense of enforcement actions filed by the government and private parties, and also challenges to EPA rulemakings and actions on State Implementation Plans (SIPs). Some of his representative cases under the Clean Air Act include:
Luminant Generation et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
No. 10-60891 (5th Cir. March 26, 2012) - Represented electric generating company in successfully obtaining vacatur and remand of EPA disapproval of Texas SIP revision related to pollution control projects. [Opening Brief] [Decision]
Luminant Generation et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
, No. 11-60158 (5th Cir. Oct. 24, 2012) - Represented electric generating company in successfully obtaining vacatur and remand of EPA disapproval of Texas SIP revision related to permitting of electric generating facilities. [Opening Brief] [Decision]
Sierra Club v. Energy Future Holdings et al., No. 6:12-cv-108 (W.D. Tex.); No. 5:10-cv-156 (E.D. Tex.) – Representing major electric generating company in Clean Air Act citizen suits alleging opacity and particulate matter violations at coal-fueled power plant.
Environmental Defense v. Duke Energy Corp.
, 127 S. Ct. 1423 (2007) – Counsel of record for electric utility industry as amici curiae
in review of Clean Air Act enforcement action. [Amicus Brief
Leavitt v. TVA
, 541 U.S. 1030 (2004) – Successfully opposed a petition for writ of certiorari filed by the United States Department of Justice in a Clean Air Act enforcement case. [Brief in Opposition to Cert]
State of West Virginia v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 362 F.3d 861 (D.C. Cir. 2004) – Represented major utility in challenge to EPA rulemaking on NOx emissions.
EME Homer City Gen. et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 11-1302 (D.C. Cir.) – Part of team representing major Texas generating company in overturning EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. [Decision]
- Luminant Generation et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 10-60934 (5th Cir.) – Representing major generating company in challenge to EPA disapproval of SIP revision providing affirmative defenses for excess emissions during startup, shutdown and maintenance.
United States v. Alabama Power Co., 2011 WL 1158037 (N.D. Ala. March 14, 2011); 681 F.Supp. 3d 1292 (N.D. Ala. 2008); 372 F. Supp. 2d 1283 (N.D. Ala. 2005) –Obtained judgment in favor of major electric utility in federal environmental enforcement case involving compliance with the New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act.
McAbee v. Earthgrains, No. 4:03-CV-00070 (N.D. Ala. 2003) – Obtained dismissal of Clean Air Act citizen suit against bakery.
Sierra Club v. Tennessee Valley Authority
, No. 04-15324-HH (11th Cir. 2005) - Represented business associations as amici curiae
in request for rehearing in Clean Air Act citizen suit involving "credible evidence rule" and alleged opacity violations. [Amici Brief]
National Parks Conservation Association v. Tennessee Valley Authority
, 502 F.3d 1316 (11th Cir. 2007) - Represented electric utility as amicus curiae
supporting affirmance of dismissal of Clean Air Act citizen suit. [Amicus Brief
] [Brief in Opposition to Cert]
Clean Water Act (CWA)
Mr. Gidiere also represents businesses and individuals in litigation under the Clean Water Act. This includes defending NPDES permits and water quality certifications issues under the Clean Water Act and defending enforcement actions by NGOs seeking civil penalties. Some of his representative cases include:
Alabama Rivers Alliance v. Alabama Department of Environmental Management
, EMC Docket No. 05-14 (2006) -- Represented intervenor in obtaining summary judgment in administrative appeal of Clean Water Act Section 401 water quality certification issued for nine FERC-licensed hydropower projects. [Decision]
Alabama Rivers Alliance v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 325 F.3d 290 (D.C. Cir. 2003) – Represented electric utility as intervenor in dispute over applicability of Clean Water Act Section 401.
Donald Stewart et al. v. Alabama Department of Environmental Management, 03-CV-2007-900475 (Mont.Cty.Cir.Ct.) - Successfully represented landowners in declaratory and injunctive action under Alabama Administrative Procedure Act resulting in consent decree with state environmental agencies requiring Clean Water Act permitting for multi-family development project on Lake Martin.
Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Inc., et al. v. Alabama Department of Environmental Management & MCoal Corp.,
EMC Docket No. 10-04 (June 25, 2010) (successfully defended ADEM's issuance of a Clean Water Act NPDES permit to a surface coal mining operation following a week-long administrative evidentiary hearing) [Opinion
Tennessee Riverkeeper v. Hope Coal; No. 2:10-cv-03515 (N.D. Ala.) – Successfully obtained dismissal of Clean Water Act citizen suit seeking civil penalties at alabama coal mine. [Order of Dismissal]
Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Inc. v. Black Warrior Minerals, No. 78:11-cv-03307 (N.D. Ala.) - Defending citizen suit seeking penalties at Alabama coal mine.
Endangered Species Act (ESA)
Mr. Gidiere also represents clients on matters involving federal and state natural resource and wildlife agencies, including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural resources. He negotiates conservation agreements under the endangered Species Act (ESA) that allow development projects to move forward. He also assists clients whose activities are the subject of consultation under Section 7 of the ESA and develops grant applications for federal funds to assist private entities in undertaking voluntary conservation efforts to benefit listed species. He assists clients in obtaining permits and certifications under the ESA, the Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air act (CAA), and in negotiating penalty orders under those statutes. Some of his representative ESA cases include:
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Mr. Gidiere is a nationally-recognized expert in the area of open government and freedom of information laws. He is the author of The Federal Information Manual (ABA 2006), a comprehensive book on this subject published by the American Bar Association. The book explains how to litigate claims against the federal government for access to records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other statutes and how to protect sensitive records submitted to the government. Mr. Gidiere frequently publishes articles and opinion pieces on current and emerging government information topics. Some of his representative FOIA and Privacy Act cases include:
Prior to joining Balch & Bingham LLP, Gidiere served as an attorney-advisor with the United States Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., where he served as counsel to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the Office of Surface Mining. He also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Emmett R. Cox of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2011-Present
- The University of Alabama School of Law, J.D., 1996, Order of the Coif; Alabama Law Review; Hugo Black Scholar; M. Leigh Harrison Award; summa cum laude.
- University of the South, B.S., 1993, Valedictorian; Phi Beta Kappa; summa cum laude.
Bloomberg: Balch Attorney on Team Successfully Overturning EPA’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule (Aug. 22, 2012)
Corporations Denied Personal Privacy Rights, Robert Iafolla, San Francisco Daily Journal (March 2, 2011)
Groups Appeal Alabama Mining Permit, Beth Ward, Coal Trader, pg. 4 (January 21, 2011)
New Coal Permits Surge, Thomas Spencer, The Birmingham News (December 12, 2010)
Law Firms Cultivate Climate Change Practices, Climate Change Business Journal (January 2010)
Courts Differ on Privacy Act's Meaning. David Krevats, Wired.com (June 18, 2009)
Vets Appeal Dismissal of Suit over Lost VA Data, Val Walton, The Birmingham News (March 13, 2008)
Stay Issued in Suit Over VA Missing Hard Drive, Tom Gordon, The Birmingham News (April 27, 2007)
The Balance Between Knowledge and Secrecy, Joe Malinconico, Star-Ledger (December 10, 2006)
FDA Approval Package Documents Seen as Start of Trial Results Database, Bureau of National Affairs, Pharmaceutical Law & Industry (May 5, 2006)
Gonzales’ Reconsideration of FOIA Policy May Result in Wider Access to Information, Shila Bulletin, Shila Center for Study of Media Ethics and the Law (Summer 2005)
- Alabama, 1996
- Texas, 2011
- Supreme Court of the United States,
- Alabama Supreme Court,
- United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit,
- United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit,
- United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit,
- United States District Court, Middle District of Alabama,
- United States District Court, Northern District of Alabama,
- United States District Court, Southern District of Alabama,
- United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas,
- United States District Court, Western District of Texas,
- United States District Court, Northern District of Texas,