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Hester, Tracy D.
Tracy D. Hester
Counsel
P: +1.713.221.1407
F: +1.800.404.3970

Mary Ann Mouser

+1.713.222.3079

Tracy Hester is a professor of practice at the University of Houston Law Center. In addition to being a professor at the University of Houston, he serves as counsel to Bracewell’s environmental section in Houston, where he advises clients in regulatory matters, emphasizing enforcement defense, permitting, environmental diligence in acquisitions and transactions, and cost recovery litigation. Prof. Hester’s experience also includes the innovative application of environmental laws to emerging technologies, such as wind and other renewable power projects, and on novel compliance strategies.

Prof. Hester has represented clients from several energy industry sectors, including petrochemical manufacturers, petroleum and natural gas pipelines, petroleum refineries, as well as utilities, nanoscale materials manufacturers, cement kilns, newspaper printers and hazardous waste disposal operations. He has also advised and represented financial institutions, companies and local governments in litigation and compliance negotiations in ozone regulatory policy, environmental criminal prosecutions, endangered species controversies, wetland assessment and mitigation, and water quality projects. He routinely assists companies with emergency response planning and security assurance legal requirements.

Prof. Hester was recently elected to the American College of Environmental Lawyers and now sits on its Executive Committee.  He also is an elected member of the American Law Institute, has served on the governing Council of the American Bar Association’s Section on Environment, Energy and Resources (where he currently co-chairs its new Law Professors Committee), and chairs the Texas Environmental Research Consortium.  He has also acted as the vice-chair of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Environmental Advisory Committee for over a decade.  He was named the Best Environmental Lawyer in Houston in 2011 by Best Lawyers. EPA recently named him to its National Advisory Committee on environmental issues related to the North American Free Trade Agreement, and he was selected as one of the inaugural Energy Fellows for the University of Houston in 2015.

representative experience

Has represented numerous potentially responsible parties at several CERCLA sites in different capacities, including as coordinating counsel for the Shore Refining Site, the Geneva Industries Site, the Force Road Site, the Star Lake Canal Site, and early stages of the Malone Site.  He has also coordinated de minimis settlement groups at several sites and participated on PRP steering committees at multiple federal and state sites.  He has represented large primary PRPs responsible for the bulk of wastes at sites, PRPs with special liability defenses or insurance concerns, bankrupt PRPs, and de minimis and de micromis PRPs.  He has represented PRPs at CERCLA sites in Texas, Louisiana, New York, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and other states.

Represented numerous petrochemical and energy corporations faced with remediation obligations for either corrective action under RCRA, assessment and remediation under the Texas Risk Reduction Program, or voluntary remediation in response to emergency spills and releases.  For example, he helped crafted a comprehensive environmental site assessment and corrective action program for a large petrochemical facility located in Texas City that also involved complex contractual indemnification and insurance coverage issues which affected the choice and extent of response actions.  He has also served on the Steering Committee of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s TRRP Advisory Group as well as the Region 6 Brownfields remediation advisory panel.

Education

J.D., Stone Scholar, Columbia University School of Law, 1986
B.A., high honors, Phi Beta Kappa, The University of Texas at Austin, 1983

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia
New York
Texas

Court Admissions

U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 5th and District of Columbia Circuits
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Affiliations

Bar Affiliations
State Bar of Texas, Environmental Law Section
District of Columbia Bar
State Bar of New York
American Bar Association, Environment, Energy and Resources Section:  Chair, Environmental Crimes and Enforcement Committee, ABA SEER, 2008-2010; Vice-chair, Renewable Energy Committee, 2004-2008; Vice-Chair, Corporate Counsel Committee, 1999-2000
Houston Bar Association, Environmental Section Chair, 2000-2001

Legal Affiliations
American Bar Foundation, Fellow
American Law Institute
Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
Nanotechnology Standards Panel of the American National Standards Institute, Steering Committee
International Council on Nanotechnologies, Advisory Committee
Houston Local Emergency Preparedness Committee, Pro Bono Counsel, 1998-2004
Greater Houston Partnership, Vice-Chair, Environmental Advisory Committee, 1999-present; Waste Subcommittee Chair, 1999-2003

University of Houston Law Center, Adjunct Professor
Climate Change Liability and Litigation, 2007
Environmental Enforcement, 1999-2004   
Advanced RCRA Seminar, Fall 1997
Practice of Environmental Law, 1995, 1996 

Civic Affiliations
Representative, Houston Ship Channel Dioxin TMDL Stakeholders Group
Virtuosi of Houston, Board of Directors, 2002-2005
Galveston Bay Foundation, Trustee, 2004-present
Galveston Bay Council, member, 2004-present
Texas Risk Reduction Program Advisory Group, Steering Committee, 2004-present
Texas Association of Environmental Professionals, Board of Directors, 2004
Galveston Bay Council, member, 2004-present
Texas Risk Reduction Program Advisory Group, Steering Committee, 2004-present
Texas Association of Environmental Professionals, Board of Directors, 2004 

Noteworthy

Chambers & Partners, Chambers USA, Environmental, 2003-2009
Woodward/White, Inc., Best Lawyers, 2006-2010
Thomson Reuters, Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, 2009
Thomson Reuters, Texas Super Lawyers, 2003-2009
American Law Institute, 2004
Articles Editor, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, Columbia University School of Law