Area of Emphasis
Varun Shekhar is a shareholder in Babst Calland’s Environmental, Transportation Safety, and Intellectual Property groups. Mr. Shekhar’s Environmental practice emphasizes federal, state and local regulatory matters arising under the Clean Air Act (CAA). He counsels facilities across the country regarding permitting, compliance determination and assurance, CAA Section 114 information requests, environmental audits, and emerging air quality issues including climate change and regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. Mr. Shekhar draws upon his science and engineering background to help clients develop compliance solutions that are practical, technically and legally sound, and to advise entities in the course of enforcement actions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Justice, and state agencies, as well as citizen suits within federal district and appellate courts.
In addition to his experience involving the CAA, Mr. Shekhar frequently counsels clients in the areas of radiological safety, water quality permitting and enforcement under the Clean Water Act, health and safety, remediation, and environmental due diligence.
Mr. Shekhar’s Transportation Safety practice emphasizes advising clients within a variety of industries on the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration’s (PHMSA’s) hazardous materials regulations, as well as regulations administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In addition, he provides counseling regarding PHMSA’s pipeline safety regulations for natural gas, hazardous liquid, and carbon dioxide pipeline systems.
Mr. Shekhar’s Intellectual Property practice emphasizes providing counseling on trademark matters under the Lanham Act. He regularly assists clients with obtaining registrations before the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), advising clients on potential infringement issues, and representing clients in proceedings before the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).
Mr. Shekhar graduated cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2013, also attending the University of Michigan Law School during his course of study. During law school, he served as a summer law clerk to Justice Ann Walsh Bradley of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and as a research assistant to Professor Linda S. Greene of the University of Wisconsin Law School. Mr. Shekhar also worked with the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center in conjunction with the Wayne State University Transnational Environmental Law Clinic where he assisted community groups during planning phases of various large-scale construction projects in Detroit.
Mr. Shekhar earned his M.S. in Biomedical Engineering in 2013 from Wayne State University, where he also previously received his Bachelor’s degree in 2007.
Memberships and Affiliations
Mr. Shekhar is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania, as well as before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, the Pennsylvania and Allegheny County Bar associations, and the Air and Waste Management Association.
- Author, “EPA Deletes Emergency Affirmative Defense Provisions from its Clean Air Act Title V Permitting Program Rules,” The Legal Intelligencer, August 24, 2023.
- Co-Author, “The Supreme Court Narrows EPA’s Authority to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” The PIOGA Press, July 2022.
- Author, “EPA Proposes Plan for Addressing Regional Ozone Transport Under Clean Air Act,” The Legal Intelligencer, June 2, 2022.
- Co-Author, “PHMSA Proposes Integrity Management Alternative for Class Location Changes,” The PIOGA Press, November 2020.
- Co-Author, “Council on Environmental Quality Proposes Amendments to NEPA Regulations,” The Legal Intelligencer, January 30, 2020.
- Co-Author, “Pennsylvania EQB Petitioned to Implement Cap-and-Trade Regulation for Greenhouse Gases,” PA Law Weekly, March 14, 2019.
- Co-Author, “Staying Afloat in Turbulent Waters: Considerations in the Sale of a Coal-Fired Power Plant,” 37 Energy & Min. L. Inst._37 (2017).
- Author, “PA Releases Multiple Proposals Under the Clean Air Act,” The PIOGA Press, September 2015.
- Co-Author, “Natural Gas Development in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.” The PIOGA Press, May 2012.
- Author, “Produce Exceptionalism: Examining the Leafy Green Marketing Agreement’s Potential for Improving Food Safety,” 6 J. Food Law & Pol’y 268 (2010).
- Co-Author, “Comedo-Ductal Carcinoma In Situ: A Paradoxical Role for Programmed Cell Death,” Cancer Biology & Therapy, 7:11, 1774-1782 (2008).
Presentations and Courses
- Co-Instructor, EUCI – Pipeline Safety Regulations, August 2023.
- Co-Instructor, Environmental Law Institute, Basics of the Clean Air Act, July 2023.
- Co-Instructor, Environmental Law Institute, Western Boot Camp – Clean Air Act, April 2023.
- Co-Instructor, EUCI – Pipeline Safety 101, February 2023.
- Co-Presenter, “Cap and Trade – Past, Present and Future,” Air and Waste Management Association Allegheny Mountain Section, February 2019.
- Presenter, “Overview of the Clean Power Plan,” West Virginia Coal Association Semiannual Environmental Workshop, Charleston, WV, October 2015.