Environment & Natural Resources

The landscape of environmental law is a patchwork of complex and sometimes overlapping laws, regulations, and agency policies that change at a dizzying pace. Companies affected by environmental requirements routinely deal with legal disputes, compliance headaches, public relations challenges, and legislative roadblocks. In short, running a business with an environmental impact can get very complicated, very quickly.

We provide a path through the maze. Our attorneys work on all fronts: planning, permitting, compliance and legislation, to solve problems for our clients. Our unique approach combines a dedicated team of attorneys skilled in specific areas of environmental law with a respected legislative team that watches out for our clients’ interests on the state and national level. Integrating these functions allows us to provide comprehensive solutions that address our clients’ current needs while monitoring changes in regulations and legislation that might affect their future business plans.

When it comes to planning and permitting, we stay ahead of emerging environmental issues so that we can equip our clients to meet the challenges they face in this dynamic regulatory arena. Whether counseling on cutting-edge issues such as climate change regulation, cooling water intake requirements, and shale play development, or offering guidance on long-standing requirements such as remediation or solid and hazardous waste management, we have the technical knowledge and experience to develop innovative strategies to help clients meet their obligations and attain their goals.

To achieve our clients’ objectives, we employ a wide range of techniques. Often, solutions negotiated at the agency level are successful. Sometimes, the only way to achieve the desired result is through administrative hearings, litigation or tenacious involvement in formal rulemaking dockets. We thoroughly understand the ins and outs of these processes and have obtained favorable results for our clients in some of the most significant environmental litigation and contested case hearings in the state.

However, to navigate the complexities of environmental law, our clients need more than knowledge of the laws and regulations. Their success also depends on our ability to maintain strong and trusted relationships with key decision-makers at administrative agencies and the legislature. Current members of our environmental and legislative team have over 100 years of combined experience practicing before regulatory agencies and the Texas Legislature. They include attorneys who formerly worked for the Legislature, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Railroad Commission of Texas, and the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

Our clients are building, feeding and powering the country. They operate in a highly regulated space. We clear the obstacles that stand in their way. By putting our knowledge, experience and relationships to work for clients, we enable them to continue their important work of shaping and improving the world we live in.

Air Quality

Air quality permitting in Texas can be tremendously complicated for those unfamiliar with the regulations. Our attorneys work closely with each client to develop a clear understanding of the permitting issues associated with the client’s project. We know that choosing the right type of permit can save our clients significant time, money and regulatory hassles. We develop cost-effective permitting solutions that take into account the individual needs of our clients, and we serve as advocates for clients in the regulatory controversies that surround air quality enforcement.

Carbon Management & Climate Change

We enjoy a national reputation in energy law dating back to the late 1800s when one of our founding partners, A.W. Walker, Jr., first developed many of the fundamental concepts of modern exploration and production law. Our leadership in developing innovative solutions to issues for our energy clients continues, both domestically and internationally, and now encompasses experience in all sectors of the ever-changing energy economy, including emerging carbon capture and storage industry, as well as the gasification of solid fuels such as coal, petroleum coke, and biomass.

Compliance and Enforcement

At Jackson Walker, we take a proactive approach to compliance and enforcement, helping our clients see the big picture and plan for compliance issues that might arise and thereby avoid costly enforcement actions later.

Electric Power Generation

We help our power generation clients stay on top of changes and plan proactively for challenges to come. Our environmental and legislative attorneys are continually tracking regulatory and legislative changes at the federal and state level to gauge their potential impact on clients.

Environmental Due Diligence

We work with clients during real estate and corporate and financing transactions and development of projects to identify potential environmental risks and liabilities. We also develop strategies to address identified issues and have experience in structuring and negotiating transactions to minimize and manage environmental liabilities.

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Tort

Jackson Walker’s environmental and toxic tort litigation team provides clients with predictable, cost-efficient, and practical solutions on environmental and toxic tort litigation matters.

Mining and Reclamation

We know the importance of mined minerals to our nation’s economic and energy needs. Almost everything – from power generation and transportation to the products that we use every day – requires mined minerals (clay, crushed stone, granite, lignite, coal, limestone, marble, sand and gravel, uranium, etc.). We represent coal, lignite, aggregate, and uranium mining companies in reclamation and compliance activities and in the development of power generation projects.

Project Development & Permitting

Virtually all major industrial facilities and energy projects require environmental approvals or permits to be obtained prior to construction or operation. The permitting process can be complicated and challenging, as neighbors, activists and competitors may seek to use the permit process to delay, scale back, or kill a proposed project. Successful permitting requires careful planning, prudent site selection, and effective use of trained professionals.

Remediation and Property Redevelopment

We help clients, including both current and former landowners, resolve issues related to contaminated property. We work with engineers and other consultants to develop the best approach for attaining cost-effective investigation and remediation. We also have experience in structuring and negotiating transactions to minimize and manage environmental liabilities as part of the redevelopment of property with environmental issues. Working closely with our Real Estate and Corporate & Transactions practices, we provide a full range of services to clients involved in transactions that have an environmental component.

Renewable Energy

Jackson Walker attorneys assist clients in connection with the development, financing, construction, and operation of a wide range of energy-related projects, including wind, solar, battery storage, and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) projects. We address the most pressing issues in the development of renewable energy projects, including ensuring the project will limit any potential impact to endangered species, protected water bodies, and cultural resources, and that the project will comply with applicable environmental permits.

