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Matthew Dobbins
Matthew Dobbins
Partner — Environmental & Natural Resources
Partner — Environmental & Natural Resources

Matthew Dobbins

Matthew Dobbins
Houston

1001 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, TX 77002

Matthew Dobbins

Experience Highlights

  • Advised client in connection with sequestration of proprietary biomass material via injection well facilities to generate negative carbon dioxide emissions on behalf of third parties with net-zero carbon dioxide commitments

  • Lead permitting counsel for carbon capture sequestration project in development at Gulf Coast hydrocarbon storage facility

  • Advised international energy company on environmental issues related to the acquisition of a zero-emissions power generating facility

  • Counseling multiple midstream clients in connection with carbon capture and sequestration projects at natural gas processing facilities

  • Represented power generation facilities on matters related to compliance with California Greenhouse Gas Cap and Trade Program requirements before the California Air Resources Board

  • Advised one of the largest investment banks in the world on management of environmental risks in connection with potential conversion of idled oil refinery to biodiesel production facility

  • Advise former paper mill operator on management of potential CERCLA and Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act liability related to third-party owned waste disposal site

  • Advising produced water and flowback treatment facility on compliance with requirements under the RCRA, the RCRA exemption for exploration and production wastes, and state beneficial reuse regulations in the Marcellus region

  • Represented a manufacturer following the release of radioactive materials at its manufacturing facility in connection with the response to the incident, including responding to regulator inquiries and obtaining approvals to resume operations following the incident, the related state government investigation and enforcement, defending the company against pending and threatened tort litigation, and assisting with the offsite investigation and remediation of third party property affected by the incident

  • Assisted in advising a national trade association in connection with waiver provisions under the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard

  • Intervened on behalf of proposed power plant project developer in Pennsylvania in consent order negotiations between state environmental agency and municipal water authority to ensure power plant’s uninterrupted access to water from the authority for use in plant operations, clearing the way for the project to obtain financing and commence construction

  • Represented former owner of midstream company following sale in the defense of environmental indemnification claims related to air permitting and compliance matters, state remediation standards, and Process Safety Management requirements 

  • Successfully resolved state air enforcement action related to a series of excess emission events at natural gas processing facility without penalties or requirement to enter into a consent agreement with the agency

  • Secured first of its kind federal explosive license approval from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for oilfield services client 

  • Routinely counsel upstream, midstream, and a variety of other industries on the performance of environmental, health and safety compliance audits under federal and state audit statutes, regulations, and policies, with particular experience in Colorado, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Texas

  • Advised exploration and production company in connection with permitting strategy for disposal of drill cuttings and other oilfield wastes

  • Obtained complete dismissal of state enforcement action brought against natural gas processing facility for alleged violations of drinking water standards 

  • Advising produced water and flowback treatment facility on compliance with requirements under the RCRA, the RCRA exemption for exploration and production wastes, and state beneficial reuse regulations in the Marcellus region

  • Analyzed legal issues and assisted with advising an energy company on the potential impacts of NOx and SO2 emission trading schemes under the federal Clean Air Act

  • Assisted in drafting comments for a state rulemaking proceeding related to the regulation of oil and gas waste pits for an E&P services company, closed-loop drilling systems, and waste recycling requirements

  • Advised client in connection with sequestration of proprietary biomass material via injection well facilities to generate negative carbon dioxide emissions on behalf of third parties with net-zero carbon dioxide commitments

  • Lead permitting counsel for carbon capture sequestration project in development at Gulf Coast hydrocarbon storage facility

  • Advised one of the largest investment banks in the world on management of environmental risks in connection with potential conversion of idled oil refinery to biodiesel production facility

  • Represented Mercuria Investments US, Inc. on environmental matters in connection with its acquisition of Beyond6, Inc, a renewable natural gas retail infrastructure developer and alternative fuels provider for $169 million

  • Representing multiple clients in connection with potential acquisitions in the electric vehicle (EV) and EV charging infrastructure space

  • Developed strategy to ensure compliance with Equator Principles to secure project financing for the development of liquified natural gas terminal on the Atlantic Coast

  • Advising power company on renewable energy credit and greenhouse gas emission allowances issues in connection with sale of natural gas-fired power plants in California 

  • Developed methane mitigation strategy for Permian Basin operator

  • Assisted in advising a national trade association in connection with waiver provisions under the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard

  • Represented a manufacturer following the release of radioactive materials at its manufacturing facility in connection with the response to the incident, including responding to regulator inquiries and obtaining approvals to resume operations following the incident, the related state government investigation and enforcement, defending the company against pending and threatened tort litigation, and assisting with the offsite investigation and remediation of third party property affected by the incident

  • Represented former owner of midstream company following sale in the defense of environmental indemnification claims related to air permitting and compliance matters, state remediation standards, and Process Safety Management requirements 

