Complex federal, state, regional, and local laws and regulations, such as the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Oil Pollution Act, and federal and state water programs, govern the use of water. Vinson & Elkins lawyers, many of whom have extensive backgrounds in industry and government, help guide clients through this multifaceted framework. We work with a diverse client base, including landowners, project developers, major industrial and municipal wastewater facilities, agricultural and industrial businesses, water suppliers, energy suppliers, and local governments, whose ability to access, transport, store, use, recycle, and dispose of water is essential to operations. We assist clients with strategic project siting and development, water permitting and compliance counseling, negotiating water quality standards and permit requirements, negotiating water contracts, resolving regulatory enforcement matters and litigation, and participating in legislative initiatives.
projects often involve complex legal issues associated with water provisioning
and water management, in addition to general environmental planning, wetlands
issues, and storm water control. Our practitioners understand the unique needs
of developers facing problems related to water permitting, wastewater
treatment, storage, transportation and disposal, compliance, administrative
proceedings, and litigation. We also help clients acquire water rights and strive to make such rights incontestable, which is especially important for our clients engaged in hydraulic fracturing in water-sensitive areas.
bring cutting‑edge experience to innovative public‑private partnerships that
support critical improvements to aging wastewater and drinking water
infrastructure. We serve as counsel to both the public and private sectors in
the development, construction, and operation of water treatment facilities,
desalination facilities, waste‑to‑energy projects, and recycling projects. We have
helped entities confront a challenging array of environmental, regulatory,
construction, insurance, and contractual issues in support of such projects. Our
team has also counseled on, among other things, public‑private water transfer
and marketing arrangements, new water purification technologies, and new
methods of water delivery.
We represent clients
in all phases of water-related litigation, including contested case hearings; responding
to information requests; enforcement actions; judicial review of revised,
suspended, and revoked permits; citizen suits alleging permit violations or unpermitted
discharges; negotiating settlements and supplemental environmental projects; and
related appellate work. We also represent industry clients, state agencies,
trade associations, and non-governmental organizations in commenting on federal
and state legislation and rulemakings related to water issues.