Celebrating 125 Years

Leonard H. Dougal


Leonard H. Dougal represents a diverse group of clients in complex environmental permitting and water supply matters, including energy companies involved in shale development, power generation companies, real estate developers and special utility districts. He is also active in water quality issues where he represents mining and energy companies, developers and agricultural operators in permit and compliance matters.

Mr. Dougal is a frequent speaker at bar and continuing legal education seminars on emerging water law issues. He is a co-author of two chapters in the treatise on Texas water law, The Essentials of Texas Water Resources.

Mr. Dougal has a special interest in hydraulic fracturing and shale play development as he worked as a petroleum engineer for Exxon Company, U.S.A. prior to attending law school.

He is Board Certified in Administrative Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is also a Texas licensed Professional Engineer (inactive).

Attorney Profile: Leonard Dougal — Team leader in a tough field

More about Leonard H. Dougal: Experience | Involvement | Recognition | Speeches / Publications | News

Representative Matters


  • City of College Station v. Wellborn Special Utility District (2005)
    Successfully defended water district in breach of contract action by neighboring city seeking to acquire portion of district's CCN.

  • Collins v. Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (2002)
    Successfully obtained TPDES water quality permit following hearing at State Office of Administrative Hearings and defended permit on appeal.

  • State of Texas v. Voluntary Purchasing Groups, Inc. (2001)
    Represented fertilizer and pesticide manufacturer in settlement of environmental claims and natural resource damages associated with releases from multiple sites in Texas.

  • Birnbaum v. Alliance of American Insurers (1999)
    Successfully defended owner of confidential financial information in trade secret litigation sought pursuant to Texas Public Information Act.


  • Represented owner of steam electric generating plant at TCEQ related to the proposed listing of cooling water body as thermally-impaired under Clean Water Act Section 303(d).

  • Represented owner of 750 MW natural gas fired combined cycle power plant in contested matters involved in obtaining a wastewater discharge permit from the TNRCC.

  • Represented developer of wind-power project to identify and obtain necessary state and federal environmental permits for project development.


  • Represented client in negotiations with the TCEQ to settle claims brought by the agency under the Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act.

  • Represented client in matters involving client's voluntary clean-up of groundwater contamination which had migrated off-site from plant property.

  • Represented client and successfully obtained an innocent owner certificate from TCEQ confirming that client was not responsible for groundwater contamination which migrated onto client's property from adjacent gas station.


  • Represented a national developer of resort communities in its successful efforts to obtain a TPDES discharge permit for a new domestic wastewater plant to serve a 3000 acre golf course resort community being developed in Central Texas.

  • Represented a major Texas dairy operation in a hotly contested SOAH permit hearing, where environmental activists and neighbors protested the permit application for the expansion of the dairy. Also, successfully obtained a TPDES water quality permit for the operation, which was located in the sensitive North Bosque River watershed.

  • Represented major real estate developer to obtain authorization from the TCEQ to use reclaimed water from wastewater treatment plant for golf course and landscaping irrigation. Negotiated terms of water reuse agreement with owners of plant.


  • Represented clients before the Texas Legislature, drafted and successfully passed special legislation to create the following special utility districts: Stephens Regional SUD, Parker County SUD, Rose Hill SUD, Gastonia-Scurry SUD, Fort Griffin SUD, San Jacinto SUD and Goforth SUD.

  • Represented holder of significant quantity of water rights in multi-million dollar sale of such rights.

  • Represented an investor-owned utility to obtain required regulatory approvals of the TCEQ and TWDB and successfully close the purchase of a large non-profit water supply corporation.

  • Represented client to successfully obtain a retail water CCN from TCEQ comprising more than 450,000 acres of land in West Central Texas.

  • Represented water district in adopting impact fees in compliance with TCEQ rules and Chapter 395, Local Government Code.

  • Represented wholesale purchaser of water in challenge of rate increase, and successfully obtained order from administrative law judge adopting lower interim rates during pendency of rate appeal pursuant to Texas Water Code §13.043.

  • Represented clients in contractual negotiations for the long term purchase of raw water from various river authorities and districts, including Sabine River Authority, Tarrant Regional Water District, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and Brazos River Authority.

More about Leonard H. Dougal: Biography | Involvement | Recognition | Speeches / Publications | News

Organization Membership

Mr. Dougal is a member of the Environmental and Natural Resources Section of the State Bar, the Austin Bar Association (Administrative Law Section; and Environmental, Natural Resources, and Water Law Section), and the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. He is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.

