John Gray assists clients in all aspects of environmental law, including compliance counseling, auditing and enforcement, transactional due diligence, emergency response issues, facility permitting, process safety management, product liability and stewardship, and environmental litigation. His practice supports clients in the chemical, refining, energy, oil and gas, and maritime industries, among others.
Mr. Gray worked as a licensed professional engineer for a multinational minerals company and as a technical consultant to EPA Region 6's Superfund and RCRA programs for a decade before starting his law practice. As an engineer and consultant, he concentrated on permitting and operational auditing and compliance, reporting, modeling, risk assessment, environmental sampling and remediation methodologies and protocols. This technical experience has proven invaluable to understand and assist clients address the intrincities posed by the plethora of local, state and federal environmental laws applicable to their unique facilities and situations.
Mr. Gray has more than 25 years of experience creatively addressing and resolving routine and complex legal problems. He has represented clients before Texas and federal agencies, chiefly those that deal with environmental regulation, as well as before state and federal courts.
Mr. Gray's experience includes:
•Identified and resolved environmental concerns associated with Outer Continental Shelf development projects.
•Conducted due diligence investigations and represented clients on Texas Voluntary Cleanup Program matters and Innocent Owner/Operator issues.
•Advised clients on contract language and insurance options to manage risk and creatively address legacy and contingent environmental liabilities.
•Represented clients in voluntary environmental audits.
•Counseled clients in methods to mitigate risk through contractually shifting/managing liabilities, insurance, product stewardship activities and privacy protection.
•Assisted client with pipeline abandonment concerns and requirements.
•Counseled foreign clients on matters involving complex requirements of federal and state environmental regulation compliance associated with product marketing and labeling.
•Consulted and advised clients on environmental law and remediation issues, including those involving solid and hazardous waste, CERCLA, RCRA, hydraulic fracturing, stormwater, wetlands, GHG regulations, and voluntary cleanup programs.
•Mitigated penalties by guiding clients through self-reporting and compliance obligations pursuant to federal and state laws, regulations and policies.
•Advised clients on matters related to environmental disclosures, Coast Guard regulations, EPA information requests, voluntary cleanup programs, OSHA, and stormwater
•Counseled clients about strategies to address emerging greenhouse gas compliance regulations and possible long term impact on business from climate developments.
Litigation and Advocacy:
•Litigated toxic tort, product liability, CERCLA and property damage matters connected to the release of pollutants and hazardous substances or lapses in product stewardship.
•Executed as co-chair of the Firm's Public Policy Litigation Practice successful strategy to influence a nationwide docket of public nuisance cases.
•Represented trade associations addressing the continued expansion of public nuisance litigation in greenhouse gas (GHG) cases through Amicus Curiae briefs.
•Participated in litigation and appeal of landmark CERCLA Aviall case.
•Advised client on litigation matters during Chapter 11 Proceeding.
•Represented state agencies in contested water rights permit hearings.
•Developed and managed strategy to resist international discovery of sensitive integrated health database of over 20,000 Canadians workers used in epidemiology studies.
Mr. Gray has written numerous articles and made many seminar presentations on climate change legal issues, hydraulic fracturing, public nuisance, alternative theories of liability, and toxic tort cases. His article, Public Nuisance at the Crossroads: Policing the Intersection Between Statutory Primacy and Common Law won the prestigious Burton Award in 2012 for Distinguished Legal Writing and his article Alchemy in the Court Room? The Transmutation of Public Nuisance Litigation, won the Burton Award in 2009. His Alchemy article was also cited by the Rhode Island Supreme Court in the landmark public nuisance case State v. Lead Industries Association Inc. Mr. Gray also co-authored Stormy Weather Ahead: The Legal Environment of Global Climate Change, a comprehensive article first presented at conferences of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and later in media events at the Washington Legal Foundation, and at various professional development seminars for lawyers, engineers, and businessmen.
Honors & Affiliations
•American Bar Association
•State Bar of Texas - Environmental Section, Litigation Section
•Houston Bar Association - Environmental Law Section, Current Officer; The Houston Lawyer Magazine, Board Member and Past Editor
•Communication Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (C-STEM) - Board Member
•Address at the Houston Federal Bar Association: climate change issues (Jan. 2009);
•Andrew's Publication Webinar: climate change issues (August 2008);
•Board of Director's Meeting of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America: climate change and public nuisance issues (April 2008 and Fall 2008);
•American Legislative Exchange Council Annual Meeting: climate change litigation issues (May 2008);
•Thompson Publishing webcast: climate change issues (May 2008), U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C.: climate change issues (May 2008).
