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About Brittany

Brittany Pemberton advises energy, oil and gas, and industrial clients in environmental regulatory compliance and enforcement matters, including handling stationary source enforcement and compliance matters under the Clean Air Act (CAA) before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). She also represents companies and trade associations participating in the federal rulemaking process, including developing comments on a variety of EPA, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) proposals and challenging final agency rules in federal court. Her practice also regularly includes representing companies in administrative appeals before federal agencies, such as the DOI. In addition, Brittany has experience obtaining federal and state authorizations for major projects and transactions.

Brittany’s pro bono work has included representations in immigration-related matters, such as representing unaccompanied minors in removal proceedings and assisting them in attaining legal status.

While in law school, Brittany worked as a law clerk for the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights; the EPA Office of General Counsel’s Water Law Office; and the Division of Mineral Resources within DOI's Office of the Solicitor. She also served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Robert N. Davis of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims.

Experience

Recent Notable Matters

Major terminal operation — defended against EPA flaring and tank emission enforcement using advance monitoring devices such as IR cameras

Various terminals and industrial clients — assisted with responding to EPA information requests issued for regulatory and enforcement proceedings

Various refining companies — assisted with policy and compliance issues regarding EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program

Multinational LNG export facility — conducted comprehensive review of compliance with local, state, and federal permits and approvals

Major chemical company — defended the client on state investigation under Clean Air Act

Various companies throughout the oil and gas industry — assisted with administrative appeals before the Department of Interior’s Office of Hearings and Appeals and Interior Board of Land of Appeals

Industrial trade association — assisted with legal challenges to EPA air toxics regulations under the Clean Air Act and with drafting comments on various EPA policy and regulatory initiatives

Publications and Speeches

"Federal District Court Vacates BLM’s Postponement of the Waste Prevention Rule," The National Law Review, October 6, 2017.

"EPA’s Authority to Postpone Implementation of Existing Rules," 29th Annual Texas Environmental Superconference Air Quality Panel paper, August 3-4, 2017.

"Environmental Litigation Update," 2017 Industrial Emission Control Technology XV Conference, Portland, Maine, August 1, 2017.

"Court vacates EPA’s stay of methane rule," Oil & Gas Financial Journal, August 2017.

"EPA Hazardous Air Pollutant Standards Risk And Technology Reviews: Tight Deadlines and (Some) DC Circuit Guidance," Environmental Quarterly, Summer 2017 edition.

“EPA’s Regional Consistency Regs Tilt The Playing Field,” Law360, October 28, 2016.

“Air Issues Update,” 2016 Industrial Emission Control Technology XIV Conference, Portland, Maine, August 2, 2016.

“From Shale to Sail: Production, Transportation and Export of U.S. Oil & Gas,” ABA SEER Spring Conference, March 31, 2016 - April 1, 2016.

“Environmental Enforcement and Crimes”, ABA Environment, Energy, and Resources Law: The Year in Review, 2014.

Credentials

Education

The George Washington University Law School,
J.D.
2013
with honors
James Madison University,
M.M.
2004
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music,
B.M.
2002
summa cum laude

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia
Virginia

News

Insights

Insights

EPA Issues Proposal to Repeal the Clean Power Plan

October 16, 2017

On October 10, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt formally announced that he had signed a proposed rule to repeal the Obama EPA’s controversial Clean Power Plan (CPP). This proposal is the first formal step toward repealing the CPP and the beginning of a public process that the Trump Administration will use to determine whether to issue a rule to replace the CPP and, if so, what a replacement...

Federal District Court Vacates BLM’s Postponement of the Waste Prevention Rule

October 6, 2017

On October 4, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a decision vacating the Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM’s”) June 15, 2017 notice that indefinitely postponed compliance dates for sections of BLM’s Methane and...

DC Circuit Vacates EPA’s Initial Stay of Methane Rule Requirements

On July 3, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a decision vacating the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) initial 90-day stay of parts of the 2016 rule establishing methane emissions standards for the oil and gas industry (“Methane Rule”). Clean Air Council v. Pruitt , No. 17-1145 (D.C. Cir, July 3, 2017). The Methane Rule applies to oil and gas facilities for which construction, modification, or reconstruction started after September 18, 2015. See 40 C.F.R. Part 60, Subpart OOOOa (40 C.F.R. § 60.5360a et seq. , adopted at 81 Fed. Reg...

EPA Proposes Additional Two-Year Stay of Parts of the Methane Rule

On June 13, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a pre-publication proposed rule that would grant an additional two-year stay to the effectiveness of certain portions of the 2016 rule establishing methane emissions standards for the oil and gas industry (“Methane Rule”). The Methane Rule applies to oil and gas facilities for which construction, modification, or reconstruction started after September 18, 2015. See 40 C.F.R. Part 60, Subpart OOOOa (40 C.F.R. § 60.5360a et seq. , adopted at 81 Fed. Reg. 35824 (June 3, 2016)). The June 13 proposed rule affects three...

