Areas of Practice
Education
  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1999
  • Marquette University, B.A., 1997
Judicial Clerkships
  • Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan, United States District Court for the District of Columbia Term, 2000-2001
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

Bizunesh "Biz" Scott

Partner
1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
TEL: +1 202 429 6475
FAX: +1 202 429 3902

Bizunesh “Biz” Scott is a partner in Steptoe's Washington office, where she is a member of the Regulatory & Industry Affairs Department.  Ms. Scott is currently on a leave of absence from the firm.

Ms. Scott provides litigation, regulatory, and strategic legal advice and counsel to energy and transportation companies, with a particular focus on pipeline and the transportation of hazardous materials matters.

She previously served as chief (general) counsel to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), a Department of Transportation operating administration responsible for establishing and enforcing pipeline and hazardous materials safety laws.  Below are representative matters handled by Ms. Scott during her tenure.

Pipeline Safety

  • Served as one of the top enforcers of US pipeline safety laws by finalizing orders for civil penalties, compliance, and corrective actions  to ensure pipeline safety
  • Managed legislative and regulatory initiatives, including drafting and negotiating significant portions of the landmark pipeline safety legislation signed into law by President Obama in January 2012
  • Led the Administration’s response to a significant oil spill in Marshall, MI and advised on other incidents including the gas pipeline failures in San Bruno, CA and Allentown, PA
  • Managed the negotiation of the largest civil penalty in PHMSA’s history involving the Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency, and a major pipeline company
  • Managed the oversight of compliance and settlement agreements with pipeline companies
  • Coordinated on state pipeline safety initiatives with state public utility commissions and legislatures on pipeline safety and enforcement

Hazardous Materials Transportation

  • Served as one of the top enforcer of US hazardous materials transportation safety law issuing civil penalties and corrective action orders to individuals and entities that violated these laws
  • Managed legislative and regulatory initiatives, including provisions to reauthorize the hazardous materials transportation safety program, harmonize international hazardous materials transportation regulations, address the safety of transporting lithium batteries by air, and enhance the safety of loading and unloading railroad tank cars, highway cargo tanks, and other bulk containers. 
  • Developed enhanced enforcement guidelines for the hazardous materials transportation safety programs
  • Advised on significant changes and new guidelines to PHMSA’s special permits and approvals programs that allow for the transportation of hazardous materials by all modes of transportation
  • Advised on all determinations of preemption of State and local laws related to the transportation of hazardous materials, including matters related to the Risk Measurement and the Rail Corridor Risk Management System Model and State tort litigation
  • Advised on the incorporation of Special Permits into the Hazardous Materials Regulations

Prior to joining Steptoe, Ms. Scott was a special assistant to President Barack Obama.  As a commissioned officer, she advised President Obama and Cabinet secretaries on presidential and Senate-confirmed appointments, including key administration posts at the departments of Energy, Transportation, Interior, and Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Chemical Safety Board, and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Ms. Scott also served as interim general counsel and secretary at Golfsmith International Holdings, Inc., as well as positions at other international law firms.

Through her experience in the public and private sector she has developed in depth knowledge of:

  • Strategy of the federal regulator of pipeline and transportation safety
  • Regulatory compliance and enforcement
  • Congressional and state legislator hearings and legislation
  • Inspections and investigations
  • Policies and procedures
  • Crisis management
  • Litigation and case management

Noteworthy

  • Legal 500 US, Energy: Regulatory, 2013
  • NBA Nation’s Best Advocates, "40 Lawyers Under 40," 2010
  • The Root's 100 Young Achievers and Pace Setters, 2010

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