Jonathan Martel concentrates his practice on Clean Air Act and related matters, including regulatory and compliance counseling, participation in EPA rulemaking activities, government and citizen enforcement actions, appellate litigation challenges to rules, and other litigation matters. Mr. Martel's recent work includes representation of electric utilities, consumer products, automotive, railroad, nonroad equipment, stored energy, fuel and other diversified manufacturers. He appears regularly before U.S. EPA, the various EPA regional offices, and various state agencies, including the California Air Resources Board and California Air Quality Management Districts. He served for several years in the Office of General Counsel of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While at the EPA, he was involved primarily in the implementation of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

Mr. Martel has been an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he taught courses on the Clean Air Act and environmental law, and speaks widely at professional conferences and law schools, including the University of Chicago Law School, the University of Michigan Law School, Vanderbilt Law School, and Villanova Law School. He has contributed the Clean Air Act chapter to the American Bar Association's 2007 book Global Climate Change and US Law, a chapter on the fuels provisions of the Clean Air Act for the American Bar Association's Handbook for the Clean Air Act, and the transportation chapter for the 2011 American Bar Association book, The Law of Clean Energy.

Mr. Martel is a graduate of Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Mr. Martel served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Levin H. Campbell on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit from 1990-1991.

Mr. Martel's air quality work includes representation of clients with respect to both stationary and mobile sources of air emissions. With respect to stationary sources, he assists in addressing, among other topics, permit issues, including New Source Review and New Source Performance Standards applicability and compliance; hazardous air pollutant (also known as "NESHAP" or "MACT") compliance and enforcement, Title V permitting, Regional Haze and Best Available Retrofit Technology rulemakings and disputes; rulemaking and compliance matters relating to National Ambient Air Quality Standards, and compliance matters under EPA's Greenhouse Gas Reporting rules.

With respect to mobile sources, Mr. Martel has one of the leading practices representing automobile, railroad, engine and fuel manufacturers in compliance and enforcement matters under Title II of the Clean Air Act and parallel California requirements. He regularly assists in addressing vehicle and engine certification issues, defect reporting and recalls, importation, alternative fuel and technology issues, labeling and exemption issues, and enforcement matters. He has also represented manufacturers in critical litigation regarding preemption of state regulation and state tort claims relating to air emissions from mobile sources. Regarding fuels, he has assisted a major oil company in compliance and enforcement matters concerning gasoline regulations, and assisted fuel manufacturers and importers of alternative fuels with regard to EPA's Renewable Fuels and California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard regulations.

Mr. Martel has also recently represented manufacturers of consumer products subject to stepped up EPA enforcement regard the use of the Agency's Energy Star trademark.


  • Large US electric power company regarding New Source Review, Prevention of Significant Deterioration, Regional Haze, and other air quality matters, including litigation of rulemaking decisions and defense of citizen suit claims.
  • US chemical company in defense of US EPA claims for New Source Review and Prevention of Significant Deterioration violations, defense of US EPA claims for violations of hazardous air pollutant requirements, and assistance in air permitting, including for a major new plant with novel issues raised by emissions of greenhouse gases.
  • Manufacturer of off-highway vehicles and engines in an EPA and California enforcement action regarding engine calibration mapping.
  • Major US automobile company in a wide range of EPA and California regulatory matters, including compliance matters under the EPA and ARB greenhouse gas rules, congressional inquiries regarding those rules, and regulatory questions regarding labeling, onboard diagnostics, defect reporting, European greenhouse gas requirements, and federal fleet purchasing requirements.
  • Major oil company in defense of EPA enforcement action concerning testing requirements for gasoline.

  • Global engine company in investigation of compliance with EPA and California testing requirements and related enforcement proceedings.
  • Stored energy company in developing plan to address more stringent National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and revised National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for lead.
  • Foam products manufacturer in addressing various enforcement, compliance, permitting and testing matters, including a federal enforcement action, an action brought by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (in Los Angeles), and permitting and enforcement actions in several other states.
  • Refrigerator manufacturer and a ventilation fan manufacturer with regard to potential Energy Star disqualification.


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Washington, DC Super Lawyers
Environmental (2014-2020)
Chambers USA
Climate Change (Nationwide) (2010-2020)
Environment (DC) (2012-2020)
Best Lawyers
Environmental Law (2009-2020)
"Washington, DC Lawyer of the Year" – Environmental Law (2016, 2018)


  • JD, Yale Law School, 1989
  • AB, Dartmouth College, 1986, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
  • District of Columbia
Government & Military Service
  • Office of General Counsel, US Environmental Protection Agency
  • United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit, The Honorable Levin H. Campbell
  • Vice Chair, ABA Section on Environment Energy and Resources, Air Quality Committee (1994-Present)

  • Clean Air: Law, Policy and Practice Annual Advanced ALI-ABA Course of Study, co-sponsored by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), Arnold & Porter LLP, Washington, DC (Co-Chair, 2007-2011)


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