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Brandon M. Tuck
Brandon M. Tuck
Counsel — Environmental & Natural Resources
Counsel — Environmental & Natural Resources

Brandon M. Tuck

Brandon M. Tuck
Houston

1001 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, TX 77002

Brandon M. Tuck

Brandon’s practice focuses on environmental and natural resources law, with an emphasis on project development, enforcement defense, and environmental litigation.

Brandon advises clients on obtaining and defending permits and authorizations for a variety of energy, manufacturing, and development projects, including upstream and midstream oil and gas projects (both gas and liquid), energy export projects, transportation and marine terminal projects, commercial development and infrastructure, and single- and multi-family residential development. These approvals are from agencies such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with underlying statutes including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act (ESA), National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and other federal and state natural resource statutes.

Before law school, Brandon worked in natural resource management for the federal government, where he focused on water resource management for hydropower generation, irrigation, and fish and wildlife preservation; NEPA compliance; and ESA litigation.

Additionally, Brandon is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), has been a certified professional sign language interpreter for over twenty years, and is active in the deaf community.

Project Development

  • Advises on environmental aspects of preparing, filing, and prosecuting certificate applications at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission involving new and expansion projects for major interstate natural gas pipelines, including compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act

  • Represents the developer of a west coast liquefaction facility and pipeline on federal environmental permitting matters, including permitting under the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act (i.e., Section 404/10 and Section 408 authorizations), reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act, and compliance with the Endangered Species Act

  • Represents multiple midstream companies and various investing interests with interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline development projects in states such as Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio, including resolving issues arising under the Clean Water Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Endangered Species Act, and National Environmental Policy Act

  • Advises multiple energy, commercial, and residential developers negotiating the purchase of credits from mitigation banks to address impacts to streams, wetlands, and protected species

  • Represented the developer of an LNG terminal in Pennsylvania to export LNG by truck and rail on environmental permitting and natural resources matter

  • Represented LNG company on environmental and natural resource permitting issues associated with the development of facilities to enable power generation units at Puerto Rico to utilize natural gas

  • Represented a residential home developer in a citizen suit involving allegations of wetlands destruction without a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act

  • Prepared detailed comments for a national electric utility trade association’s use in agency rulemaking regarding agency procedures to implement the National Environmental Policy Act

  • Defended several national midstream oil and gas affiliate companies from suspension actions brought by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Suspension and Debarment Division arising from a pipeline spill of crude oil

  • Defended a chemical manufacturing company and affiliate from suspension and proposed debarment actions brought by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Suspension and Debarment Division arising from an alleged release of ammonia

  • Assisted in defending an energy company from federal criminal enforcement under the Clean Water Act relating to an explosion at an offshore facility

  • Defended a meat packing operation from judicial and administrative enforcement under state law stemming from wastewater discharge issues

  • Defended a meat packing operation from suspension and debarment actions brought by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Suspension and Debarment Division for wastewater discharge issues

  • Assisted in defending small businesses and small business owners charged with water pollution and hazardous waste disposal violations

  • Assisted in counseling a major oil company regarding a federal investigation relating to refinery emissions, including managing the collection, review, and production of documents, and preparing witnesses for depositions

  • Represented a residential home developer in a citizen suit involving allegations of wetlands destruction without a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act

  • Represents a real estate developer in cost-recovery litigation involving allegations of soil contamination from historical asbestos manufacturing facility

  • Represented a bank in arbitration against an environmental consulting firm regarding remediation of chlorinated solvents at an industrial facility

  • Managed collection, review, and production of documents, and assisted in drafting discovery responses, and preparing corporate representatives and expert witnesses for depositions, for a major mining company in a civil suit involving claims for nuisance and property damages arising out of the historical operations of a metal smelting facility

  • Assisted with witness deposition preparation activities for a major oil company in a civil suit involving claims of lost royalties resulting from alleged improper pipeline maintenance and pipeline releases

