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Monica M. Jacobs

Monica M. Jacobs has been practicing Texas water law for more than twenty years. She focuses her practice on issues involving water rights and the intersection between water and energy production. Ms. Jacobs chairs Kelly Hart's Water Law practice group, and is a registered lobbyist. Her specific experience includes:
  • Water Resources: water supply and water rights management for large landowners, industrial users and major Texas municipalities; surface water and groundwater permitting; project development and long-term planning; water rights sales and leases; water rights change of ownership; enforcement actions; rulemaking at groundwater conservation districts; advocacy regarding the development of Texas water law; and policy in a variety of contexts including at the Texas legislature

  • Energy Resources: drafting and negotiating agreements related to the provision of water supply, disposal, and recycling services; operations in areas covered by groundwater districts; mineral exploration and mining; Class III well and Class I disposal well permitting; radioactive material licenses; aquifer exemptions; mine reclamation and closure; and rulemaking at both the Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
  • Contested Case Hearings/Litigation: first-chairing numerous complex contested case hearings from the application stage through live hearing and post-hearing briefing; served as co-counsel in related lawsuits and appeal
Experience and highlights
  • Lead counsel for private-equity backed midstream energy company in large-scale acquisition of groundwater portion of surface estate in the Permian Basin
  • Negotiation and drafting of numerous short-term and long-term water supply agreements on behalf of companies serving Permian Basin oil and gas operators
  • First Chair in Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) contested case hearing regarding a Class III injection well area permit application, aquifer exemption and application for a production area authorization for new in situ uranium mine; received favorable decision from Commission on all issues
  • First Chair in TCEQ contested case hearing regarding applications to amend uranium mining production area restoration tables; received favorable decision from Judge and Commission on all issues
  • First Chair in TCEQ landfill application contested case hearing, representing municipality (protestant); TCEQ ultimately returned the application to the applicant
  • First Chair in TCEQ enforcement contested case involving a water main break; after the conclusion of the live hearing, TCEQ requested that the case be remanded prior to the issuance of the Judge's decision
  • First Chair in TCEQ landfill application contested case hearing, representing two corporations; successful settlement included all attorneys’ fees and costs
  • Drafted substantial revisions to Chapter 131 of the Natural Resources Code and Chapter 27 of the Water Code regarding groundwater use; worked with legislative and agency staff and other stakeholders; both bills were passed unanimously by both the Texas House and Senate
Affiliations and honors
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Permian Basin Petroleum Association (PBPA), Water Committee Member
  • Texas Association of Groundwater Districts (TAGD), Associate Member
  • Texas Water Conservation Association (TWCA), Member
  • Austin Bar Association; Environmental, Natural Resources and Water Law Section Chair, 2005-2008
  • Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star, Thomson Reuters, 2004-2013
  • Outstanding Young Alumni Award from University of Houston Honors College, 2000
  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., with honors, 1998
         Order of the Coif (top 10% of class)
         Texas Law Review
  • The University of Houston, B.S., with honors, summa cum laude, 1995
  • State Bar of Texas, 1998
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, 2010
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, 2010
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, 2011
Speeches & Publications
  • Texas Water Conservation Association (TWCA) Groundwater Committee Member and Subcommittee Co-Chair, 2019 Legislative Session
  • Co-Chair and Advisory Board Member for Inaugural Permian Basin Water in Energy Conference (PBWIEC) in Midland & Odessa, Texas, 2017-2018
  • Organizer/Moderator for Water Panel, Permian Basin Petroleum Association (PBPA) Annual Meeting, 2018
  • “Texas Water Rights,” Permian Basin Petroleum Association's (PBPA) Water Committee Meeting, March, 2018
  • “Overview of Key Issues in Texas Surface Water and Groundwater,” presented to team of financial advisors, March, 2018
  • "Oil & Water: Comparison of Water Law in Texas and New Mexico," Permian Basin Water in Energy Conference, February 20-23, 2018
Ms. Jacobs drafted substantial revisions to Chapter 131 of the Natural Resources Code and Chapter 27 of the Water Code regarding groundwater use and regulation