Superfund

We represent a wide variety of potentially responsible parties (PRPs) and PRP groups at Superfund sites across the country, including handling issues related to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and analogous state laws, enforcement actions, cost recovery and contribution cases, natural resource damages, property transactions, permitting, and compliance.

Waste

Our attorneys provide permitting, enforcement defense, and compliance counseling for clients in the areas of municipal and industrial hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste management, disposal, and remediation. Our clients range from individual landowners to large municipalities and corporations. In addition to providing a full range of services to our clients, we are actively involved in the legislative and rule-making actions that shape environmental law in Texas.

Water

Jackson Walker’s environmental attorneys are skilled in all areas of water quality regulation and have the experience to efficiently and effectively guide clients to their goals. We help clients develop effective reuse, disposal, and pollution prevention strategies to tackle challenges before they become problems. As in all areas of environmental law, water regulations change frequently. With extensive experience in all aspects of water use, from permitting to litigation, our environmental attorneys bring clarity to this complicated field.

Ali Abazari

Ali Abazari

Partner, Austin
512.236.2239

Heath Armstrong

Heath Armstrong

Senior Counsel, Austin
512.236.2098

Jennifer Ferri

Jennifer Ferri

Partner, Austin
512.236.2029

Alicia R. French

Alicia R. French

Senior Counsel, Austin
512.236.2352

Kate Goodrich

Kate Goodrich

Governmental Affairs Consultant, Austin
512.236.2086

Taylor Holcomb

Taylor Holcomb

Partner, Austin
512.236.2060

Peter E. Hosey

Peter E. Hosey

Partner, San Antonio
210.228.2423

Lindsay Killeen

Lindsay Killeen

Associate, Austin
512.236.2370

Lisa R. Kost

Lisa R. Kost

Technical Specialist, Austin
512.236.2217

Jesse S. Lotay

Jesse S. Lotay

Partner, Houston
713.752.4364

Tolliver McKinney

Tolliver McKinney

Staff Attorney, Austin
512.236.2240

Denise Rose

Denise Rose

Partner, Austin
512.236.2075

Lynn Sherman

Lynn Sherman

Partner, Austin
512.236.2380

Edward C. Small

Edward C. Small

Retired Partner, Austin
512.236.2000

Robert L. Soza, Jr.

Robert L. Soza, Jr.

Partner, San Antonio
210.978.7718

Peter K. Wahl

Peter K. Wahl

Partner, Dallas
214.953.6101

Michael Nasi

June 14, 2024
Speaking Engagements

Michael Nasi Presents on EPA’s Final Greenhouse Gas Regulation

Jackson Walker partner Michael J. Nasi will present a webinar entitled “EPA’s Regulation of Power Fleet GHGs” on June 17, 2024.

USA flags

June 6, 2024
Spotlight

Chambers and Partners Releases 2024 USA Guide Featuring 67 Jackson Walker Attorneys and 23 Ranked Departments

Jackson Walker is pleased to announce that Chambers and Partners has selected 67 attorneys and 23 departments for inclusion in the 2024 edition of the Global and USA guides. Attorneys were ranked across 27 departments, with 3 attorneys listed among multiple areas, 8 ranked nationwide in their respective areas, and 15 recognized for the first time.

Michael Nasi

May 6, 2024
Mentions

Mike Nasi – Quick Court Action Essential to Keeping EPA Rules From Killing Industry

Mike Nasi is mentioned in an article regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s new coal pollution rules.

April 4, 2024
Insights

Understanding the New EPA Fees for Oil and Gas Companies

By Taylor Holcomb

Oil and gas companies will soon be required to pay annual fees to the federal government based on their methane emissions. These fees, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expects will exceed $2 billion over the next decade, are driven by Congressional directives in the Clean Air Act, but the specifics are currently being worked out by the EPA.

Landscape of Oil and Gas Refinery Manufacturing Plant., Petrochemical or Chemical Distillation Process Buildings., Factory of Power and Energy Industrial at Twilight Sunset., Engineering Petroleum.

March 25, 2024
Insights

Navigating the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Latest Amendments

By Taylor Holcomb

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently amended its rules to standardize and enhance the climate-related information public companies must include in registration statements and annual reports.

2024 Texas Rising Stars announcement graphic

March 21, 2024
Attorney News

Jackson Walker Congratulates 2024 Texas Rising Stars

Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes only 5% of Texas attorneys who either are 40 years of age or younger or have been in practice for 10 years or less as “Rising Stars.”

March 8, 2024
Speaking Engagements

William Dahlstrom to Serve on Planning Committee for 28th Annual UT School of Law Land Use Conference; Leonard Dougal to Present on “Practical Water Law Considerations”

Jackson Walker partner William “Bill” Dahlstrom served on the planning committee for The University of Texas School of Law’s 28th Annual Land Use Conference. Additionally, Jackson Walker partner Leonard H. Dougal will be a presenter on Friday, April 5.

March 7, 2024
Attorney News

Lynn Sherman Expands Jackson Walker’s Environmental, Regulatory, & Legislative Practice in Austin

Jackson Walker is pleased to welcome Lynn Sherman as a Partner in the Environmental, Regulatory, & Legislative practice group of the Austin office.

Energy oil rigs at sunset

February 16, 2024
Attorney News

Lawdragon Names 12 Jackson Walker Partners Among Leading Energy Lawyers of 2024

According to Lawdragon, the Energy 500 list “reflects the historic strength of a handful of firms in this area, as well as the incursions the global powerhouses have made establishing Energy as a mainstay of their practices.”

More Environment & Natural Resources News