Chris Smith focuses his practice on environmental enforcement and administrative litigation. Particular areas of expertise include wetlands enforcement actions under § 404 of the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA), Endangered Species Act (ESA) enforcement actions, Texas and Federal Clean Air Act (CAA) enforcement cases and citizen suits, and property and groundwater contamination litigation.
Chris' administrative practice involves contested cases before the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH), Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) permitting matters, Railroad Commission of Texas enforcement proceedings, Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) transmission line siting cases, Texas Department of Insurance enforcement actions, Texas Department of Motor Vehicle franchise disputes, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) enforcement cases, and issues related to the Texas Public Information Act.
Chris also counsels clients on litigation avoidance and environmental due diligence in corporate transactions, including the use of the Texas Environmental, Health, and Safety Audit Privilege Act and the U.S. EPA's Audit Policy to limit potential liability. He also assists clients in conducting internal investigations and audits. In addition to his environmental and administrative practice, Chris represents clients in connection with commercial disputes and state and federal civil litigation.