Tim’s clients rely on him for strategic environmental permitting assistance, the defense of environmental enforcement actions and assistance with the environmental aspects of major transactions. His clients report in Chambers USA that “he really gets issues and is commercially minded” and that “one of Tim’s chief strengths is his ability to explain the law in a way that anyone can understand” (2019). They have also described him as “a very astute lawyer, liked for his quickness and thorough responses” (2007); as having “great business acumen and amazing negotiation skills” (2009); and as capable of delivering “practical, cost-effective solutions for his clients” (2011).
He has overseen environmental compliance audits involving thousands of locations, handled hundreds of environmental audit disclosures and pioneered the development and use of U.S. EPA’s audit policy for new owners. Clients also note in Chambers USA that Tim is “fantastic, detailed and very strong with management systems.”
In addition to his duties at Bracewell, Tim periodically teaches the course in Corporate Environmental Law at The University of Texas School of Law. Before joining Bracewell, Tim was research assistant to Professor Laurence H. Tribe of Harvard Law School, editor-in-chief of the Harvard Environmental Law Review, and a judicial clerk for the Honorable Henry A. Politz, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Recent Notable Matters
Environmental Audits and Transactions
Major chemical manufacturer — overseeing a five-year company-wide program of privileged environmental compliance audits
Independent Petroleum Refiner — leading new owner environmental compliance audits under agreement with US EPA at recently-acquired refining facilities
Par Pacific Holdings, Inc. — environmental aspects of an acquisition of 100 percent of the equity interests in U.S. Oil & Refining Co. and certain affiliated entities for $358 million, including a 42,000 bpd refinery, a marine terminal and associated logistical system in Tacoma, Washington
Halcón Resources Corporation — environmental aspects of a $325 million divestiture of water infrastructure assets across the Delaware Basin to a subsidiary of WaterBridge Resources LLC
AP Energy Holdings Inc and South Field Energy LLC — environmental aspects of $1.3 billion project financing and equity arrangements for the construction of the South Field Energy project, a 1,182 megawatt combined-cycle natural gas electric generating facility located near Wellsville, Ohio
Multiple industrial companies — including new owners of upstream oil and gas, midstream, refineries, chemical manufacturing and distribution, and industrial construction facilities following tens of billions of dollars in acquisitions, in negotiating new owner environmental compliance audit agreements with U.S. EPA, overseeing and administering those compliance audits, preparing extensive audit disclosures to EPA with respect to environmental violations originating pre-acquisition, and resolving those disclosures with EPA without penalty
Various companies — advised on the environmental aspects of numerous acquisitions, divestitures and financing transactions in the energy, refining, electric power, chemicals, telecommunications, real estate, waste handling and municipal sectors
RCRA Enforcement Defense — defended to favorable settlement or dismissal nine federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) civil and administrative enforcement actions and noticed RCRA citizen suits since 2018 applying deep knowledge of EPA and State hazardous waste regulations and guidance, as well as the applicable penalty policies
Midstream Energy Company — represented a major pipeline company in connection with the defense of federal environmental citizen suits and tort claims as well as state agency enforcement and remediation actions arising from a release of drilling fluid to groundwater during pipeline construction
Specialty chemicals manufacturer — successfully defended a sizeable EPA RMP enforcement action involving a newly acquired facility, resulting in the dropping of multiple counts and no penalties
Large chemical manufacturing facility — defended a major hazardous waste, clean water, RMP and TRI enforcement action by U.S. EPA's National Environmental Investigations Center and Region 6
Houston-area heavy industrial manufacturer — secured the dismissal of all charges against client that had been indicted on three counts of felony water pollution
International terminal company — defended in connection with a stormwater discharge incident that had been referred for criminal prosecution by the Harris County District Attorney, achieving its successful de-referral
Global chemical manufacturing company — defense against a series of EPA Risk Management Plan inspections, information requests, and enforcement actions
Downgradient industrial property owner — defended a multiparty civil litigation in connection with the Omega Chemical Superfund Site in Los Angeles
Chemical manufacturing facility — defended a Notice of Violation and potential civil multimedia enforcement action commenced by Harris County Pollution Control
Air Quality and Permitting
Several large energy companies — response to EPA information requests under the Clean Air Act and other federal environmental statutes
New chemical manufacturing facility — led the owner's federal and state air permitting effort on a $2 billion greenfield chemical plant in South Texas including the successful defense and resolution of multiple contested case hearing challenges
Publications and Speeches
Co-author, “Co-Located Facilities: Untangling Environmental Compliance, Liability and Accountability Issues”, Chemical Engineering, September 2018.