  • Represented former owner of chemical company following sale in defense of environmental indemnification claims related to air permitting and compliance matters, potential Superfund site liability, and occupational health and safety requirements 

  • Assisted in the defense of former midstream operator following sale against indemnification claims related to alleged breaches of environmental, occupational health, and pipeline safety representations and warranties, including factual development investigations, written discovery, and lay and expert witness deposition preparation activities 

  • Assisted with the management of e-discovery-related matters, including document collection and production, for a client in a toxic tort suit involving allegations of soil and groundwater contamination and claims of nuisance, trespass, and strict liability

  • Assisted in advising a mining company on potential tort litigation risks associated with the operation of tailings dams

  • Obtained summary judgment on all claims for a real estate developer in a toxic tort case involving claims of trespass, nuisance, negligence, and cost-recovery claims under the Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act based on the release of chemicals from a neighboring industrial facility

  • Advise former paper mill operator on management of potential CERCLA and Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act liability related to third-party owned waste disposal site

  • Negotiated access agreements for site investigation work and counseled client on management of potential remedial liabilities identified during soil investigation 

  • Counseled power plant purchaser on New Jersey Industrial Site Recovery Act requirements, including scope of site investigation and site closure criteria 

  • Counseling refiner on acquisition of environmental insurance policy for legacy site conditions in connection with proposed sale of refinery complex 

  • Counseled project developer on soil and groundwater remediation issues in connection with proposed buildout of terminal facility at the Port of Houston 

  • Assisted in advising an E&P company on the management of potential Superfund and state program remedial liabilities associated with proposed acquisition

  • Assisted in counseling a steel pipe manufacturing company on soil and groundwater contamination issues in connection with proposed acquisition

  • Assisted in counseling a plastics manufacturing company on the management of legacy remedial liabilities associated with recent acquisition

  • Advising produced water and flowback treatment facility on compliance with requirements under the RCRA, the RCRA exemption for exploration and production wastes, and state beneficial reuse regulations in the Marcellus region

  • Intervened on behalf of proposed power plant project developer in Pennsylvania in consent order negotiations between state environmental agency and municipal water authority to ensure power plant’s uninterrupted access to water from the authority for use in plant operations, clearing the way for the project to obtain financing and commence construction

  • Advised client on potential liability under the federal Clean Water Act, Oil Pollution Act and analogous state laws related to ownership and operation of marine terminal facility

  • Counseling landowner on groundwater leasing issues and water resource management matters 

  • Advised an international EPC company involved in numerous power, oil, and water endeavors on litigation and regulatory risks, regulatory compliance issues, and contractual allocation of risks related to water issues arising from hydraulic fracturing operations

  • Assisted in advising a shipping company on managing potential environmental risks associated with spills of oil, petcoke, and various other commodities to federal and state waters

Credentials

  • University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D. with honors, 2011 (Third Year Outstanding Writing Award)
  • University of Michigan, B.A., History and Political Science, 2008 (William J. Branstrom Freshman Prize)
  • American Bar Association 41st Annual Conference on Environmental Law, Winner, Best Paper Award, (Salt Lake City, Utah), March 22–24, 2012 (co-author)
  • Legal 500 U.S., Environment: Litigation, 2019 and 2020; Environment: Transactional, 2019–2021; Environment: Regulatory, 2020 and 2021
  • Expert Guides, “Rising Star”  in Environment, 2020
  • Fellow: Texas Bar Foundation
  • Member: American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources; Houston Bar Association, Environmental Law Section
  • Houston Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education Committee
  • Texas
  • “Climate Change, the Energy Transition, and its Impact on M&A,” 6th Mergers & Acquisitions in Energy Conference, May 21 2019 (panelist)
  • “7-Eleven Asset Acquisition,” Corporate Counsel Magazine, July 2017 (co-author)
  • “BSEE Final Well Control Rule Published,” V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, April 29, 2016 (co-author)
  • “Greenhouse Gas PSD Permitting: The Year in Review,” 42 Texas Environmental Law Journal 3 (2012) (co-author) (cited in Utility Air Group v. EPA, 134 S. Ct. 2427 (2014))
  • “V&E Climate Change Report,” Special Issue: EPA’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas NSPS, January 2014 – Issue 21 (co-author)
  • “Fracking the Great Lakes: Is Michigan a Model Shale State?,” Michigan Environmental Law Journal, May 21, 2012
  • “Moving Beyond Compliance: Using Ecosystem Services to Meet Legal Obligations,” Selected “Best Paper” for the American Bar Association 41st Annual Conference on Environmental Law, Salt Lake City, Utah, March 22-24, 2012 (co-author)
  • “Impact Of Canadian Greenhouse Gas Regulations On U.S.,” Law360, January 14, 2013 (co-author)