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Bracewell Wins Dismissal of Lawsuit Against Landfill Developer

HOUSTON – The Fourth Court of Appeals of the State of Texas, in San Antonio, ruled in the favor of Bracewell LLP client Post Oak Clean Green (Post Oak), a landfill developer, locked in a two-year injunction suit with a groundwater district. 

The groundwater district filed suit while Post Oak’s application for a permit to operate the landfill was before the Texas Commission on Environment Quality (TCEQ).  The groundwater district claimed that the construction of the landfill would violate one of its rules related to the siting of landfills within its jurisdiction.  At the trial level, Post Oak sought dismissal of the case based on the ongoing administrative permitting process and the TCEQ’s exclusive jurisdiction over the siting of landfills.  TCEQ intervened in the case, siding with Post Oak.  After the trial court denied Post Oak’s motion to dismiss the case, Post Oak engaged Bracewell for trial court and appellate assistance.

On April 6, 2016, the Court of Appeals reversed and rendered, dismissing the lawsuit on ripeness grounds.  The court found that the trial court lacked jurisdiction because Post Oak’s permit application remained pending with the TCEQ.