Overview

Lecelle Clarke is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Austin office, where she focuses her practice on environmental law. Ms. Clarke primarily represents and counsels private industry clients on complying with state and federal air, water and waste regulations.

Ms. Clarke also has experience assisting clients in obtaining state and federal environmental permits, performing environmental due diligence reviews in real estate transactions, supporting client litigation needs for challenged agency-issued permits and serving as a client liaison to agency personnel.

In addition, Ms. Clarke's experience includes practicing at the Office of the Attorney General's Environmental Protection Division. While there, she represented state agencies in litigation and enforcement proceedings related to environmental, public utilities and natural resource issues.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Clarke served as an environmental, water and real estate attorney for a Texas law firm.

Representative Experience

  • Analyzed environmental statutes and advised clients on environmental compliance related to air emissions, excessive emissions events, water quality, industrial and hazardous waste, spill prevention, release reporting obligations of contaminated properties, administrative enforcement and legislative action
  • Coordinated and assisted with client representation on administrative enforcement actions
  • Advised industry clients on federal (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Audit Policy) and state (Texas Environmental, Health and Safety Audit Privilege Act) audit policies and statutes, including analysis of audit-related questions, assisting with the coordination of the environmental audits, assessment and reporting of audit findings, implementation of corrective actions and reporting of periodic updates to agencies, such as the EPA, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Railroad Commission of Texas
  • Counseled private industry clients on environmental permitting, and represented clients during contested case hearings on state-issued air and water permits challenged by protestants
  • Provided general counsel representation of public water utilities (managed by local government entities such as municipal utility districts, special utility district, limited districts) and private water utilities (water supply corporations), including counsel and legal services related to state agency interactions, compliance with open government requirements, compliance with election laws and assistance with employment matters
  • Analyzed client questions in response to spill prevention, control and countermeasure (SPCC) compliance issues and the Texas Audit Act
  • Prepared client memo outlining steps to create special purpose district (emergency services district)
  • Drafted independent hearing examiner's recommendation to a Texas energy company on the "Value of Solar" issue raised as part of the energy company's 2022 Base Rate Review, and assisted with drafting discussion on cost allocation and functionalization, and direct assignments
  • Drafted water well agreement between neighboring properties intended to run with the land, and to require the neighbors to share the well and comply with Texas drought provisions and requirements

Credentials

Education
  • Vanderbilt University Law School, J.D.
  • University of Florida, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Texas
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
Memberships
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas, Environmental & Natural Resources Law Section
  • Austin Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, Chair, 2021-2023
Honors & Awards
  • Austin Black Business Journal, Up & Coming Lawyer, 2022
  • Top 40 Under 40 in Texas, National Black Lawyers, 2022

Publications

Speaking Engagements