"Transactional Ethics Concerns," Texas Environmental Superconference, August 3, 2018
Co-author, “Practitioner Insights: Environmental Auditing in New Regulatory Era,” Bloomberg Environment & Energy Report, February 5, 2018.
Co-presenter, “Environmental Law's Not Dead Yet: Optics Versus Reality in the New Administration's Regulatory Reform Project,” Association of Corporate Counsel South/Central Texas Chapter, July 12, 2017.
Co-presenter, “What to Expect When You Don’t Know What to Expect: Working the EHS Regulatory Crystal Ball,” Young Professionals in Energy Austin Chapter, May 5, 2017.
Presenter, “Regulatory Update,” Environmental Health and Safety Audit Center, April 7, 2017.
"The Desktop Regulator: A Closer Look at the Future of Environmental Enforcement,” Bracewell’s Fall 2016 Environmental Law Seminar, November 15, 2016.
“Preparing for and Defending Environmental Enforcement Actions,” Association of Corporate Counsel South/Central Texas Chapter, San Antonio, July 6, 2016.
“Recent Environmental Enforcement Trends in the Energy Industry,” Association of Corporate Counsel South Central Texas Chapter's Oil & Gas Law Lunch and Learn, San Antonio, April 28, 2016.
“A Regulator’s Reach Exceeds its Grasp: The Quiet Expansion of the TCEQ’s Water Code Jurisdiction,” Texas Environmental Law Journal, Vol. 46, No. 1, March 2016.
"Key Environmental Enforcement Trends for the Energy Industry," Texas Oil and Gas Association, Austin, Texas, April 14, 2016.
“EPA’s ‘Next Generation’ Enforcement Initiative – and What it Means for the Next Generation of Environmental Auditing,” The Auditing Roundtable’s 2016 National Meeting, Tempe, Arizona, April 11, 2016.
“Next Generation Enforcement and Its Implications for Auditing,” The Auditing Roundtable’s South Central Regional Meeting, Houston, February 29, 2016.
“EPA’s Next Generation Compliance Initiative,” Bracewell Environmental Law Seminar, Fall 2015.
“EPA’s Next Generation Enforcement Initiative: What It Means for the Next Generation of Environmental Auditing,” Auditing Roundtable Webinar, October 7, 2015.
“Methane Emissions: EPA Hits Oil and Gas Industry with a Flurry of Proposed Methane Regulations,” Oil & Gas Financial Journal, October 2015.
“Disclosure 2.0: Enter EPA’s E-Disclosure Audit Program,” Law360, June 16, 2015.
“Audit Disclosure How-To’s,” Auditing Roundtable South Central Region Meeting, April 10, 2015.
"Under Attack: How to Protect Your Power Generation Project Against Environmental Group Opposition," Power Engineering, November 25, 2014.
"Attorney-Client Privilege in OSHA Compliance Self-Audits," Corporate Counsel, August 2014.
"Texas Railroad Commission Proposes Regulation to Address Earthquake Risks from Disposal Wells," Oil & Gas Investor, September 18, 2014.
"First Texas GHG Permit Upheld by EPA Appeals Board," Electric Light & Power, May 13, 2014.
"Texas Greenhouse Gas Regulations Go into Effect," Electric Light & Power, April 24, 2014.
"EPA's Texas Greenhouse Gas PSD Permitting Program," Air & Waste Management Association Conference, Houston, September 18, 2013.
"Managing Environmental Risk in Transactions," 24th Texas Environmental Superconference, Austin, August 3, 2012.