WATER AND UTILITY LAW
We represent investor-owned utilities, municipalities, water districts, groundwater districts, and other public and private entities before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the United States Environmental Protection Agency on matters relating to water rights, water and wastewater ratemaking, certificates of convenience and necessity, water quality regulation, solid and hazardous waste regulation, air quality regulation, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and regulatory compliance and enforcement.
We counsel both public and private entities in all facets of water and wastewater utility law. We have a broad range of experience in this area, and represent private utilities, cities and various districts in certificate of convenience and necessity cases and wholesale and retail water and wastewater rate cases before the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Through our work in this area, we developed a comprehensive expertise in the laws and regulations governing water and wastewater utilities and won ground-breaking utility cases in Texas providing substantial relief to our rate payer clients.
We represent clients in all types of matters involving water or wastewater CCNs, including applications to obtain or amend CCNs before the TCEQ. We prepare and file the CCN applications, provide the necessary notice, and litigate the CCN application, if opposed. We also represent clients before the PUC and SOAH when CCN applications are filed by competing utilities, and in decertification and cease-and-desist actions. Over the past ten years, we have assisted over 15 different clients on numerous CCN matters.
We assist clients in preparing, drafting, and adopting extension policies, utility infrastructure requirements, service applications, and service contracts with developers. We also prepare rate ordinances and tariffs. We advise clients on matters relating to retail and wholesale water and sewer rates. With respect to retail rates, we counsel clients, including retail public utilities and investor-owned utilities, on various issues regarding their own water and sewer rates and extension policies and ordinances, and represent them when their rates are appealed to the TCEQ. We also counsel ratepayers in appeals of the utility’s decisions to change or increase water or sewer rates.
On behalf of our clients, we assist in water and wastewater service territory disputes that may arise with other utilities. We represent clients on these matters before the TCEQ and, when necessary, in state and federal court. We negotiate and draft territory exchange and dual-certification agreements, and prepare and file the necessary regulatory documents with the TCEQ. We assist clients in the PUC decertification and condemnation proceedings against WSCs, and counsel clients on federal indebtedness issues, including the requirements of 7 U.S.C.A § 1926(b).
We represent clients in the acquisition and sale of water and wastewater utilities and related property, including filing all necessary regulatory documents, such as sale-transfer-merger applications and CCN applications.
We assist public and private entities in the acquisition and development of surface water and groundwater rights permits as well as major surface water and groundwater supply facilities needed for production, such as reservoirs, pipelines, water treatment facilities, and salinity control facilities. We have experience in obtaining, amending, and protesting permanent and temporary water rights permits and indirect reuse permits on behalf of clients before the TCEQ. We represent numerous public and private clients in obtaining water right permits throughout the state.
We assist clients in obtaining or amending groundwater permits and complying with or challenging regulatory requirements of groundwater conservation districts. We are experienced in negotiating acquisitions and sales of groundwater rights. We help groundwater conservation districts in drafting, adopting, and enforcing their rules, and represent our clients in the permitting of new and existing groundwater wells.