- International Practice
- Real Estate and Projects
- Climate Change
- Financial Institutions
- Labor and Employment
- Securities Regulation
- Corporate and Securities
- Financial Restructuring
- Strategic Communications
- Educational Institutions
- Private Client Services
- Intellectual Property
- Private Funds
- Environmental Strategies
- Internal Investigations
- Public Finance
- White Collar Defense
Anchored in Texas and Washington, D.C., Bracewell ’s Environmental Strategies Group provides advice, strategy and advocacy related to the day’s most significant environmental legal issues. Clients turn to our team for counsel on a full range of environmental matters, including regulatory enforcement and compliance, strategic permitting, infrastructure development, corporate transactions, incident preparedness and response, investigations, litigation, and policy and public advocacy.
Our lawyers offer perspective gained from decades spent at the forefront of issues facing companies in key sectors of the economy such as oil and gas, refining, power generation and transmission, chemicals, manufacturing, technology, mining, and construction, with issues ranging from air quality and climate change to water quality, waste and remediation, and wetlands. We draw on experience serving within Fortune 100 companies; in the White House, the U.S. Congress, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office; and at regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
Often recognized among the best in the country by industry publications and legal ranking groups, our practice and lawyers received the following feedback from clients in Chambers & Partners,Chambers USA 2015:
"I like that they work with the client, both at the technical and management levels, to ensure a rich discussion and overall alignment in strategy and approach."
"They have always been able to handle anything I throw at them."
"They’ve performed extremely well – federal regulatory work is one of their fortes."
- AIR QUALITY
- ENVIRONMENTAL LITIGATION
- MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS, DIVESTITURES AND FINANCE
- POLICY ADVOCACY AND MEDIA STRATEGY
- REGULATORY AGENCY ADVOCACY AND RULEMAKING CHALLENGES
- REGULATORY ENFORCEMENT AND COMPLIANCE
- REMEDIATION AND SUPERFUND
- STRATEGIC PERMITTING
- WATER AND WETLANDS
Bracewell’s air quality team works with business leaders, regulators, and federal and state policymakers on virtually every aspect of air quality, including permitting, compliance management, regulatory initiatives, public policy advocacy, and enforcement. We represent and counsel companies nationwide in key sectors of the economy such as oil and gas, refining, cement, construction, power, chemicals, manufacturing, mining, and technology. Recognized by Chambers & Partners, Chambers USA 2014 for its background and experience in air programs, our team includes lawyers with senior-level experience in government regulatory and enforcement positions and in private practice. Our strong foundation in Texas and Washington, D.C. ensures that clients benefit from a broad perspective on the most pressing air issues of the day.
When litigation becomes likely or imminent, we assemble a team with all the elements needed to vigorously represent our clients’ interests. Our litigation team draws on decades of experience in the courtroom as well as intimate familiarity with the regulatory and technical details on which these cases often turn. Braced by our communications specialists, we provide seamless advocacy inside and outside the courtroom.
Environmental risk and liability can become major concerns when assets or companies are bought or sold, or when clients seek or offer financing. We approach transactions not only with deep technical knowledge of the subject at hand, but also as experienced transactional lawyers who are familiar with the deal process, the negotiation of integrated or stand-alone environmental terms, and creative approaches to controlling risk. We advise on domestic and international transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, lending/financing, and real estate ventures. We apply a thorough understanding of the business – be it in energy, chemicals, refining, heavy manufacturing, or technology – to provide practical, up-to-date insight and advice.
Working with colleagues in Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, we help corporate leaders shape the impact of laws and policies by providing focused advocacy before federal departments and agencies, in Congress, and in new and traditional media. Our strategic communications specialists have trusted relationships with national, regional and sector-specific outlets in print, radio, television, and online media. This enables us to ensure clients present a unified, effective message to build support within the public, legislative, and regulatory arenas.
Direct advocacy and dialogue with agency regulators and engagement in the rulemaking process can be crucial to reducing the burden associated with rules and to increasing the likelihood that they are achievable, clear, and cost-effective – particularly for companies engaged in refining, chemicals, power production, manufacturing, and oil and gas development. Bracewell’s Environmental Strategies Group regularly works with companies, trade associations and ad hoc coalitions to comment on proposed environmental regulations or amendments. Our team has years of experience in shaping and litigating proposed and final rules, including high-profile air, water and hazardous waste rules.
Industry faces ever higher expectations for compliance with state and federal mandates. The Bracewell Environmental Strategies Group assists companies to develop, implement, and continually improve strategies for cost-effective compliance under all the major environmental programs, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, and the Endangered Species Act, among many others.
Our attorneys are widely recognized for their strength in auditing, audit disclosures and compliance management systems. We represent clients in enforcement proceedings and incident investigations, including parallel civil and criminal actions in high-profile matters.
We represent manufacturers, chemical producers, energy companies, and others in the full range of contamination matters, including site remediation, Superfund (CERCLA) litigation, cost recovery negotiations and natural resource damages claims. Our experience extends to water and watershed areas; municipal and rural properties; industrial and brownfield sites; energy-sector facilities; landfills; and river, stream, lake and sediment issues.
The Environmental Strategies Group represents applicants in all aspects of the environmental permitting process, from scoping regulatory and permitting requirements across all media and disciplines during the early stages of project planning, to pre-application counseling and application development, negotiating permit terms and conditions with permitting agencies, working with consultants and stakeholders during the administrative review process to ensure timely permit issuance, and negotiating reasonable settlements with project opponents to help our clients reach project milestones and avoid negative publicity. Throughout this process, we focus on strengthening permit applications and bolstering the administrative record to help bulletproof project permits against potential challenges. Our lawyers regularly defend permits in contested-case proceedings and administrative and judicial appeals. Where appropriate, we assist clients in proactively engaging organizations and communities seeking to slow or derail the permit process.
The Environmental Strategies Group has particular depth in water quality issues. We regularly assist clients with federal and state Clean Water Act Section 402 permitting, compliance and enforcement matters related to wastewater and storm water discharges, and we provide strategic guidance on evolving regulatory and policy matters that have financial or operational significance for their facilities. We counsel clients in all major industries, including power, refining, chemicals, onshore and offshore oil and gas, terminals, technology and industrial publicly-owned treatment plants.
Wetlands law is a major focus in environmental enforcement and permitting and a significant tool for project opponents. We represent clients in wetland compliance, permitting and civil and criminal enforcement matters. Our experience includes litigating and settling enforcement actions; negotiating permits both before and after wetland impacts; and defending our clients’ permits in federal court, both independently and as co-defendants with the U.S. Government.