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Bracewell’s Ewing and Wilkins Named to the List of 2017 Energy & Environmental Trailblazers

HOUSTON – Bracewell LLP is pleased to announce that Partners Kevin A. Ewing and Timothy A. Wilkins have been named to the list of 2017 Energy & Environmental Trailblazers as part of ALM’s National Law Journal Trailblazers series. The series recognizes legal professionals who have done groundbreaking work in energy and environmental law.

Ewing led a team that broke new ground in establishing that the offshore services sector is not regulated under the environmental and safety provisions of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA).  From the 1950s to 2011, no enforcement action had been brought against any offshore contractors for violations of safety and environmental regulations issued under OCSLA. Since 2011, however, the government has repeatedly sought to enforce the Act against offshore contractors. Ewing and his team advised on the first administrative appeal of such an enforcement action on behalf of a global oil and gas client. Since then, the Bracewell team has filed similar administrative appeals for multiple offshore clients involved in other incidents. Ewing’s contributions place Bracewell’s Environmental Strategies Group in the fulcrum position in the industry in this new area of law and policy.

Wilkins, who serves as managing partner of the firm’s Austin office, is the immediate past head of the firm’s Environmental Strategies Group. As a nationally recognized leader in auditing, Wilkins helped pioneer the development and use of the “new owner audit policy” applied by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since his 1992 Harvard Environmental Law Review article, “Environmental Audits and Enforcement Policy,” Wilkins has been deeply engaged in auditing and on related policy issues. Having previously worked on audits by new owners under agreement with the EPA, Wilkins became involved in the EPA’s 2008 effort to formally adapt its policy to the circumstances of new owners. Since then, he has led numerous new owner audits following major transactions, including multi-billion dollar acquisitions involving the oil and gas, pipeline/midstream, refining, chemical manufacturing, and construction industries.

The list of Energy & Environmental Trailblazers will be featured in an upcoming issue of the National Law Journal.