My practice entails a wide range of environmental, water and energy matters. I have represented landowners, companies, municipalities, counties and environmental groups from across the State in numerous hearings before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Railroad Commission of Texas and Groundwater Districts. These proceedings entail water rights, water quality, oil and gas waste disposal, landfills, mining, enhanced oil recovery, and air quality matters. Disputes often result in lawsuits in state and federal courts where I have considerable experience. Drawing from this litigation helps evaluate contractual agreements and counsel clients on permitting requirements and regulatory compliance.
Before joining McElroy Sullivan, I practiced five years in Houston with a distinguished environmental litigation firm working on high profile environmental conflicts. During my tenure we overcame big challenges successfully obtaining countless health and environmental protections for Texans. I then relocated to Austin to join the largest water practice group in Texas, assisting governmental and commercial interests with numerous water issues, including groundwater permitting and surface water rights.
Since returning to my hometown of Austin I have become an executive Board Member of the Austin History Center Association. In that role I help spread the word about the evolution of this great city, which helps me stay close to my late father who served as a councilman and mayor in the 1970s.
- Represented Goliad County, Texas, in TCEQ hearing and before EPA Region 6 regarding Class III injection well application and aquifer exemption for a new uranium mine. Obtained recommendation to deny the permit and a reduced aquifer exemption granted by the EPA.
- Represented one of the largest privately-held oil and natural gas exploration and production companies in the U.S. before the Railroad Commission of Texas regarding protested applications for CO2 enhanced recovery operations. RRC issued all permits associated with these applications.
- Represented Texas General Land Office in Federal District Court over alleged unconstitutional seizure of beachfront property. Case settled prior to trial.
- Represented City of Eagle Pass, Texas, a consortium of landowners and Environmental Defense Fund before 3rd Court of Appeals challenging surface coal mining permit issued by the Texas Railroad Commission and in a TCEQ hearing challenging disposal of coal mining wastewater into tributaries of the Rio Grande River. Obtained recommendations that TCEQ discharge permit include heightened protections not initially required by draft permit.
- Represented coalition of cities and water supply districts located within the upper basin of the Brazos River in TCEQ hearing opposing creation of a watermaster. TCEQ excluded upper basin.
HONORS AND DISTINCTIONS
- Champion, UHLC Hippard Open Mock Trial Competition, Houston, TX
- Austin History Center Association – Treasurer, 2015-present
- Austin Bar Association Environmental Law Section – Member
- Austin Bar Association Oil and Gas Law Section – Member
- Galveston Bay Foundation – Executive Committee Member, 2011–2012
- Houston Bar Association Environmental Law Section – Board Member, 2009 – 2011
PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
- Author, Recycling Flowback and Produced Water – Can Texas Do More to Throw Away Less?, State Bar of Tex., Section Report of the Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law, Vol. 41, No. 1, Page 73 (2016).
- Speaker, Why and How to Reuse Oil and Gas Wastewater, TexasBarCLE Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law, September 28-29, 2017.