About Lori Warner

Lori is a seasoned environmental lawyer focused on providing practical, results-oriented legal advice to guide clients in their decision-making. She is a pragmatic problem-solver. She helps clients understand in plain language what laws apply to their operations and how they can best comply. In 30 years of practice, Lori has handled the full gamut of environmental regulatory matters under all the major federal statutes and state equivalents (e.g., CWA, CAA, CERCLA (Superfund); OPA; RCRA; SPCC). Whether it is obtaining the permits for multi-state pipeline development projects, responding to accidental petroleum or chemical releases, or evaluating liabilities associated with contaminated properties, Lori guides businesses with realistic, practical advice.

One aspect of Lori’s practice is negotiating with state and federal agencies on behalf of clients facing enforcement actions, or who are undertaking voluntary and involuntary cleanup projects, asserting innocent landowner status, or have been designated as PRPs in Superfund matters. Lori is a stickler for detail, a trait that spurs her to understand fundamentally how regulations apply in real world situations. The ability to merge practical application with technical know-how has provided Lori with a strong platform when representing clients in stakeholder meetings, rule-making proceedings, public meetings and hearings, in filing formal comments to proposed rules, drafting proposed legislation, and preparing “white papers” on behalf of clients.

Another significant component of Lori’s practice is representing clients selling or purchasing potentially contaminated properties. She manages the due diligence process (including commissioning and evaluating Phase I and Phase II reports and agency records) to ensure “all appropriate inquiries” are conducted, and to structure transactions to account for environmental liabilities. If investigations show that contamination exists, Lori helps clients address risks by negotiating environmental indemnities, warranties, access agreements, and cleanup agreements, entering properties into state voluntary cleanup programs, and obtaining environmental insurance.

  • Environmental counsel on various industrial, commercial, mixed use, and multi-family development projects, provided due diligence assistance with Phase I and Phase II investigations, risk evaluation, negotiated environmental representations and warranties, environmental indemnity provisions, and escrow agreements, and advised regarding remediation and regulatory closure.
  • Representation of major and de minimis parties in PRP groups and related matters, state and federal Superfund sites including U.S. Oil Recovery, San Jacinto River Waste Pits, Malone Services Company, Gulf Nuclear, Bridgeport Rental & Oil Services, Materials Recovery Enterprises, French Ltd., North Cavalcade Street, Many Diversified Interests, Inc., Sikes Disposal Pits, and Bailey Waste Disposal.
  • Representation of commercial landowners in dispute resolution and administrative proceedings concerning the release and migration of petroleum products and hazardous materials in all environmental media, and coordination of remedial process among various stakeholders.
  • Member of legal team assisting State of Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office and Governor’s Office to evaluate natural resource damages and economic damages to State of Louisiana resulting from Deepwater Horizon Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Counsel to major municipality for 13 years providing ongoing, on-demand environmental regulatory and compliance counseling to aviation department in its operation of three commercial airports, including advising regarding wetlands permitting, wastewater discharges, storm water compliance, compliance audits, environmental management systems, emissions reduction plans, greenhouse gas monitoring and reporting, Title V permitting, and remediation of bulk storage contamination.
  • Environmental counsel to developers of various gas storage projects providing advice regarding applicable federal and state permit programs and securing required approvals, including permits for construction and operation of new air sources, Title V, synthetic minors, raw water supply, wastewater discharge, wetlands and water quality certifications, pipeline construction, hydrostatic water, soil erosion and sediment control, endangered species, cultural resources, and others.
  • Seconded to major oil company for 18-month period to resolve dozens of matters across the U.S. during a major property divestiture program. As counsel, coordinated cleanup efforts with state regulators, environmental consultants, and in-house engineers in various states. Routinely resolved issues with former lessors and lessees, current landowners, lenders, and redevelopers regarding coordination of ongoing remedial efforts with planned property development, including applicable cleanup standards, trust fund reimbursement, responsibility for disposal of impacted soil and water, stockpiling of soils, wastewater discharge, analytical sampling, incremental cost increases attributable to developer’s special needs, and pass-through indemnities.
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Houston Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
  • J.D., cum laude, South Texas College of Law
  • L.L.M. (Environmental, Energy, and Natural Resources), University of Houston
  • English (Native)
  • Texas

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