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Richard E. Ayres

Washington, D.C. (VLS Trustee since 2004)

Richard Ayres, principal of the Ayres Law Group, Washington, is one of the nation's most well-respected environmental attorneys. He has shaped the Clean Air Act and its implementation since its inception and has been involved in many of the most significant law and policy issues surrounding the Act. In 1970 he co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), one of the nation's most influential environmental organizations.

Mr. Ayres's litigation highlights include representation against the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which achieved the largest, single reduction in air pollution in American history; briefing and arguing major environmental cases before the U.S. Supreme Court; and achieving settlement of the largest mobile source, air enforcement case in history. His regulatory experience includes many of the most significant EPA rulemaking proceedings under the Clean Air Act. His current clients include major corporations, states, and individuals.

Mr. Ayres led the National Clean Air Coalition during Congressional consideration of amendments to the Clean Air Act in 1977, 1980, and 1990. He has served on numerous blue ribbon panels concerned with national air policy, and has been honored by the Yale Law School Association of Washington and the Yale Environmental Law Association for his outstanding service to public interest law.

Mr. Ayres received his AB from Princeton in 1964, and his MA and LLB from Yale in 1969.