Environmental

Recognized by U.S. News & World Report
and Best Lawyers®

National Tier 3, Environmental Law

Metropolitan Tier 1, Dallas/Fort Worth
Environmental Law and
Litigation - Environmental

The attorneys in Gardere’s environmental practice group know the pathways through the daunting maze of environmental requirements, and have decades of wisdom and experience in helping large and small clients meet their regulatory obligations and business goals. We come to the table with high-levels of experience from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.  

Our clients canvas a broad cross-section of industries in a variety of contexts ranging from environmental due diligence and negotiation of environmental representations, warranties and indemnities in merger and acquisitions, permitting for new facilities, regulatory compliance reviews, litigation before agencies and in state and federal courts and helping clients with criminal and civil enforcement proceedings. We are not just reactive; we are one of the premier firms in Texas for public policy advocacy, shaping the development of the law by helping to craft laws and regulations and assisting with the enactment process.

Environmental Compliance and Permitting

From the application phase through any administrative or judicial appeals, our environmental attorneys regularly assist clients in permitting matters at the local, state and national levels. We provide practical advice and are able to effectively be a liaison with regulators, due to our positive working relations with the agencies. Gardere’s environmental attorneys educate their clients on how to comply with local, state and federal environmental requirements, without unnecessary burdens or costs. We stay ahead of the ever-changing state and federal regulations, particularly as they pertain to air and greenhouse gas permitting and the ongoing discussions between EPA and TCEQ on these issues so that we can be at the front end of finding solutions for our clients. Gardere’s attorneys also recognize the tremendous impact of water availability, water rights and water quality on private and public entities in Texas, and stand ready to assist clients in developing creative and inventive ways to conserve and utilize the state’s water resources. We have extensive experience walking clients through any compliance and enforcement issues at EPA, TCEQ, and the Texas Railroad Commission with the goal of obtaining the most favorable outcome for the client.

Environmental Due Diligence and Transactional Work

Successful sales, purchases, or financing often depend on careful, yet practical, environmental due diligence, contractual negotiation (representations and warranties, indemnities, and other provisions) and environmental problem solving. That’s why we partner with our M&A team to review and translate their sometimes complicated Phase I and Phase II Environmental Assessment reports, and to understand and interpret the many environmental statutes and regulations that may govern a company’s operations and potential liabilities. Often, environmental issues become the concern in determining whether a transaction closes; our environmental attorneys are skilled at separating the real issues from those less important, and crafting creative solutions to get to closing. Developing cleanup agreements, who does the work, escrowing funds and other creative solutions allow the deal to close and the environmental remediation to go forward after closing. Our skills in voluntary cleanup programs in Texas and other states, allows us to seek the best outcome whether we are representing the buyer, seller or lender.

Environmental Litigation

When disputes arise, and litigation becomes necessary, Gardere’s litigation capabilities are unparalleled. Gardere has broad experience and a record of success with litigation of enforcement actions by federal and state regulatory agencies, multiparty claims for remediation and cost recovery under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and other statutory schemes, citizens' suits, civil suits and governmental actions for damages allegedly caused by contamination of property and other natural resources. Gardere brings together expertise in environmental sciences and the complex regulatory legal issues with the skills of a seasoned trial lawyer, to achieve favorable outcomes for the client even in the toughest of situations.

Environmental Policy and Regulation

Gardere’s environmental attorneys have a long history of influencing environmental policy and regulations at the Texas Legislature, TCEQ and EPA. This type of work includes drafting environmental legislation for clients during the Texas legislative session and carrying those environmental bills through the legislative process, including testifying as an expert before legislative committees, drafting amendments, educating legislators and staff on the bills, and negotiating the terms of legislation with opposing parties. Once those environmental bills are passed, Gardere’s team works to ensure that the state agency charged with any applicable rulemakings pertaining to the legislation implements the legislation consistent with its intent. Gardere’s environmental attorneys also have vast expertise in negotiating with state agencies on behalf of clients to determine the accurate interpretation and implementation of agency guidance documents and rules.

White Collar Criminal Defense

Environmental laws often include criminal enforcement provisions, sometimes with little if any requirement for proof of intent to commit a crime. A complete environmental team requires attorneys with expertise in this perilous area of law, and Gardere has some of the best environmental criminal defense lawyers in the state. Gardere’s environmental criminal defense attorneys utilize their in-depth experience as former prosecutors, EPA regulators and their broad experience as defense counsel to counsel and defend clients facing environmental investigations and charges. We understand that our clients’ lives and companies are at stake in such matters and are committed to the obligation of defending them with such matters. 

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