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About Kevin

Kevin is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney from the Eastern District of Texas, and he can help you manage the problems that arise during government investigations. His goal is to help you avoid significant penalties or uncertain litigation by negotiating a favorable outcome. But he has the trial experience to stand firm against the government when it demands too much or oversteps its lawful authority.

Kevin has focused on process safety since he assisted the Baker Panel investigate and issue its report on safety culture and corporate oversight of BP's North American refineries in 2005. This focus results in four main areas of assistance to you: (1) responding to government investigations after industrial accidents; (2) representing you during OSHA (process safety management standard) and EPA (RMP) enforcement proceedings; (3) improving safety culture in refineries and chemical plants; and (4) preparing for industrial accidents by helping you to develop useful business-continuity plans, legal resource handbooks, release-reporting guides, and meaningful tabletop exercises and emergency field drills.

Kevin's combination of process safety experience, trial experience, and technical understanding will help you solve your problems. He is a member of the AIChE, speaks often on the criminalization of process safety, and is an adjunct faculty member of The University of Texas at Austin.  

He is clear-minded, calm and technical. His engineering knowledge is really helpful.
Chambers USA, 2021


Recent Notable Matters

Business owner — defended against federal conspiracy and criminal tax charges; tried case to verdict in federal jury trial

Executive — negotiated plea agreement for international executive charged by the U.S. Justice Department with FCPA violations

Independent panel — conducted special investigation into corporate safety culture, corporate safety oversight and safety management systems at BP's five North American refineries on behalf of an independent panel of experts chaired by former US Secretary of State James A. Baker III*

Major integrated energy company — special safety investigation under Contra Costa county's industrial safety ordinance*

Major refining and marketing company — investigations by CalOSHA, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB), the U.S. EPA, and Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials*

Chemical manufacturer — represented during OSHA and CSB investigation of release resulting in a fatality*

Chemical manufacturer — represented during OSHA, CSB, U.S. EPA, and TCEQ investigations of a release resulting in four fatalities*

Midstream oil and gas company — internal investigation of a process safety incident*

* Work completed prior to Bracewell

Publications and Speeches

Co-author, “Avoiding criminal liability after a flood: Lessons from Hurricane Harvey,” Trends, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources of the American Bar Association, January/February 2018.

Presenter, “Personal Criminal Liability for Corporate Activities,” Association of Corporate Counsel Austin Chapter, March 28, 2017.

“Lessons Learned from the PG&E Trial,” Austin Bar Association Environmental Law Section, December 1, 2016.

“The Criminalization of Process Safety,” Chicagoland Safety, Health, & Environment Conference, Chicago, September 21, 2016.

“Criminalization of Process Safety Incidents,” 29th Annual Environmental, Health & Safety Seminar Sponsored by Texas Chemistry Council (TCC) and Association of Chemical Industry of Texas (ACITS), Galveston, Texas, June 6, 2016.

“The Criminalization of Process Safety,” Inside Counsel, March 15, 2016.

"Major Accident Response," 26th Annual Texas/Louisiana EHS Seminar Sponsored by Texas Chemistry Council (TCC) and Association of Chemical Industry of Texas (ACITS), Galveston, Texas, June 3-6, 2013.

"How is Environmental & Safety Regulation of the Oil & Gas Industry Evolving?," 65th Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference, Houston, Texas, February 19-20, 2014.

"What to Expect in the Event of an Oil Spill or Other Significant Offshore Incident or Catastrophe," Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Federal Offshore Regulatory Enforcement Conference, Houston, Texas, January 20-21, 2016.

“Incident Response: E-Discovery in Government Investigations,” AU-CLE Webinar, July 30, 2014.



The University of Texas School of Law,
with honors
The University of Texas at Austin,

Bar Admissions



American Bar Association
Section of Environment Energy and Resources; Section of Environmental Enforcement and Crimes; Section of Environmental Litigation; Section of Toxic Torts Committees
Eastern District of Texas Anti-Terrorism Advisory Task Force
Texas Bar Foundation



Business Continuity Plan for the Legal Department

March 29, 2018
Today's General Counsel

Criminal Charges in Flint Water Crisis Raise Stakes

April 21, 2016
Associated Press - Detroit Bureau



10th Circuit Expands PSM Coverage

October 29, 2020
Energy Legal Blog®

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (covering Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah) issued an opinion on Tuesday (10/27/2020) that expands the applicability of OSHA’s process-safety-management standard to interconnected processes—even when the interconnected process does not contain any highly hazardous...

U.S. Chemical Safety Board Issues Factual Update on TPC Group Port Neches Facility

October 29, 2020
Energy Legal Blog®

Today, the CSB issued an interim factual update on its investigation of the November 27, 2019 explosion at TPC Group's Port Neches facility in Texas.  The November 2019 explosion resulted in millions of dollars of estimated loss, shut down the area for several days, and a fire...

COVID-19: EPA Enforcement Discretion Policy

March 26, 2020
Energy Legal Blog®

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a policy memorandum on the exercise of enforcement discretion due to the evolving impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Susan Parker Bodine, Assistant Administrator for Enforcement...

Vanessa Allen Sutherland Stepping Down as Chair of U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board

May 21, 2018
Energy Legal Blog®

Vanessa Allen Sutherland just announced that she is resigning from  the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). President Barack Obama nominated Sutherland to be Chairperson, and she was confirmed in August 2015. Ms. Sutherland's resignation...

DOJ ENRD Memo Blog Series: Enforcement Principle 2: “Enhancing Cooperative Federalism”

May 7, 2018
Energy Legal Blog®

On March 12, 2018, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resource Division (“ENRD”), Jeffrey H. Wood, issued a U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) memorandum titled...

DOJ’s Environmental Enforcement Priorities and Expectations – Refocusing on the Rule of Law

April 19, 2018
Energy Legal Blog®

In recent months, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ” or the “Department”) has issued a series of memoranda from the Department’s highest levels to its various component divisions...

Navigating Texas Regulations During Hurricane Harvey: TCEQ Executive Director's Regulatory Guidance and Governor Abbott's Disaster Proclamation Provide Potential Relief

August 29, 2017
Energy Legal Blog®

A series of decisions between the Governor's office and the Executive Director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality ("TCEQ") has resulted in the suspension of a number of state...

EPA Proposes to Delay the Effective Date of RMP Rule Amendments to 2019

April 3, 2017
Energy Legal Blog®

On April 3, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed rule that would delay the effective date of the recent Risk Management Program (RMP) rule amendments to February 19, 2019. 82 Fed. Reg. 16146 (Apr. 3, 2017). EPA published...

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...

U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board Releases Strategic Plan for 2017-2021

October 20, 2016
Energy Legal Blog®

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (“CSB”) released its Strategic Plan for 2017-2021 today. The Strategic Plan is the result of 18 months of staff and stakeholder development and review. The plan serves as a blueprint for the CSB’s investigative...

U.S. Drops $562 Million Alternative Fines Act Allegation Against PG&E

August 2, 2016
Energy Legal Blog®

Today, the United States requested permission to dismiss its Alternative Fines Act sentencing allegation against PG&E. Under the AFA, a court can impose a criminal fine equal to twice the pecuniary gain to the defendant or twice the pecuniary loss suffered by victims...



Chambers USA
Texas Environment, 2021
The Legal 500 United States
Environment: Regulatory, 2016, 2019 - 2021; Environment: Litigation, 2016, 2018 - 2019
BL Rankings
Best Lawyers
Environmental Law, 2019 - 2022; Litigation - Environmental, 2020 - 2022