Often recognized among the best in the country by industry publications and legal ranking groups, Bracewell’s Environmental Strategies Group (ESG) 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.
Anchored in Texas and Washington, DC, 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. We have advised clients on issues including air quality, climate change, water quality, waste and remediation, wetlands, and transactional and financial due diligence. 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).
Recognizing that many industries face ever higher expectations for compliance with state and federal mandates, ESG assists companies in developing, implementing, and continually improving strategies for cost-effective compliance with all major state and federal environmental programs. We represent clients in enforcement proceedings and incident investigations, including parallel civil and criminal actions in high-profile matters. Our attorneys are also widely recognized for their strength in auditing, audit disclosures, and compliance management systems. In the litigation context, we are able to combine the experience and talents of our nationally-recognized environmental regulatory practitioners with our seasoned trial lawyers, drawing on decades of experience in the courtroom as well as familiarity with the regulatory and technical details on which these cases often turn.
Legislators, investors and the public have turned an intense spotlight on corporate strategies related to natural resources, prompting leading companies in energy, waste management, chemicals, technology, and manufacturing to prioritize sustainability initiatives and disclosures. We assist corporate leadership in aligning their strategies with government priorities and regulations with an array of integrated services , including policy development, regulatory counseling, corporate governance and internal audits, and disclosure issues. When an incident occurs, our lawyers guide clients through their responses, including site remediation, litigation, cost recovery negotiations, and natural resource damages claims.
The ESG team represents applicants in all aspects of the environmental permitting process. Our lawyers are involved beginning with the initial project planning stages, from scoping regulatory and permitting requirements across all media and disciplines to pre-application counseling and application development. As projects proceed, we assist clients in negotiating with permitting agencies, working with consultants and stakeholders during the administrative review process, and negotiating reasonable settlements with project opponents to help our clients reach milestones and avoid negative publicity. Throughout this process, we focus on strengthening permit applications and bolstering the administrative record to help safeguard 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.
Our clients build and operate pipelines, compressor stations, gas plants, terminals, gathering lines, storage facilities, breakout stations, and other facilities in virtually all U.S. oil and gas producing regions, from the more established ﬁelds to all the major domestic shale plays. Our team represents these types of companies on environmental and safety issues across a broad range of disciplines, including regulatory counseling; project siting and permitting; rulemaking, including pre-proposal advocacy, comment development, and appellate challenges; administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement; auditing; internal investigations; accident response and crisis management; and transactional due diligence.
Environmental risk and liability can become major concerns when assets or companies are bought or sold, or when clients seek or offer financing. We apply a thorough understanding of the business – be it energy, chemicals, refining, heavy manufacturing, or technology – to provide practical, up-to-date insight and advice. We approach transactions with a thorough technical knowledge of the subject at hand, and seek creative approaches to controlling risk. We advise on domestic and international transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, lending/financing, and real estate ventures.