Overview

Ashley Phillips focuses her practice on environmental regulatory matters. Her experience includes compliance counseling; environmental management system development; environmental, health and safety auditing; environmental risk assessment; environmental due diligence; advising on environmental matters in corporate and commercial transactions; handling administrative enforcement actions; and working with private and governmental (including federal, state and local) entities to develop and implement collaborative environmental solutions. Matters on which Ms. Phillips has advised clients have related to federal, state and local regulatory requirements associated with air emissions, industrial and hazardous waste, water quality, underground storage tanks, endangered species, contaminated properties and release reporting obligations.

Ashley 'stands out for providing quick, clear guidance.'

– Client Testimonial, Chambers USA, 2019

Representative Experience

  • Counseled numerous clients on all phases of environmental auditing, including scoping, implementation, corrective action, development of compliance management practices and coordination with state and federal agencies to assist clients with obtaining benefits available under state and federal audit policies and statutes
    • Audits have involved a review of compliance with air permitting; waste management; storm water discharge; discharge/fill of wetlands; spill prevention, control and countermeasure planning; chemical inventory reporting; risk management planning and process safety; and/or occupational safety and health requirements
    • Audited operations have included upstream and midstream oil and gas operations in the Bakken Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, Fayetteville Shale, Haynesville Shale, Permian Basin, Woodbine and Indian Lands as well as oil and gas refining and manufacturing operations located in Texas
  • Advised an upstream oil and gas client on environmental matters during the sale of its exploration and production assets, including its waterflood operations, through arbitration of environmental defects asserted by the buyer during the sale
  • Counseled oil and gas exploration and production client in its responses to Clean Water Act Section 308 Requests for Information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Advised an oil and natural gas production and exploration client in the defense of a Clean Air Act enforcement action by the EPA for alleged violations under the Federal Implementation Plan for the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, including the negotiation of a Consent Decree and Final Order
  • Provided environmental risk assessment advice to clients considering business opportunities, including:
    • A client considering investment in and potential operator role for offshore oil and gas operations
    • A client considering a joint venture to explore and develop natural gas in the Marcellus Shale
  • Advised an oil and natural gas exploration and production client on the risks of agency enforcement and natural resource damage claims associated with a significant oil tank spill into an ephemeral stream with drainage to a navigable water in Oklahoma
  • Counseled an exploration and production client regarding its internal investigation of and response to a Notice of Violation issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for alleged waste discharge violations
  • Advised a manufacturing client as to its release reporting and permitting obligations associated with storm water-related discharges
  • Advised an upstream and midstream oil and gas client on the design, development and implementation of a corporate-wide environmental management system
  • Identified federal and state-specific environmental regulatory requirements applicable to hydraulic fracturing for a client involved in a more than $1 billion hydraulic fracturing joint venture
  • Assessed whether activities related to construction of a natural gas pipeline authorized under an Army Corps of Engineers nationwide permit could constitute habitat modification, and therefore a "take," under the Endangered Species Act
  • Counseled a real estate investment client on the risks and liabilities associated with the potential purchase of a contaminated property involved in the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's Voluntary Cleanup Program
  • Determined applicability of federal and state environmental regulatory requirements to the international and interstate transport of materials for recycling
  • Provided litigation support in a vapor intrusion lawsuit
  • Assessed a food manufacturing client's responsibilities and risks of liability associated with its obligations under the general duty clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act
  • Assisted with development of a manufacturing client's written occupational health and safety programs related to hazard communication, personal protective equipment, respiratory protection and emergency action plan
  • Assisted with an environmental, health and safety due diligence review in the sale of a semiconductor manufacturing facility

Credentials

Education
  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D.
  • The University of Utah, B.S.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Texas
Memberships
  • Austin Women in Oil and Gas; Administrative Chair, Board Member, 2019-2020
  • Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business, The University of Texas at Austin, Advisory Council, 2015-present
  • Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law, The University of Texas School of Law, Advisory Board, 2011-2014
  • Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association (MAMAs) Austin, Board Member, January 2013-February 2019
  • St. Mark's Episcopal Day School, Board Member, June 2015-May 2016
  • American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources
  • State Bar of Texas, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section
  • Austin Bar Association, Environmental, Natural Resources and Water Law Section
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Environmental Law, 2020-2022
  • Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers guide guide, Environment, 2017-2021
  • Texas Super Lawyers magazine, Environmental, 2018-2021
  • Texas Rising Stars magazine, Environmental, 2016-2017
  • Recognized Attorney, The Legal 500 United States Industry Focus: Energy – Regulatory; Industry Focus: Environment – Regulatory, 2015-2021
  • Accredited by the Green Building Certification Institute within the framework of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating Systems, 2010-2018
  • Co-recipient, 2008 Gregg Cooke Strategic Alliance Award, EPA Region 6

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News