Higdon, Gerald D. (Jerry)

Gerald D. (Jerry) Higdon

Partner
“A talented, impressive and friendly lawyer,” Chambers USA
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Jerry Higdon is a talented environmental lawyer with 29 years of experience representing private and public parties in avoiding, managing, and resolving environmental liabilities and facilitating environmental sustainability solutions through brownfields redevelopment and the development and scaling of renewable energy.

Jerry Higdon is a talented environmental lawyer with 29 years of experience representing private and public parties in avoiding, managing, and resolving environmental liabilities and facilitating environmental sustainability solutions through brownfields redevelopment and the development and scaling of renewable energy.

Jerry's work on behalf of clients extends throughout the country. He is a longtime member of the Houston and Texas environmental legal community, and regularly advises members of the energy industry regarding management of environmental issues affecting the renewables/alternative, upstream, midstream and downstream energy sectors. His practice takes particular emphasis upon the gathering, disposal, re-use and recycling of produced water and other oil and gas wastes.

Jerry routinely defends clients in state and federal environmental enforcement proceedings, develops and implements environmental permitting and planning strategies to facilitate a client's more rapid response to changing business climates and growth opportunities, and assesses, structures and negotiates the allocation of environmental risk affecting transactions. Jerry also represents potentially responsible parties at federal and state Superfund facilities, counsels on cost-effective and efficient remediation strategies, assists in the review and modification of operations to address environmental compliance issues for manufacturing, industrial or waste disposal facilities, and represents clients in litigation and other disputes regarding responsibility for environmental liabilities.

Jerry's representative experience includes:

  • Advising regarding the environmental regulatory aspects of the acquisition or divestiture of salt water gathering and disposal facilities
  • Analyzing and structuring an air permitting strategy for waste-to-energy facilities to be co-located at numerous industrial facilities in multiple jurisdictions
  • Environmental permitting for the recovery of methane from closed municipal solid waste facilities for beneficial re-use as an energy supply for industrial operations
  • Devising regulatory remediation strategies to "upgrade" the closure of previously remediated properties from commercial cleanup standards to residential cleanup standards
  • Representing a publicly traded power producer in the acquisition and due diligence of several hydro-electric facilities in the Northeastern United States
  • Coordinating the due diligence, risk management and regulatory remediation strategies to permit the development of former oilfields
  • Leading the team to obtain the first Municipal Setting designation in Katy, Texas
  • Structuring facility closure strategies to reduce environmental liability and maximize value of emission reduction credits associated with emission sources
  • Representing international manufacturers in connection with the registration, sale, distribution and marketing of products with anti-microbial or pesticidal properties in compliance with Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act requirements
  • Representing an international oilfield service provider in assessing and managing multijurisdictional regulatory and residual environmental liability issues associated with entry into hydraulic fracturing business markets
  • Representing an international oilfield service company in developing management strategies for Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM)
  • Leading the effort to obtain the first Municipal Setting Designation Certificate issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for property in Houston, Texas
  • Defending a construction contractor against a Department of Justice enforcement action for alleged Clean Water Act violations
  • Representing a party purchasing and re-developing a former state superfund site for commercial operation
  • Analyzing effects of and opportunities under potential U.S. climate change regulation for an international company recently investing in the domestic utility provider market
  • Leading the team to obtain a Municipal Setting Designation to permit the Brownfields re-development of an approximately 40-acre former rail yard near downtown Houston for potential residential/mixed-use
  • Defending a utility service contractor against a criminal enforcement action for the alleged unauthorized disposal of solid waste
  • Defending a manufacturer against alleged criminal water pollution violations
  • Defending international oilfield service company against alleged violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA)
  • Siting and environmental permitting for propylene and bio-diesel facilities on or near the Houston Ship Channel
  • Coordinating the defense of a regional lumber company against simultaneous criminal enforcement proceedings, administrative cleanup actions and private civil lawsuits arising from the alleged disposal of wood treating wastes
  • Representing a local government corporation in the expedited remediation of a former pesticide distribution facility slated to become the location of a new hotel, so that construction and occupancy could remain on schedule
  • Representing an international oil field services company in an environmental indemnity dispute involving manufacturing, mining and storage facilities around the country and abroad. The case settled during the third week of trial
  • Environmental permit modifications to facilitate the residential re-development of property overlying closed construction and demolition waste facilities
  • Coordinating the expedited environmental remediation of industrial property to permit the expansion of green space and linear parks as part of the renewal of Houston's signature waterway, Buffalo Bayou
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CREDENTIALS
Education
  • J.D., with honors, The University of Texas School of Law, 1990
    Phi Delta Phi
  • B.B.A., Finance,

    magna cum laude

    , Texas Tech University, 1985
    Beta Gamma Sigma 
Bar Admissions
  • Texas
Professional Affiliations
    • Member, Environmental & Natural Resources Section, State Bar of Texas
    • Member, Houston Bar Association, Environmental Section
    • Member, Association of Chemical Industry of Texas
Awards & Recognitions
    • Named, Top Environmental Lawyers, Houstonia Magazine (2013)
    • Named, The Best Lawyers in America®, Environmental Law (2008-2022)
    • Named, Chambers USA, Environmental Law (2009-2021)
Professional History
    • Partner, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP (2006-2009)
    • Partner, Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP (2004-2006; 1998-2001)
    • Partner, Higdon & Holt LLP (2003-2004)
    • Law Office of Gerald D. Higdon (2002)