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What We Offer

Birch, Becker & Moorman's environmental practice covers all areas of federal and state environmental law, including air quality, water quality, storm water, municipal solid waste, industrial and hazardous waste, recycling, used oil, aboveground and underground storage tanks, Superfund, Brownfields, environmental compliance audits, site remediation, and other related areas.

BBM provides legal counsel to industrial, commercial, and governmental entities as well as to individuals. BBM’s attorneys assist clients with obtaining environmental permits, maintaining compliance, addressing regulatory enforcement allegations, commenting on rule proposals, and when necessary, shepherding clients through the multiple steps of the contested case hearing process for both permitting and enforcement actions. Attorneys with BBM assist clients with the development and implementation of strategies to address complicated or sensitive compliance matters, and work closely with state and federal regulatory agencies, including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as necessary, to develop innovative or novel approaches to advance our clients’ interests.

BBM’s attorneys also assist clients with all steps of the environmental audit process and have extensive experience with the Texas Environmental, Health, and Safety Audit Privilege Act and federal audit policies. BBM has provided environmental counsel to a wide-range of clients that own or operate electric utilities, aggregate and mining operations, municipal solid waste landfills, bulk storage and loading operations, large and small municipalities, counties, water districts, paint facilities, incinerators, industry groups, and coalitions of clients with similar interests.

Areas of Environmental Law Services

  • Air Quality Permitting and Enforcement, including all state and federal permitting requirements and standards for new minor and major emission sources.
  • Water Quality Permitting and Enforcement, including Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) wastewater, storm water, and general permits, Texas Land Application Permits (TLAPs), and reuse authorizations.
  • Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Permitting, Registration, and Enforcement, including MSW landfills, transfer stations, transportation, and incinerators.
  • Industrial and Hazardous Waste Permitting and Enforcement, including waste generation, transport, storage, management, and disposal.
  • Aggregate Production Operation Compliance and Enforcement, including registration, compliance, and temporary exemption from investigation for audited facilities.
  • Recycling and Composting Authorizations and Enforcement, including permitting, registrations, notices of intent (NOIs), exemptions, and other standards applicable to recycling operations.
  • Waste Oil and Used Oil Management, Recycling, and Enforcement, including permitting, registrations, and standards applicable to various types of waste and used oil.
  • Federal and State Superfund Actions, including counsel to Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) and others involved in CERCLA and state Superfund actions.
  • Petroleum Storage Tanks (PSTs) Regulation and Enforcement.
  • Environmental Audits pursuant to the provisions of the Texas Environmental, Health, and Safety Audit Privilege Act, including the procedures for claiming immunity from penalties and the privileges available under the Act.
  • Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP), Innocent Owner Program (IOP), and other Brownfields programs intended to limit liability and return contaminated properties to beneficial use.
  • Compliance History Evaluations and Protests.
  • Texas Risk Reduction Program (TRRP) rules, including use and interpretation.
  • Endangered Species Act compliance assistance.
  • Wetlands and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issues.

Environmental Permitting

BBM assists clients through all steps of the environmental permitting, registration, or notification processes for all environmental media programs. During the early stages of development of an application, BBM provides strategy development and counsel. BBM attorneys work closely with other environmental professionals, including, consultants, engineers, and geologists, to advance each client's interests in developing complete and accurate permit and registration applications to facilitate the timely authorization of regulated facilities. Attorneys with BBM also communicate with the regulatory agency staff during the administrative and technical review of applications and involve upper agency management when necessary to resolve unique issues or unanticipated problems. BBM attorney's advocate for clients' interests with neighboring communities or nearby landowners and represent clients at public meetings and contested case hearings.

Environmental Investigations and Enforcement

BBM's attorneys frequently provide legal services to clients during regulatory compliance investigations and enforcement actions. These services include assisting clients with preparing for regulatory investigations, communicating with regulatory agencies, strategy development, negotiating settlement agreements and monetary penalties, and representation in enforcement hearings, as necessary. BBM's attorneys have experience with enforcement actions before various state and federal environmental enforcement agencies, including TCEQ, EPA, the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and other regulatory agencies. BBM attorneys frequently address issues involving TCEQ's Enforcement Initiation Criteria, its Penalty Policy, and other rules and policies related to enforcement actions initiated by TCEQ.

Other Environmental Law Services

BBM's attorneys often work with clients to determine compliance with environmental regulatory requirements through self-evaluative audits. Through such environmental audits, BBM attorneys assist clients with determining compliance with all applicable environmental laws and regulations and addressing any identified issues. Such environmental audits can also help permitted entities identify cost savings through alternative means of compliance.

In addition to handling individual client matters, BBM attorneys have experience in building coalitions among parties with common interests that are seeking common goals. These efforts are most helpful in response to proposed agency actions, such as proposed rulemakings, that will potentially impact many individual parties. BBM attorneys have also formed coalitions of clients in adversarial forums like federal or state Superfund actions. In such situations, coalitions allow parties to benefit from consensus efforts rather than retreating to self-centered defenses.

Below is a partial listing of the agencies before which the firm practices:

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Railroad Commission of Texas
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Texas Department of Health Services
State Office of Administrative Hearings

4705 Spicewood Springs Road, Suite 200 • Austin, Texas 78759 • 512.349.9300 • F: 512.349.9303