EPA Announces Reconsideration and Stay of Additional Parts of the Methane Rule

On May 26, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a pre-publication notice that announced the reconsideration and a three-month stay to the effectiveness of certain portions of the 2016 rule establishing methane emissions standards for the oil and gas industry (“Methane Rule”). The Methane Rule applies to oil and gas facilities for which construction, modification, or reconstruction started after September 18, 2015. See 40 C.F.R. Part 60, Subpart OOOOa (40 C.F.R. § 60.5360a et seq. , adopted at 81 Fed. Reg. 35824 (June 3, 2016)). The May 26 notice granted reconsideration...

Boiler MACT Litigation - Environmental Law Seminar, Spring 2017

May 4, 2017

An introduction to the history and current status of EPA’s standards addressing hazardous air pollutants from industrial, commercial, and institutional major source boilers.  The presentation discusses the latest developments in federal litigation over the standards.  Then, it describes the issues still pending at EPA and looks ahead to how the agency might resolve them.

Clean Air Act Residual Risk And Technology Review -Environmental Law Seminar, Spring 2017

May 4, 2017

This presentation explains EPA’s responsibility to conduct a Risk and Technology Review (RTR) of nearly 100 standards addressing hazardous air pollutants at various categories of stationary sources.  It describes the components of the Risk Review and of the Technology Review and explains how recent court decisions have increased the agency’s activity in  this area. It provides a brief summary of the types of regulatory changes EPA may consider and the challenges the agency faces as it conducts RTR rulemakings in the near future.

EPA Announces Methane Rule Reconsideration, Adding to List of Obama-Era Rules Under Review

April 20, 2017

On April 18, 2017, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the EPA will convene a proceeding for reconsideration of certain elements of the 2016 rule establishing methane emissions standards for the oil and gas industry (“Methane Rule”). The Methane Rule applies to oil and gas facilities for which construction, modification, or reconstruction started after September 18, 2015. See 40 C.F.R. Part 60, Subpart OOOOa (40 C.F.R. § 60.5360a et seq., adopted at 81 Fed. Reg. 35824 (June 3, 2016). In particular, EPA will reconsider elements of the fugitive...

EPA Seeks Public Comment on Existing Regulations for Repeal, Replacement or Modification

April 13, 2017

On April 13, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is seeking comments from the public on existing regulations that the Agency should consider repealing, replacing, or modifying. 82 Fed. Reg. 17793 (Apr. 13, 2017). EPA issued the Request for Comment in response to the February 2017 Executive Order issued by President Trump, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” that seeks “to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens on the American people.” As required by the EO, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt formed an EPA Regulatory Reform Task Force to carry out the...

President Trump Signs Executive Order “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth”

On March 28, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order titled “ Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth .” Touted by the administration as both “protecting the environment and promoting [the] economy,” [1] the Order aims to “promote clean and safe development of our Nation’s vast energy resources, while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation.” To accomplish these goals, the Order rescinds key pieces of the prior administration’s environmental agenda and requires federal...

Process Safety Culture and Environmental Management Systems

The presentation provided guidance on developing a corporate culture attuned to process safety and on continuing to assess and adjust over time. It also discussed the legal issues that can arise from adopting an environmental management system, particularly with regard to how a company documents its environmental, health, and safety regulatory compliance policies as well as its internal goals, roles, and responsibilities.

Bracewell Environmental Law Seminar – Fall 2016: Highlights on “The Desktop Regulator”

December 16, 2016

On November 15, 2016, Bracewell’s Environmental Strategies Group hosted its third biannual Environmental Law Seminar in Houston. The seminar was attended by nearly 100 industry representatives and featured five guest speakers, including Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, CSB Board Member Rick Engler, Center for Global Energy Policy Fellow Ronald Minsk, Windward Strategies President and CEO Eric Washburn, and Spirit Environmental Program Manager Johnny Vermillion. This is the second in a series of posts highlighting learnings from the seminar. Click here to read Matt Paulson's previous post on...

EPA’s Amended Regional Consistency Regulations Tilt the Playing Field: Industry Groups Seek to Overturn

October 11, 2016

Last week, three industry groups filed challenges to EPA’s final rule amending the agency’s Regional Consistency Regulation in 40 CFR Part 56. [1] The final rule , which was issued on August 3, 2016, addresses the question of how to treat Federal court decisions regarding locally or regionally applicable actions that may affect EPA’s ability to apply its national programs, policies, and guidance consistently. Notably, the rule is substantively flawed and simply unfair. EPA wants to have its cake and eat it too. The agency’s rule limits decisions adverse to the agency to a particular region of...

Reports Connecting Seismic Activity to the Injection of Produced Water

April 28, 2015

In recent days, the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS), Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have each indicated that they are increasingly convinced that there is a connection between the underground injection of produced water and induced seismicity"”small earthquakes caused by something other than naturally occurring activity. The Oklahoma Geological Survey released a statement on April 21, 2015 indicating that the increased seismic activity experienced in many parts of Oklahoma in recent years is "very unlikely" to be the result of naturally...

Noteworthy

Noteworthy

The George Washington University Law School
The George Washington Journal of Energy and Environmental Law
Senior Managing Editor, 2012 - 2013

Events