Matt Paulson represents companies in the oil and gas, refining, power and chemical manufacturing industries on environmental matters, including strategic permitting, regulatory compliance, investigations, enforcement and civil and appellate litigation. His work includes advising clients on issues arising under all of the major federal environmental laws and their state counterparts. Matt regularly advises clients at the early project planning stages, assisting with scoping a broad array of regulatory and permitting requirements across all media and disciplines, from air, water and waste permitting, endangered species and cultural resource reviews and approvals, and US Coast Guard and Federal Aviation Administration authorizations, to land use, local registration and licensing obligations, as well as other federal, state, and local requirements that can affect project timing and viability. Matt also provides assistance on crisis management and prevention, including responding to major accidents, conducting internal investigations associated with allegations of criminal and civil wrongdoing, preparing risk management, emergency response and business continuity plans, and preparing for inspections by regulatory authorities.
Recent Notable Matters
Pioneer Natural Resources Company — agreement with undisclosed buyer to sell all of its assets in the West Panhandle field in Texas for $201 million (2018)
LNG export company — strategic counseling on state and federal environmental authorizations associated with construction and operation of export facilities and associated infrastructure, including pipelines and compressor stations in Texas
TC Energy Corporation — approximately $1.275 billion sale of US midstream assets held by its subsidiary, Columbia Midstream Group, to a subsidiary of UGI Corporation
Major oil company — multimedia permitting for major refinery expansion
LNG export company — strategic counseling on state and federal environmental authorizations associated with construction and operation of export facilities and associated infrastructure, including pipelines and compressor stations in Louisiana
Midstream oil and gas company — internal investigation regarding allegations of circumvention of emissions reporting requirements
Chemical manufacturing company — defense in multiple enforcement actions related to alleged air and water quality violations
Upstream oil and gas company — incident response associated with fatality and major fire at exploration and production site
Major oil company — strategic counseling on the regulation of greenhouse gases under existing laws
National Association of Manufacturers, et al. — challenge to EPA's GHG Tailoring Rule. The National Association of Manufacturers, et al. v. EPA, Case No. 10-1218 (DC Circuit)
LNG export company — defense of enforcement action for excess emissions
Upstream oil and gas company — evaluation of source aggregation under the Clean Air Act
Chemical manufacturing company — greenhouse gas permitting matters before the U.S. EPA
Energy storage company — greenhouse gas permitting matters before the U.S. EPA
Major utility — transaction involving the purchase of emission reduction credits and associated inter-pollutant credit use approvals
Midstream oil and gas company — approval of inter-pollutant credit use and associated air permitting representation
Chemical manufacturing company — Superfund cleanup of former hazardous waste disposal facility representation
U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Automobile Dealers Association — challenge to EPA grant of preemption waiver to California under Section 209 of the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. US Chamber of Commerce, et al. v. EPA, Case No. 09-1237 (DC Circuit).
Major utility — contested case hearing challenging the air permit for a coal-fired power plant
Major oil company — contested case hearing challenging the air permit for a major refinery expansion
Food manufacturing company — fuel cell power purchase agreement
Pipeline company — advice and counsel regarding Clean Water Act Section 404 individual, Nationwide and Regional permit associated with work on existing pipelines and development of new pipeline segments
Midstream oil and gas company — advice and counsel regarding consultation requirements under the Endangered Species Act and the National Historic Preservation Act
Chemical manufacturing company — state and federal permitting associated with development of new production units
Publications and Speeches
“Crisis Response Strategies for In-House Counsel," 18th Annual Gas and Power Institute, Houston, September 26, 2019.”
“Regulatory Updates: Hot Topics for Energy Infrastructure Projects,” Southern Gas Association Technical Conference on Environmental Permitting and Construction, Frisco, February 13, 2019.
“TSCA Reform, Take 2: Reconciling Trump’s Deregulatory Agenda and a Congressionally-Mandated Program,” 4C Health / Safety / Environmental Conference, San Antonio, April 3, 2018
"Strategic Permitting: From Project Planning to First Fire," Bracewell Fall 2016 Environmental Law Seminar, Houston, November 15, 2016.
"Environmental Challenges Facing Midstream," Bracewell Oil and Gas Regulatory Symposium, Houston, October 6, 2016.
“RMP Amendments, Methane Rules, and ERC Developments,” 28th Annual Texas Environmental Superconference, Austin, August 4, 2016.
"TSCA Reform: A Work in Progress," The Auditing Roundtable, South Central Regional Meeting, Austin, August 3, 2016.
“Preparing for and Defending Environmental Enforcement Actions,” Association of Corporate Counsel South/Central Texas Chapter, San Antonio, July 6, 2016.
“EPA’s Clean Power Plan: The Sky is the Limit,” Air & Waste Management Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, June 23, 2016.
“Proposed Amendments to EPA’s Risk Management Program Regulations: Scoping Potential Legal Challenges,” Air & Waste Management Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, June 22, 2016.
"Appellate Challenges to Environmental Rules," Bracewell Spring 2016 Environmental Law Seminar, Houston, May 17, 2016.
"The Integration of the RMP and PSM," Bracewell Spring 2016 Environmental Law Seminar, Houston, May 17, 2016.
“Major Accident Response and Planning,” Association of Corporate Counsel South Central Texas Chapter's Oil & Gas Law Lunch and Learn, San Antonio, April 28, 2016.
“EPA's Effort to Expand Risk Management Program Requirements - Necessary Improvements in Chemical Safety or a Failure to Implement and Enforce Existing Regulations,” 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Spring Meeting & 12th Global Congress on Process Safety, Houston, April 12, 2016.
"Proposed Amendments to EPA’s Risk Management Program Regulations,” The Auditing Roundtable, South Central Regional Meeting, Houston, February 29, 2016.
“Misinterpreting Machiavelli? Where the Ends and the Means Collide with Sound Law, Science And Policy: The Impacts of EPA’s Ozone NAAQS Revision on the Midstream Oil and Gas Industry,” The Institute for Energy Law’s Midstream Oil & Gas Law Conference, Houston, December 3, 2015.
"Strategic Permitting," Bracewell Fall 2015 Environmental Law Seminar, Houston, November 18, 2015.
"EPA's RMP Initiative," Bracewell Fall 2015 Environmental Law Seminar, Houston, November 18, 2015.
“How Did ERCOT Perform in 2014?,” ERCOT Market Summit 2015, Austin, February 26, 2015.
“Hot Air Issues – 2014,” Texas Chemical Council, Air Conservation Committee Quarterly Meeting, Houston, November 13, 2014.
“The Drive to Inherently Safer Systems and Technology,” Chemical Safety and Security Seminar, Houston, September 16, 2014.
“Greenhouse Gas Permitting in the Wake of UARG v. EPA,” Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies Annual Meeting, Austin, September 12, 2014.
“Hot Air Topics,” Texas Chemical Council, Air Conservation Committee Quarterly Meeting, Houston, April 1, 2013.
“Clean Air Act Update,” Houston Bar Association Environmental Section Luncheon, Houston, February 1, 2013.
“Greenhouse Gas Permitting,” Texas Chemical Council/Association of Chemical Industry of Texas 2012 Environmental, Health and Safety Seminar, Galveston, June 1, 2012.