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Burgin, Sara M.
Sara M. Burgin
P: +1.512.494.3654
F: +1.800.404.3970

Angela Trafton


Sara provides counsel to clients on environmental issues, particularly on issues related to water. She advises on permitting, compliance and enforcement matters in association with onshore and offshore wastewater and storm water discharges; issues relating to surface water and ground water rights; water contracts; Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) plan requirements and applicability issues; Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction; issues associated with public water systems at industrial facilities; and dredge and fill permit requirements.

In addition to her water experience, Sara has also counseled clients on industrial solid waste matters related to wastewater treatment facilities and recycling/reuse of treated wastewater and/or solids resulting from treatment.

Representative Matters

Evaluation of the need SPCC plans and/or facility response plans in specific circumstances and locations

Representation of a petroleum refinery in connection with amending a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit authorizing discharge and/or irrigation of refinery wastewater

Assistance to major oil companies in evaluating compliance with NPDES general permits for discharge from offshore oil and gas facilities

Provision of counsel in connection with recycle of hydraulic fracturing water

Representation of companies in various industries facing federal and state CWA civil enforcement actions and CWA, Section 308 information requests

Representation of companies facing state enforcement of Safe Drinking Water Act requirements related to provision of potable water to employees of industrial facilities

Evaluation of available water sources for hydraulic fracturing operations and regulatory requirements applicable to use of various sources

Provision of advice and counsel in connection with modifications at industrial facilities to reroute or segregate wastewater discharges to eliminate need for bacteria limitations at final outfalls

Provision of advice and counsel during renewal and/or amendment of wastewater permits issued by delegated states to respond to objections raised by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Provision of advice and counsel on permitting requirements applicable to industrial wastewater discharges and discharges of storm water associated with construction and industrial activities

Provision of advice and counsel related to sale of water rights and associated amendments of water rights

Evaluation of potential regulatory requirements applicable to various wastewater reuse options at industrial facilities

Publications and Speeches

Presenter, “Surface Focus,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s Conference on Water Acquisition and Management for Oil & Gas Development, Houston, April 8, 2016.

“Update on Surface Water Related Litigation and EPA/TCEQ Activities Related to Temperature,” Texas/Louisiana Environmental, Health & Safety Seminar, June 4, 2013.

“Corporate Water Management and the Endangered Species Act,” Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMi), November 1, 2012.

“Water Use at Industrial Facilities: Current Issues,” Texas/Louisiana Environmental, Health & Safety Seminar, June 1, 2012.

“Clean Water Act Permitting: National Developments,” Texas/Louisiana Environmental, Health & Safety Seminar, June 1, 2011.

“New EPA Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Rules,” Law Seminars International Telebriefing, February 1, 2010.


J.D., with honors, University of Houston Law Center, 1982
M.S., Texas A&M University, 1977
B.A., The University of Texas at Austin, 1973

Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit


Chambers & Partners, Chambers USA, Texas: Environment, 2004-2016
Legalease, The Legal 500 United States, Environment: Litigation, 2016; Environment: Regulatory, 2016
Woodward White, Inc., Best Lawyers, Austin Lawyer of the Year, Environmental, 2012
Woodward White, Inc., Best Lawyers, Austin Lawyer of the Year, Water, 2013, 2016
Thompson Reuters, Super Lawyers, 2003-2016
ALM Media Properties, LLC,Texas Lawyer, Top Notch Lawyer in Environmental Law, 2007
American City Business Journals, Austin Business Journal, Best in Bar, 2003
ALM Media Properties, LLC, Texas Lawyer, Go-To-Lawyer in Environmental Law, 2002