Derek practices administrative and regulatory law with a focus on environmental permitting and enforcement. With more than 30 years of regulatory and legislative experience, Derek assists clients with a wide range of matters, including Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) contested case hearings and regulatory compliance, water supply and water rights, air, water, waste, and wastewater discharge permitting.

Derek previously held roles as General Counsel of the TCEQ, Counsel to former TCEQ Chairman Kathleen Hartnett White, General Counsel in the Texas Legislature for the House Committee on Environmental Regulation, and General Counsel and Chief of Staff for Representative Warren Chisum.


Derek is experienced in all aspects of administrative law but focuses his practice on assisting clients with environmental permitting and enforcement. Derek has experience advising clients on the following types of matters:

  • TCEQ contested case hearings
  • Regulatory enforcement orders
  • Water supply and water rights
  • Water utility and wastewater utility regulation
  • Wastewater discharge permitting, including municipal discharge permits, industrial wastewater discharge permits, and permits involving the land application of treated effluent
  • Air permitting, including amendments, modifications and permit alterations, and agency reviews of permit renewals
  • Regulatory requirement compliance, including the Texas Environmental, Health, and Safety Audit Privilege Act
  • Procurement of Innocent Owner Operation/Certificates
  • Environmental due diligence
  • Remediation of properties affected by underground petroleum storage tanks
  • Drafting legislative initiatives and formulating legislative strategies regarding natural resources and the environment
  • Low-level radioactive waste

News & Publications

Honors & Recognition

  • Listed in Best Lawyers©, Environmental Law, since 2016
  • Listed in Best Lawyers©, Administrative/Regulatory Law, Water Law (2021-2022)
  • Chambers and Partners USA, Environment (2013-2021)

Community & Professional

  • Air and Waste Management Association, Central Texas Chapter
  • American Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Environmental Law Section
  • Association of Chemical Industry of Texas
  • Hill Country Bible Church
  • State Bar of Texas, Environmental & Natural Resources Law Section
  • Texas Oil and Gas Association
  • Texas Water Conservation Association
  • University Masonic Lodge No. 1190 (former Board Member, foundation)


St. Mary’s University School of Law, J.D., 1996

University of Texas at Austin, B.A., 1991

Bar admissions

  • Texas
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