Air and Waste

Helping clients manage their waste, so they can manage their business.

Helping clients manage their waste, so they can manage their business.

Our Air and Waste Practice Group attorneys understand that their clients, large and small corporations, municipalities, industries, small businesses, water districts, and individual land owners, need to focus on their business. Our attorneys can help make sure they can do that by tackling their legal and regulatory obstacles for them. This highly qualified and experienced group includes former assistant attorneys general and former general counsels for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). We regularly represent clients before the TCEQ, the PUC, the Texas Railroad Commission, and the EPA. We also routinely advocate before state and federal courts, the Texas Legislature, and local governments.

Our attorneys have played an active role in the development of substantive and procedural legislation and rulemaking related to air and waste regulation in Texas, including:
  • House Bill 801 (creating procedures used by the TCEQ for contested permitting matters)
  • TCEQ enforcement program revisions
  • Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) regulations
  • State Implementation Plans (SIP)
  • Texas Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP)
  • Innocent Owner/Operator Program (IOP)
  • Texas Risk Reduction Program (TRRP)

Air Quality

We work tirelessly on behalf of our clients in all matters surrounding air quality issues by:

  • Facilitating acquisition of state and federal air quality permits
  • Counseling clients on compliance with complex state and federal air quality regulations
  • Obtaining permit exemptions
  • Representing clients in civil and administrative enforcement proceedings
  • Preparing and presenting comments for clients on key guidance and rulemaking projects
  • Representing clients involved in litigation over air quality issues
  • Auditing compliance with air quality regulations

Solid Waste

We concentrate on representing clients in both state and federal courts and before EPA, TCEQ and other environmental agencies in Texas. We also defend administrative and civil enforcement actions by the TCEQ, the Texas Attorney General’s Office, the EPA, and the U. S. Department of Justice. Our work on matters involving hazardous, industrial, and municipal solid waste includes:

  • Permit acquisition, including assisting clients develop applications for initial permits, permit renewals and permit amendments and modifications
  • Agency staff permit condition negotiations
  • Contested case hearings
  • Defense of permits through all stages of the appellate process
  • Administrative and civil enforcement actions
  • Spill reporting and clean-up requirements
  • Resolution of technical issues relating to closure and/or remedial activities
  • Hazardous and industrial solid waste litigation under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensations and Liability Act (Superfund), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act
  • Voluntary remediation projects associated with brownfields and historically contaminated industrial properties
  • Petroleum storage tank remediation and removal
  • Negotiations related to the sale and development of landfill gas, and
  • Transactions between property buyers and sellers to facilitate remediation projects and allocate future liability
  • Development of ordinances, including flow control, exclusive franchise agreements and siting ordinances

Renewable Energy

Rising demand for energy (fuels and electricity) has led to increasing interest in developing renewable forms of energy. In addition, continuously changing rules make keeping up with greenhouse gas policies and regulations a daunting task. But the experienced attorneys in the Renewable Energy section of our Air & Waste Group have spent much of the last decade helping clients develop geothermal, biomass, waste-to- energy and landfill gas-to-energy projects.

Our team understands the obstacles presented by new regulations governing greenhouse gas emissions as well as the political and regulatory hurdles that need to be overcome by the renewable energy sector. We:

  • Help clients develop projects to control and capture greenhouse gas emissions
  • Help clients draft and pass legislation in the field of non-wind renewable energy
  • Assist in the development of projects for the sale of “environmental attributes,” including carbon credits and renewable energy credits
  • Advise clients seeking to acquire grant money from both the state and federal governments
  • Help negotiate wholesale purchase agreements for electricity from clean energy sources
  • Help set electricity market guidelines through the stakeholder process at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)
  • Work with clients to craft regulatory language before the Public Utility Commission (PUC)

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