•Address at the HBA Environmental Law Institute: Stormy Weather Ahead? The Legal Environment of Global Climate Change (Sept. 28, 2007) (co-authored paper with Richard O. Faulk for program proceedings)., Address at Mealey's Underground Storage Tank Litigation Conference: Premature Burial - MTBE, Underground Storage Tanks, and The Persistence of Product Integrity (Oct. 2002). (authored paper)., Address at Lorman's Architect/Engineer Liability & Practice Conference: What to Expect if the Texas Board of Professional Engineers Receives a Complaint About You, Houston, TX (Sept. 24, 2002) (authored paper)., Address at the Advanced Personal Injury and Insurance Law Conference, University of Houston Law Foundation: Traps, Pitfalls and Land Mines To Be Avoided When Drafting Settlement Agreements in Complex Cases, Houston, TX (June 6, 2002) (authored paper for conference proceedings)., Advanced Personal Injury and Insurance Law Conference, University of Houston Law Foundation: Traps, Pitfalls and Land Mines To Be Avoided When Drafting Settlement Agreements in Complex Cases, Dallas, TX (June 23, 2000) (authored paper for conference proceedings)., Address at Mealey's Underground Storage Tank Litigation Conference, Oklahoma Bar Association Environmental Law Section Conference: Crisis? What Crisis? Containing the MTBE Controversy an Evaluation and Update of the Emerging Underground Storage Tank Litigation (May 11-12, 2000) (co-authored paper).
•Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA: The Sequel to Massachusetts Arrives, Westlaw Journal Environmental Volume 34, Issue 12, January 8, 2014
•BSEE Creates Legal Uncertainty about BAST Determinations as it Rewrites Offshore Safety Regulations, Liskow & Lewis E-Newsletter, January 7, 2014
•Author, Examining Federal Climate Change Regulations in the Second Decade of the Millennium, in The Legal Impact of Climate Change 41 (Thompson Reuters/Aspatore 2013).
•Co-Author, Climate Change Regulation and Litigation: A 'Lost Decade' of Controversy and Confrontation, 33:9 ENVTL. (Westlaw Journal) (Nov. 21, 2012)., Co-Author, Texas State Court Judge Recognizes Potential Application of Public Trust Doctrine to Redress Climate Change, INT'L ASS'N OF DEFENSE COUNS. NEWSL. (Aug. 2012)., Co-Author, A Political Question: Public Nuisance, Climate Change and the Courts, 28:2 ENVT'L FORUM 30 (March/April 2011)., Co-Author, Circuit Courts Help Define the Boundaries of Public Nuisance, 31:4 ENVTL. (Westlaw Journal) (Sept. 15, 2010), Author, The Use of Public Nuisance Suits to Address Climate Change: Are These Really 'Ordinary Tort Cases,' in The Legal Impact of Climate Change 127, 127 (Thomson Reuters/Aspatore 2010)., Co-Author, A Lawyer's Look at the Science of Global Climate Change, 44 WORLD CLIMATE CHANGE REP. (The Bureau of National Affairs [BNA]) (March 10, 2009)., Co-Author, Defending Climate Change Litigation: Threshold Issues, 29:1 ANDREWS ENVTL. LITIG. REP. (Aug. 6, 2008)., Co-Author, Climate Change: Applying the Endangered Species Act to Global Climate Change, 2008:96 DAILY ENVTL. REP. (BNA) (May 19, 2008)., Author, Where Do We Go From Here?: Reconsidering Global Warming after Massachusetts v. EPA, 27 ENVTL. LITIG. REP. 20 (2007)., Author, The Marcellus Shale: Regulation, Litigation, and Legislation, in Navigating Legal Issues Around the Marcellus Shale 61, 61 (Thompson Reuters/Aspatore 2011), in Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling: Legal Trends 5, 5 (West 2011)., Author, Reinventing CERCLA: Will the Supreme Court Overturn 20 Years of Settled Contribution Practice in Aviall Services, Inc. v. Cooper Industries, 13 Emerging Toxic Torts (Mealey's) 12 (Sept. 17, 2004); 17 Pollution Liability Rep. (Mealey's) 12 (Sept. 2004)., Co-Author, Public Nuisance at the Crossroads: Policing the Intersection Between Statutory Primacy and Common Law, 15:495 CHAP. L. REV. (2012) (Winner, 2012 Distinguished Legal Writing Award).
