Chambers USA describes Tim Wilkins as “a very astute lawyer, liked for his quickness and thorough responses” (2007) and having “great business acumen and amazing negotiation skills” (2009).
Tim's clients rely on him for strategic environmental permitting assistance, the defense of environmental enforcement actions and assistance with the environmental aspects of major transactions. He has overseen environmental compliance audits involving thousands of locations, handled hundreds of environmental audit disclosures and pioneered the development and use of U.S. EPA's audit policy for new owners. Clients also note in Chambers USA that Tim is “fantastic, detailed and very strong with management systems” as well as capable of delivering “practical, cost-effective solutions for his clients” (2011).
In addition to his duties at Bracewell, Tim periodically teaches the course in Corporate Environmental Law at The University of Texas School of Law. Before joining Bracewell, Tim was research assistant to Professor Laurence H. Tribe of Harvard Law School, editor-in-chief of the Harvard Environmental Law Review, and a judicial clerk for the Honorable Henry A. Politz, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Recent Notable Matters
Multiple industrial companies — including new owners of upstream oil and gas, midstream, refineries, chemical manufacturing and distribution, and industrial construction facilities following tens of billions of dollars in acquisitions, in negotiating new owner environmental compliance audit agreements with U.S. EPA, overseeing and administering those compliance audits, preparing extensive audit disclosures to EPA with respect to environmental violations originating pre-acquisition, and resolving those disclosures with EPA without penalty
Large chemical manufacturing facility — defending against a hazardous waste enforcement action by U.S. EPA's National Environmental Investigations Center under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
Several large energy companies — response to EPA information requests under the Clean Air Act and other federal environmental statutes
New chemical manufacturing facility — led the owner’s federal and state air permitting effort on a $2 billion greenfield chemical plant in South Texas including the successful defense and resolution of multiple contested case hearing challenges
Houston-area heavy industrial manufacturer — secured the dismissal of all charges against client that had been indicted on three counts of felony water pollution
Large independent upstream oil and gas company — defended against State civil litigation by landowner alleging pits and other upstream activities caused contamination of property
International terminal company — defended in connection with a stormwater discharge incident that had been referred for criminal prosecution by the Harris County District Attorney, achieving its successful de-referral
Global chemical manufacturing company — defense against a series of EPA Risk Management Plan inspections, information requests, and enforcement actions
Downgradient industrial property owner — defending in multiparty civil litigation at the Omega Chemical Superfund Site in Los Angeles
Chemical manufacturing facility — defending against a Notice of Violation and potential civil multimedia enforcement action commenced by Harris County Pollution Control
Ship Channel area terminal facility — defended against an EPA Clean Air Act civil enforcement action involving extensive FLIR camera inspections into storage tank and flare emissions issues
Various companies — advised on the environmental aspects of numerous acquisitions, divestitures and financing transactions in the energy, refining, electric power, chemicals, telecommunications, real estate, waste handling and municipal sectors
Publications and Speeches
"The Desktop Regulator: A Closer Look at the Future of Environmental Enforcement,” Bracewell’s Fall 2016 Environmental Law Seminar, November 15, 2016.
“Preparing for and Defending Environmental Enforcement Actions,” Association of Corporate Counsel South/Central Texas Chapter, San Antonio, July 6, 2016.
“Recent Environmental Enforcement Trends in the Energy Industry,” Association of Corporate Counsel South Central Texas Chapter's Oil & Gas Law Lunch and Learn, San Antonio, April 28, 2016.
“A Regulator’s Reach Exceeds its Grasp: The Quiet Expansion of the TCEQ’s Water Code Jurisdiction,” Texas Environmental Law Journal, Vol. 46, No. 1, March 2016.
"Key Environmental Enforcement Trends for the Energy Industry," Texas Oil and Gas Association, Austin, Texas, April 14, 2016.
“EPA’s ‘Next Generation’ Enforcement Initiative – and What it Means for the Next Generation of Environmental Auditing,” The Auditing Roundtable’s 2016 National Meeting, Tempe, Arizona, April 11, 2016.
“Next Generation Enforcement and Its Implications for Auditing,” The Auditing Roundtable’s South Central Regional Meeting, Houston, February 29, 2016.
“EPA’s Next Generation Compliance Initiative,” Bracewell Environmental Law Seminar, Fall 2015.
“EPA’s Next Generation Enforcement Initiative: What It Means for the Next Generation of Environmental Auditing,” Auditing Roundtable Webinar, October 7, 2015.
“Methane Emissions: EPA Hits Oil and Gas Industry with a Flurry of Proposed Methane Regulations,” Oil & Gas Financial Journal, October 2015.
“Disclosure 2.0: Enter EPA’s E-Disclosure Audit Program,” Law360, June 16, 2015.
“Audit Disclosure How-To’s,” Auditing Roundtable South Central Region Meeting, April 10, 2015.
"Under Attack: How to Protect Your Power Generation Project Against Environmental Group Opposition," Power Engineering, November 25, 2014.
"Attorney-Client Privilege in OSHA Compliance Self-Audits," Corporate Counsel, August 2014.
"Texas Railroad Commission Proposes Regulation to Address Earthquake Risks from Disposal Wells," Oil & Gas Investor, September 18, 2014.
"First Texas GHG Permit Upheld by EPA Appeals Board," Electric Light & Power, May 13, 2014.
"Texas Greenhouse Gas Regulations Go into Effect," Electric Light & Power, April 24, 2014.
"EPA's Texas Greenhouse Gas PSD Permitting Program," Air & Waste Management Association Conference, Houston, September 18, 2013.
"Environmental Law Update," The Auditing Roundtable, South Central Region meetings, August 3, 2015, April 10, 2015, August 6, 2014, March 28, 2014, July 31, 2013.
"Managing Environmental Risk in Transactions," 24th Texas Environmental Superconference, Austin, August 3, 2012.
"Don't Dump Your Money Down a Well," Law360, May 5, 2011.
"Legal Issues for EHS Auditors," The Auditing Roundtable Auditor Training, Houston, November 10, 2010.
"Using EPA's 'New Owner' Audit Policy," 21st Texas Environmental Superconference, Austin, August 7, 2009.
"Environmental Compliance Auditing: Getting It Right, Now More than Ever," TCC/ACIT Environmental, Health and Safety Seminar, Galveston, Texas, June 11, 2009.
"A New Enforcement Reality," Energy Lawyer, May 18, 2009.