Environment & Natural Resources
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Given the nature of the products they produce and the methods required for extraction, generation, processing, and distribution, energy and power companies face a daunting list of environmental challenges from regulators, law enforcement agencies, municipalities, and private citizens. Successful resolution of these matters requires legal counsel with a unique blend of scientific and technical knowledge, an understanding of complex federal and state regulatory schemes and key personnel, the ability to negotiate effectively, and a suite of litigation skills that can be employed in trial and appellate courts, as well as in mediation.

The environmental and energy lawyers of Jones Walker bring these attributes to our representation of clients in all sectors of the industry: upstream, midstream, downstream, and alternative and renewable energy. We offer a full range of environmental services to assist our energy clients in dealing with environmental matters and disputes that arise in conjunction with corporate transactions, and as a result of regulatory actions and law enforcement investigations. To help ensure that the interests of clients and industry organizations are heard by appropriate officials, we also provide government affairs counsel and routinely appear before regulatory agencies and legislative committees on behalf of companies and trade associations.

Members of our environmental and energy groups have backgrounds in geology, engineering, environmental management systems, architecture, urban and regional planning, and industrial management. Our lawyers have also served as federal prosecutors, agency regulators, including in the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), the Louisiana Office of Conservation, and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR), and as military officers, in-house counsel, and professors in leading law schools. In addition to lecturing, presenting, and publishing on current energy-related environmental issues, our attorneys have participated in a wide variety of environmental-related matters involving federal and state environmental laws, including the following:

  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, or Superfund)
  • Clean Water Act (CWA)
  • Clean Air Act (CAA)
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

Jones Walker was the first law firm in Louisiana to develop a water law team representing privately held and publicly traded companies, as well as state governmental agencies. Since the founding of this group, issues involving water rights, distribution, and quality have become increasingly contentious and complex. We are committed to remaining leaders in this arena, and in addition to our representation of clients we regularly lecture, present and publish on a wide variety of water-related matters. Among other recent matters, we worked with clients to negotiate and enter into the Louisiana Running Surface Water Cooperative Endeavor Agreements with the state of Louisiana, and have successfully petitioned for modification of the form agreements. We regularly advise clients on water sales agreements, including agreements for non-traditional water sources such as plant effluent, and on matters involving spills, releases and injuries related to alleged water contamination, compliance with federal and state clean water legislation, competing uses and ownership of surface and sub-surface water, and challenges to unconstitutional state statutes relating to water use.






  • "Coal Bankruptcies: Interface with Environmental Laws and Regulators"
    American Bankruptcy Institute, October 2016
  • “What Happened to Fair Notice? Federal Oil and Gas Lessees, Due Process, and Retroactive Changes to the Rules of the Game”
    65th Annual Oil and Gas Law Conference of the Institute for Energy Law, February 2014