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 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.
When it comes to environmental regulation, there’s nothing simple about running a farm, ranch, nursery, or dairy. As a firm with deep roots in the Lone Star State, we understand the issues facing Texas agriculture and have the knowledge and experience to develop comprehensive solutions for our agricultural clients that take into account both current and emerging issues.
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: Wind and Solar
Jackson Walker attorneys assist clients in connection with the development, financing, construction, and operation of a wide range of energy-related projects, including wind and solar 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.
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.
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.
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.
September 27, 2021
Jackson Walker is pleased to announce the addition of Taylor Holcomb as a partner in the Austin office. Joining our Chambers USA-ranked Environment & Natural Resources group, Taylor helps clients develop and permit domestic energy projects, ensure compliance with state and federal laws, and defend against claims brought by the government and environmental activist groups.
September 22, 2021
Each year, less than 5% of attorneys in Texas are named to the list. Selection is based off of peer nominations that are then reviewed by a research team. Each nominee is evaluated on his or her professional accomplishments, peer recognition, and community involvement.
August 19, 2021
‘The Best Lawyers in America’ Honors 178 Jackson Walker Attorneys in 2022 Edition, Including 8 “Lawyers of the Year” and 31 “Ones to Watch”
The Best Lawyers in America has recognized 178 Jackson Walker attorneys across 6 offices and 67 specialty practice areas in its 2022 edition, including 8 Lawyers of the Year and 31 Ones to Watch. Best Lawyers listings are based on an exhaustive peer review survey of thousands of attorneys who vote on the legal abilities of others in their practice areas.
August 12, 2021
During the 33rd Annual Texas Environmental Superconference, Jackson Walker attorney Kate Goodrich joined Elizabeth Fazio Hale of Gulf Coast Authority for a legislative update on recent legislation related to the electric market, energy, and environmental laws.
August 3, 2021
Jackson Walker congratulates the 20 attorneys recognized among “Austin’s Top Attorneys” for 2021. For recognition in the list, Austin attorneys must be nominated by their peers on the basis that they offer experienced counsel in one of 43 categories.
June 8, 2021
Proposed Listing of Lesser Prairie-Chicken Under Endangered Species Act and Potential Impact on Energy Projects
By Jerry Webberman, Alicia French, Jesse Lotay, & Ben Rhem
On June 1, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to list the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act. If finalized, the species would be listed as endangered in the Southern DPS, which is located in West Texas and New Mexico and overlaps with the oil- and gas-rich Permian Basin, and threatened in the Northern DPS, located in the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado. Public hearings to gather comments on the proposal will be held on July 8 and July 14, and all public comments must be submitted by August 2, 2021.
June 1, 2021
By Dan Vineyard, Lindsey Moorhead, & Carolyn Campion
In Territory of Guam v. United States, the Supreme Court unanimously held that claims for contribution under Section 113(f)(3)(B) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) require the resolution of a CERCLA-specific liability. Accordingly, settlements or consent decrees under different environmental statutes will not start the clock on a party’s CERCLA claims for limitations purposes.
June 23, 2021
Wednesday, June 23, 2021 | 12 p.m. CDT
Join Jackson Walker and Echo Production for a webinar discussing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues and the impending impact on the energy industry.
May 20, 2021
Chambers and Partners Recognizes Jackson Walker Attorneys and Practices in 2021 USA and Global Guides
Jackson Walker is pleased to announce that Chambers and Partners has selected 41 attorneys and 14 departments for inclusion in the 2021 edition of the Global and USA guides.
May 10, 2021
With deep experience in government regulation and legislative policy, Heath Armstrong boosts the Firm’s representation of private and public clients involved in government regulation, including expanding the teams working on electric, water, telecommunication, and energy development projects.