The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is charged with protecting the environment, public health and the natural resources of Texas. The Railroad Commission (RRC) is charged with regulating the oil, gas and mining industry in Texas, which often encompasses public health matters. Sometimes there is overlapping jurisdiction, especially with regards to the oil and gas industry. Decisions by the TCEQ and RRC impact Texans in many ways, although the path to obtaining those decisions is different. MSMW represents operators, landowners, residents, environmental groups, and commercial and governmental entities in a broad spectrum of environmental issues. The firm draws heavily from the experience of its numerous attorneys that spent years working at the TCEQ and RRC. Familiarity with the regulations, procedures and agency staff is critical to our approach and our successes.
MSMW represents clients in all stages of permitting before the EPA, TCEQ, and RRC, GLO and groundwater conservation districts. The firm has obtained permits for numerous operators and commercial entities from both the TCEQ and RRC. The firm has extensive experience in contested hearings both before the State Office of Administrative Hearings and before RRC agency examiners and administrative law judges. MSMW has represented commercial and landowner clients in contested case hearings and uncontested permitting matters regarding disposal wells, carbon sequestration wells and MRV applications, hazardous waste storage, air permitting, coal-fired power plants, landfills, surface mining protests, industrial wastewater discharges, groundwater permitting and surface water rights, deep-water ports, oil and gas waste disposal facilities, rock crushers, and uranium mining. MSMW has also assisted clients with permitting such facilities in uncontested matters such as permits by rules and registrations. We have sat at all sides of the table – examiner/ALJ, applicant, and protestant.
Environmental matters impact health and private property rights. Consequently, they can result in lawsuits and administrative appeals. Our firm represents clients in state and federal court on nuisance, negligence, trespass, indemnity, products liability claims, and appeals of administrative agency decisions.
Our firm helps clients interpret regulations and operating obligations. We serve as liaisons with the TCEQ and RRC to determine the safest and most economical path for compliance while preventing exposure to enforcement actions. We also assist with environmental audits under the Texas Environmental, Health, and Safety Audit Privilege Act.
Our firm has represented multiple entities in cleanup actions initiated by TCEQ, RRC and the Environmental Protection Agency under state and federal environmental statutes including CERCLA, RCRA, and SWDA. We have been successful in minimizing financial responsibility of our clients by demonstrating liability of the appropriate third parties or identifying other potentially responsible parties.
In the event the TCEQ or RRC seeks enforcement of regulatory violation, our firm counsels clients and negotiates towards efficient and cost-effective resolutions.