Chuck Knauss is recognized as a "legend in the field" of climate change (Chambers USA 2015), having served US manufacturing and energy sectors for more than 30 years.
Chambers USA 2015 reports that clients say Chuck has "extraordinary strategic and analytical capabilities—he finds solutions others just cannot see. He can focus on the key issues when it's a blur of issues to others...and has great understanding of how government agencies work." He is "an absolutely superb lawyer, top of the list, extraordinarily smart and very strategic in his thinking, he's extremely creative, he develops practical solutions, and he understands business needs," "has formidable knowledge of the Clean Air Act and is one of the very few top air law practitioners in the country."
Chuck is recognized by peers and clients alike for his ability to craft and negotiate effective regulatory and legislative solutions to previously intractable problems regardless of subject matter. As a result, clients often call upon him in crisis situations ranging from financial to energy or environmental matters, including such issues as tax, food safety, pesticides, contaminated sediments or transportation.
From 1987 to 1990, Chuck served as minority counsel to the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce and was lead negotiator for the landmark 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. He was one of only three House staff required to sign off on every provision of these comprehensive amendments, the most significant environmental and economic legislation in the past 25 years.
In his book Washington at Work: Back Rooms and Clean Air, chronicling the 1990 Amendments, journalist Richard E. Cohen observed: "Chuck Knauss...was probably the most influential Republican on the legislation."
Then-EPA administrator Michael Leavitt appointed Chuck to serve on the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, a senior-level policy committee established to advise EPA on issues related to implementing the Clean Air Act. Chuck founded and is counsel to the Air Permitting Forum, a group of Fortune 100 companies that develops practical and effective advice for all aspects of the permit process, including applications, negotiations, permit terms, certifications, appeals, revisions and remedies.
Chuck represents a wide variety of companies and trade associations in nearly every avenue of environmental law, helping them navigate complex federal, state and local regulations and manage high-stakes crises, negotiations, communication strategies and precedent-setting litigation. He provides strategic advice to achieve negotiated settlements with governmental regulatory and enforcement authorities and other stakeholders. His negotiation approach grounds legal and policy arguments on sound analysis of technical and engineering facts, coupled with a fair and principled recognition of the core goals of all parties.
For example, Chuck obtained a consensus among EPA headquarters, EPA regional officials, state regulators and community groups on plantwide, 10-year air permits recognized by many as the most innovative ever issued.
His clients include large corporations in the manufacturing and energy sectors, including automotive, aerospace, pharmaceutical, chemical, paper, refinery, conventional and renewable power generation, and utility companies.
Chuck is admitted in the US Supreme Court; US Court of Appeals, Fourth and Seventh Circuits; and US Tax Court.