Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to assist clients in the mining industry with regulatory compliance, permitting, environmental audits, cleanups, and enforcement concerns. Our attorneys are well versed in all matters pertaining to mining, including:
- air quality
- water quality
- industrial and hazardous wastes
- water rights
- groundwater usage
- city and county permits
- permit transfers
- the Texas Clean Air Act (NSR, Title V)
- National Environmental Policy Act
- Texas Clean Water Act
- Texas Commission on Environmental Quality waste regulations (including, Radioactive Substance Rules)
- Railroad Commission of Texas’ Surface Mining and Reclamation Act and regulations
- MSHA and OSHA
- Texas Environmental, Health and Safety Audit Privilege Act.
We have the experience working with regulatory authorities and the relationships to insure desirable solutions are reached in a cost-effective manner. Our attorneys represent clients before state and federal agencies, including:
- Railroad Commission of Texas
- Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Texas Department of Transportation
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- Texas Department of State Health Services
- Texas Water Development Board
- Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
- We regularly represent mining companies with obtaining and renewing both federal and state mine permits, ongoing compliance matters, and preparation of financial bond packages, as well as permit transfers before the Railroad Commission of Texas, the TCEQ, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and EPA. We assist clients with preparation of full mine permit applications including complete project management from initial baseline work and submittal packages through final permit approval. We have represented lignite mining operations in obtaining both water quality and water use permits.
- We have assisted clients in obtaining and renewing air permits for new and existing limestone quarries and for other industrial facilities. This has included representation of these clients through the Texas Contested Case Hearing process. In addition, we assisted a limestone quarry in developing and gaining approval for a Water Pollution Abatement Plan Permit from TCEQ that was also consistent with the City of Dripping Springs Development Ordinance.
- We assist our clients (e.g. concrete batch plants) in using the Texas Environmental Health and Safety Audit Privilege to comply with state environmental laws. We also assisted a client in the application process which led to recognition as the “2010 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award Winner.”
- We have represented several mining companies in NEPA-related matters associated with historic NPDES permit-triggered and ongoing 404 Wetlands-triggered NEPA reviews. We have obtained necessary approvals and assisted clients in successfully expanding operations.
- Our attorneys have been successful in passing targeted legislative initiatives to ease the compliance costs for members of the steel manufacturing and recycling industries, as well as the mining and reclamation industries. We have also been instrumental in drafting and presenting testimony to prevent the passage of measures that would have dramatic, negative impacts on these industries.
- Representation of lignite mine owner in major amendment of TPDES wastewater discharge permit, including negotiations with EPA to overcome objections of EPA concerning the terms of the permit amendment.
- Representation of mine owner and operator in appeal of Railroad Commission of Texas permit issuance and renewal.
- Representation of clients in enforcement matters before various state agencies and in administrative proceedings in the State Office of Administrative Hearings.
- Representation of mining and industrial operations in obtaining both water quality and water use permits.
- Representation of clients in state environmental permitting actions under the Texas Clean Air Act and Texas Clean Water Act.
Our knowledge and experience cover a wide range of areas.
Legislative & Regulatory Involvement
We can assist both individual clients and coalitions of industrial clients on state (TCEQ, Railroad Commission of Texas) or federal agency (EPA, Office of Surface Mining) policy initiatives and rule makings. The firm’s experience is utilized by the mining industry to guide and shape state and federal legislative and regulatory initiatives, including those related to siting, greenhouse gases, global warming, CO2 capture and sequestration, state and federal incentives and restrictions.
Land Titles and Transactions
We are also able to handle all aspects of any mineral transaction. We have represented clients in the preparation and closing of hard mineral leases, as well as the sale and acquisition of hard minerals (coal, lignite and uranium).
Litigation & Enforcement
We have extensive experience in environmental litigation, enforcement and regulatory permit hearings before the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) and the Railroad Commission of Texas.
In order to stay connected with developments in the mining and minerals industry, our attorneys participate and are active in a number of groups and associations, such as:
- Environmental and Natural Resources Section of the State Bar of Texas
- Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Section of the State Bar of Texas
- Air and Waste Management Association
- Texas Mining and Reclamation Association (its members comprise all of Texas’ surface coal mining and uranium recovery operations plus several clay, brick and silica mining and processing facilities)
- the Texas Aggregates and Concrete Association (its members represent most of the aggregate, cement and concrete producing companies in Texas)
- the Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute
- the Globalaw Mining Initiative
- the Clean Carbon Technology Foundation of Texas
- the National Mining Association
- Gulf Coast Lignite Coalition
- Texas Coal Combustion Products Coalition