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 and disposal. 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 involved in the legislative and rule-making actions that shape environmental law in Texas.
We have the knowledge and experience working with and within the various state regulatory agencies to guide clients around the obstacles and to their goals. We have a deep knowledge of both the people and the processes involved allowing us to efficiently obtain desirable solutions for our clients.
Our attorneys help clients determine the appropriate classification of waste generated by their operations and obtain the necessary permits. We are also mindful of the benefits of obtaining regulatory determinations confirming the “non-waste” status of industrial by-products and identifying innovative recycling and secondary use products, which minimize waste disposal costs and confirm waste classification and registration compliance. When appropriate, we also assist clients with meeting the recordkeeping and registration requirements to comply with state regulations.
We have the experience and knowledge to assist clients with federal and state permitting and ongoing compliance for the processing, treatment and disposal of hazardous waste, including:
- TCEQ requirements
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act regulations and procedures
- EPA technical standards for design and operation of treatment, storage and disposal facilities
- preparation of appropriate Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) documentation.
Our attorneys understand the technical and legal challenges involved in the development, operation and regulatory closure of municipal solid waste facilities and can assist with planning, permitting, monitoring and reporting requirements involved.
Enforcement and Litigation
We work proactively with clients on compliance planning to avoid costly enforcement proceedings. However, in the event of such actions, we have the knowledge and experience to effectively represent our clients in enforcement actions in both administrative settings and against federal and state governmental environmental enforcement actions across the country.
- Represented steel manufacturing client as potentially responsible party in the proposed listing as a state superfund site of the Force Road Oil and Vacuum Truck Site in Brazoria County Texas. Representation included negotiating terms of a TCEQ Commission Order regarding remedial investigation and feasibility study.
- Represented the seller in the sale of a former manufacturing facility in Houston, Texas. Designed and implemented a customized combination of environmental liability transfer, an environmental trust, and environmental insurance to allow the transaction to proceed on economic terms and with the desired liability protection for the seller and its shareholders.
- Represented the seller and facilitated the sale of a Louisiana refinery with material environmental and closure liabilities, including numerous former spills, several landfills and dump sites in various stages of closure, and several existing solid and hazardous waste facilities, all of which threatened the transaction. Negotiated with the buyer to ensure mutual agreement and the ultimate closing of the transaction, successfully negotiated and implemented an innovative combination of regulatory relief, environmental insurance, and an environmental escrow to maximize the sales proceeds while minimizing any future responsibility for the seller.
- Represented the buyer of two petroleum terminals, both of which were contaminated from years of operational impacts and located amid sensitive coastal habitats and environmental resources. The transaction involved a negotiated assumption of liability by the buyer and carefully optimized environmental insurance to cost-effectively protect both the seller and the buyer from both known and unknown environmental liabilities, including natural resource damage claims.
- 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.