  • Advises energy, industrial, and commercial clients on environmental matters relating to acquisitions, divestitures, financing, equity and debt offerings, and development projects; advises clients on environmental provisions in transaction agreements, and leads environmental due diligence reviews and evaluations

  • Acted as environmental counsel on several strategic land and pipeline acquisitions supporting a multinational energy logistics company’s development of midstream and downstream assets in the Eagle Ford Shale

  • Assisted in counseling Riverstone Holdings on environmental matters in connection with its acquisition of a refinery, terminal, and related railcar fleet in the Pacific Northwest

  • Assisted in representing BP on environmental aspects of its $2.4 billion sale of its Texas City refinery and a portion of its retail and logistics network in the Southeast United States to Marathon Petroleum

Credentials

  • University of Pennsylvania, J.D. cum laude, 2010 (Comments Editor, University of Pennsylvania Law Review; Certificate in Environmental Policy from the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute of Environmental Studies)
  • Boise State University, B.A. summa cum laude, 1999
  • Natural resources technical writer and collateral-duty project manager, Pacific Northwest Region of the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1998–2007
  • Texas Civil Rights Project, Kristi Couvillon Pro Bono Award, 2013′
  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation, 2019
  • Co-Chair: Texas Wetlands Conference, 2015−present
  • Board Member: Bayou Land Conservancy, 2016−present
  • Board Member: Houston Bar Association Environmental Law Section, 2019−present
  • Vice Chair: North Houston Association Environmental Committee, 2015 and 2016
  • Vice Chair: State Bar of Texas Disability Issues Committee, 2015 and 2016
  • Certified American Sign Language Interpreter (CI in 1998; CT in 1999; NIC in 2005): Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
  • Texas
  • American Sign Language (fluent)
  • “Finding Your Purpose: Demonstrating Purpose and Need in Federal Permitting,” Presentation at the 28th Texas Wetlands Conference, Houston, TX, March 5, 2018
  • “BSEE Broadens its View: Pipeline ROW Grant Assignments May Now Include Multiple Grant Holders and Reference the Identification of a Single ROW Pipeline Operator,” V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, September 8, 2017 (co-author)
  • “Contemporary Issues in Project Permitting: Post-Hawkes Jurisdictional Determinations and the New Nationwide Permits,” 27th Texas Wetlands Conference, Houston, TX, January 27, 2017 (speaker)
  • “Trump Administration Acts to Advance Infrastructure Projects and Pipeline Development,” V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, January 26, 2017 (co-author)
  • “BOEM Issues NTL Imposing More Stringent Financial Assurance Requirements on OCS Lessees for Decommissioning Liabilities,” V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, July 20, 2016 (co-author)
  • “The Future of Clean Water Act Enforcement and the Jurisdictional Determination Program in the Wake of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc.,” V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, June 7, 2016 (co-author)
  • “Pre-Enforcement Review of Jurisdictional Determinations: A Shifting Landscape,” Presentation at the 26th Texas Wetlands Conference, Houston, TX, January 29, 2016
  • The Corps of Engineers’ Nationwide Permitting Program: Lessons from Permitting Linear Projects,” Presentation at the 25th Texas Wetlands Conference, Austin, Texas, January 30, 2015
  • “An Achievement — And A Warning — For Corps Of Engineers,” Law360, March 11, 2014 (co-author)
  • “V&E Climate Change Report,” Special Issue: EPA’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas NSPS, January 2014 – Issue 21 (co-author)
  • Overcoming NEPA Challenges to Fracking Rules in the Delaware River Basin,” Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report, 2012 (co-author)
  • A Primer on the Section 404 Permitting Process,” Lecture to Port Engineering and Permitting Personnel, Port of Houston, Houston, Texas, March 2012
  • “Preserving Facts, Form, and Function when a Deaf Witness with Minimal Language Skills Testifies in Court,” 158 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 905, 2010