Community Involvement

Mr. Dougal serves on the Board of Advisors, University of Texas School of Law, Environmental Law Clinic (2005-2009) and the Exam Committee, Texas Board of Legal Specialization (2006- 2009). He is a Past Chairman (1999-2000) of the Central Texas Chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association; Past Member of the Board of Directors (1999-2003) of the Clean Air Force of Central Texas; Past Chair (1997-1998) of the Health, Safety and Environment Committee of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce; and Member of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers (State Director, 1994-1996). He has performed pro bono legal services in conjunction with a variety of community organizations, including the Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas.

More about Leonard H. Dougal: Biography | Experience | Recognition | Speeches / Publications | News

Peer Recognition

Mr. Dougal is included in the 2014 and 2015 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business under Environment, where clients praise him for "his expertise in environmental permitting, water rights and water districts" [Chambers USA 2014] and describe him as "very responsive and very thorough" [Chambers USA 2015]. He is listed in the 2007-2016 editions of The Best Lawyers in America under Environmental Law and/or Water Law; in the 2012-2016 editions he was also listed under Litigation - Environmental. Mr. Dougal is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

More about Leonard H. Dougal: Biography | Experience | Involvement | Speeches / Publications | News

Speeches / Publications

Mr. Dougal is a frequent author and speaker on water, environmental, and regulatory matters. Recent presentations include:

    • "Brackish Groundwater Regulatory and Policy Issues in Texas," American Groundwater Trust Annual Texas Groundwater and Aquifer Conference (June 26, 2015)


    • "Conflicts, Curtailments and Conversions: Lessons from the Historic Texas Drought," 25th Annual Texas Environmental Superconference (August 1, 2013)


    • "Hydraulic Fracturing: Production Boom and Water Resource Challenges," CLE International Texas Water Law Conference (September 11, 2012)


    • "Flood Management" and "Drinking Water Supply Issues: Water Utilities--CCNs and Rates," State Bar of Texas, Essentials of Texas Water Resources (2009 and 2012)


    • "Water Utility Service: Streamlined CCN Decertification Pursuant to SB 573," 13th Annual Changing Face of Water Rights Course (February 23, 2012)


    • "Hydraulic Fracturing: Regulatory Developments, Land Use, and Water Resource Conflicts," TexasBar CLE webcast (February 15, 2012)


    • "Upstream Development Water Needs: Supply and Permitting Considerations," South Texas College of Law's 24th annual Energy Law Institute for Attorneys and Landmen, Houston, Texas (August 31, 2011)


    • "Environmental Litigation and Regulation Affecting Poultry Producers," U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, Environmental Management Seminar, Memphis, Tennessee (2007)


    • "Water Availability Models – Recent Developments and Legal Considerations," State Bar CLE Changing Face of Water Rights in Texas (2004)


    • "Selected Texas Water Quality and TPDES Permit Issues," CLE International Texas Water Law Conference"

Mr. Dougal has also authored or presented the following:

    • "Environmental Compliance and Water Supply Options for Texas Wineries"


    • "Supplying Water and Wastewater to New Development"


    • "Water and Environmental Legislative Update"


    • "Certificates of Convenience and Necessity: The Basics and Recent Developments"


    • "Securing Water Supplies for New Development"


    • "Unique Water Rights Permitting Issues"


    • "Petitions for Expedited Release From CCNS – How Are Incumbent Utilities Responding?"


    • "CAFOs & More: Agricultural Policy Meets Environmental Law – Emerging Legal Issues in the Regulation and Operation of CAFOs"


    • "EPA issues Consent Agreement Regarding Air Emissions from Animal Feeding Operations and CAFOs"


    • "Water Availability Modeling – Recent Developments and Legal Considerations"


    • "Selected Texas Water Quality and TPDES Permit Issues"


  • "Retail Water Supply and the Regulation of Water Utilities"

Links to Publications

More about Leonard H. Dougal: Biography | Experience | Involvement | Recognition | News

Latest News

More about Leonard H. Dougal: Biography | Experience | Involvement | Recognition | Speeches / Publications |

  • Leonard H. Dougal
Austin Office
T: 512.236.2233
F: 512.391.2112

Administrative Law
  • 2015 Chambers
Practice Areas

B.S. chemical engineering, with honors, The University of Texas at Austin

J.D., with honors, The University of Texas School of Law
Bar Admissions

  • 1991, Texas
Court Admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
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