Doug practices in the areas of water and environmental law, administrative law, and public law. He assists municipalities, river authorities, and water districts in all phases of regulation, including use and development of surface water rights and groundwater regulation, and water utility service and regulation. Doug also represents governmental, industrial, commercial and private clients in litigation matters and administrative proceedings involving the Endangered Species Act, Environmental Impact Statements, water quality permitting and enforcement, industrial and municipal solid waste, hazardous waste disposal and cleanup, and air quality.
Doug has assisted municipalities, water districts, and river authorities on matters related to water rights permits, including indirect reuse permits and interbasin transfers before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Having been involved in six of the State’s water rights adjudications at both the agency and state court levels, Doug has advised clients on water management and system operations issues and represented them in efforts to obtain or amend water rights. He has also negotiated and drafted wholesale water contracts, and assisted in the sale and purchase of groundwater and surface water rights.
Through representation of both public and private clients, Doug has advised clients on remediation projects, counseled potential responsible parties about liability issues related to Superfund sites, and assisted clients with regulatory requirements for permitting municipal, hazardous, and radioactive waste disposal sites. Doug has also represented clients before the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and in federal court on matters relating to the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.
Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specializations for Administrative Law, Doug has counseled clients on open meetings and open records law, and represented numerous clients in administrative hearings before the State Office of Administrative Hearings, as well as before state and federal courts. He has experience in contested case hearings concerning water rights applications, water and sewer rates, municipal and hazardous waste permits, and wastewater permits.
Board Certified – Administrative Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Best Lawyers® 2012 & 2018 Water Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Austin
The Best Lawyers in America©, Water Law, 2007-2021
Texas Super Lawyers list, 2003, 2007-2020
“Top Notch Lawyer” Administrative Law (one of top 6 in Texas), Texas Lawyer, October 15, 2002, Vol. 18, No. 33
Founder, Texas Water Law Institute, and sponsor and speaker of annual Texas Water Law Seminar, 1992-Present, now co-sponsored by the University of Texas School of Law
Adjunct Professor of Water Law, The University of Texas School of Law, 1987 and 1993
Chief, Environmental Protection Division, Office of the Attorney General of Texas 1978-1981
Indirect Reuse of Municipal Effluent, Texas Bar Journal, March, 2004, Vol. 67 No. 3.
Water Development and Water Rights, Chapter 13, Volume 45, TEXAS PRACTICE, West Publishing Co. (1997), with annual updates (co-author).
Water Rights Adjudication – Texas Style, 44 Texas Bar Journal 1183 (1981) (recognized as one of the five leading legal articles published in Texas in 1981) (co-author)
The Rule of Capture – “If it Ain’t Broke…,” Co-Author / Speaker, 100 Years of the Rule of Capture: From East to Groundwater Management, Texas Water Development Board (June 2004).
The New Mexico / Texas Allocation Dispute: City of El Paso Perspective, Co-Author / Speaker, Law of the Rio Grande (January 2003).