•Co-Author, Defendants Win 'Round 1' of Climate Change Fight in U.S. Supreme Court, 32:2 ENVT'L 3 (Aug. 17, 2011)., Co-Author, Circuit Courts Help Define the Boundaries of Public Nuisance, 31:4 WESTLAW ENVT'L J. (Sept. 2010)., Co-Author, Premature Burial? The Resuscitation of Public Nuisance Litigation, 24 TOXICS LAW RPTR. 1231 (Aug. 22, 2009)., Co-Author, A Sub-Prime Tort? Public Nuisance an Unfit Tool for Lending Regulation, 11:1 WORLD ENERGY, 2008, at 1., Co-Author, Judges Impose Reality Check on Public Nuisance Litigation, 22:28 WASH. LEGAL FOUND., July 27, 2007., Co-Author, The Mouse that Roared? Novel Public Nuisance Theory Runs Amok in Rhode Island, WASH. LEGAL FOUND., Critical Legal Issues, Working Paper Series No. 146, March 2007., Co-Author, Alchemy in the Courtroom? The Transmutation of Public Nuisance Litigation, MICH. ST. L. REV. (2007) (Winner, 2009 Distinguished Legal Writing Award)., Co-Author, Getting the Lead Out? The Misuse of Public Nuisance Litigation by Public Authorities and Private Counsel, 21 TOXIC L. REP. (BNA) 1071-98, 1124-96 (2006) (three-part series)., Co-Author, Negligence In The Air? Should 'Alternative Liability' Theories Apply in Lead Paint Litigation?, 25:1 PACE ENV'T L. REV. (Winter 2008); 58 DEF. L.J. 177 (Feb. 2009)., Co-Author, Reunion in Salem: Update the MTBE Controversy, 36 ENVTL. LITIG. REP. (Envtl. L. Inst.) 10667 (Sept. 2006)., Co-Author, MTBE Controversy: The Problem of Toxicity & Tort Litigation, 32 ENVTL. REP. (Current Dev.) (BNA) 1056 (May 2001)., Co-Author, The MTBE Controversy: Real Environmental Crisis or Regulatory Hysteria?, 32 ENVTL. REP. (Current Dev.) (BNA) 995 (May 2001)., Co-Author with Richard O. Faulk, Salem Revisited: Updating the MTBE Controversy, 2 Class Action Litig. Rep. (BNA) 125 (Feb. 23, 2001); 2 Class Action Litig. Rep. (BNA) 217 (March 23, 2001); 2 Envtl. Forensics 29 (March 2001)., Co-Author with Richard O. Faulk, MTBE: Can The Controversy Be Contained? An Evaluation of the Emerging Underground Storage Tank Litigation, 14:21 Toxic L. Rep. (BNA) 603 (Oct. 27, 1999); 30 Envtl. Rep. (Current Dev.)(BNA) 1201 (Oct. 1999), 23 Chem. Reg. Rep. (BNA) 1219 (Oct. 1999)., Co-Author, A Sub-Prime Tort? Public Nuisance an Unfit Tool for Lending Regulation, 158 WASH. LEGAL FOUND., Aug. 2008., Author, 'Some' Is No Longer Enough in Texas Toxic Tort Cases, ANDREWS LITIG. REP.: Asbestos (Aug. 10, 2007); 45:2 HOUS. LAW. (Legal Trends), Sept./Oct. 2007., Co-Author, How to Unearth and Use Information about Settlement Credits, TEX. LAW., Aug. 21, 2006, at 29-30., Co-Author, Successful Challenges to Plaintiffs' Causation Evidence, 19:32 TEX. LAW., Oct. 23, 2003, at 24-25., Co-Author, Recent Developments in Toxic Tort Law, 38:2 TORT & INS. L.J. 691 (Winter 2003).