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Presenter: Brandon Barchus and 4 more

Seminar Date:

Seminar Location: Houston, TX

Marriott West Loop - By the Galleria
1750 West Loop South
Houston, TX 77027
Phone: 713-960-0111

This seminar is closed or full.


Registration:                        8:15 - 8:45 am

Morning Session:                8:45 am - 1:00 pm

Lunch (On your own):         1:00 - 2:00 pm

Afternoon Session:             2:00 - 5:45 pm

Ownership of and Access to Surface Lands and Minerals B. Barchus

   Legal rights of mineral and surface owners
   Legal and practical exercise of access rights
   Where do one party’s rights end and the other’s begin?
   Rights of adjacent property owners
   Resolving disputes

 Complying with Texas Rules and Regulations On the Practice of Geoscience B. Derie

   Defining the practice of geoscience
   Powers and duties of the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists
   Requirements for licensing and renewal
   Grounds for disciplinary action
   Procedure for investigation and hearing

 Ethical Issues for Professional Geoscientists B. Derie

   The American Institute of Geologists’ Code of Ethics
   Protecting the environment: meeting or exceeding legal requirements

Understanding of Texas Groundwater Law G. Ellis

   Texas rule of capture
   Ownership of groundwater
   Groundwater regulation by conservation districts
   Ownership and duty of the groundwater estate owner to the surface estate owner
   Legal standards related to water well construction/prohibition against comingling waters of different quality

Reuse and Disposal Issues with Oil/Gas Well Produced Water and Other Wastewater J. Higdon

   Relationship between federal and state regulation
   Reuse options in Texas
   Disposal options in Texas
   Regulatory trends and developments

Abandoned Mines and Mine Clean-Up Responsibility G. Pels

   Identification and risk profile of abandoned mines
   Understanding the current regulatory status of mining wastes
   Liability allocation and litigation trends
   Risk mitigation

Credit Information:

Who Should Attend

  • Geologists/Geoscientists

This seminar offers 7.5 continuing education hours,
including 1.0 ethics hour, to Texas geoscientists.

Continuing Education Credit Information

This seminar is open to the public. It offers Texas geoscientists 7.5 continuing education hours, which includes 1.0 ethics hour. Educators and courses are not subject to preapproval in Texas.

Texas geoscientists with continuing education requirements in other states will be able to apply the hours earned at this seminar, in most cases. Refer to specific state rules to determine eligibility.

Attendance will be monitored, and attendance certificates will be available after the seminar for most individuals who complete the entire event. Attendance certificates not available at the seminar will be mailed to participants within fifteen business days.


Brandon Barchus

Co-Founder at Faulk Barchus

Mr. Barchus is a co-founder and practicing attorney at Faulk Barchus in Houston. The firm specializes in oil & gas, real estate, property taxes, and environmental law. Mr. Barchus has been very successful defending clients, winning over $8 million on a single trial verdict on behalf of his clients defrauded by an oil and gas operator. He is a member of State Bar of Texas’ Litigation Section as well as the Oil, Gas, and Energy Resources Law Section. Mr. Barchus is also a member of the Institute for Energy Law and Young Energy Professionals. He has spoken at numerous conferences regarding the oil/gas and energy industries and has a 9.8 Avvo Rating. Mr. Barchus is the executive producer for Night Court: a non-profit all lawyer musical comedy that benefits law related charities. He received his B.S. degree with honors from the University of Texas – Austin and his J.D. degree, with honors, from Baylor University School of Law.

Bereket Derie

CEO/Owner at Round Rock Geophysics

Dr. Derie is a licensed professional geoscientist and chief executive officer with Round Rock Geophysics. Round Rock offers comprehensive geophysics consultants and survey services to the mineral exploration, civil engineering, geotechnical engineering, groundwater and environmental communities on a worldwide basis. Prior to the creation of Round Rock Geophysics, Dr. Derie was the Geophysics Department Manager at Renewable Resource Consultants. He is a member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Engineering and Environmental Geophysicists Society and Austin Geological Society. Dr. Derie is a member of the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists, with his term set to expire in February, 2021. He is an extremely well respected and experienced geoscientist with experience around the world. Dr. Derie received a bachelor of science degree in Physics and a masters of science degree in Geophysics from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. He earned his doctor of philosophy degree in Geophysics from Loughborough University, United Kingdom.

Greg Ellis

Founder at GM Ellis Law

Mr. Ellis has been practicing water law and been involved in water issues for over three decades. As a law student, he helped clerk the House Natural Resources Committee working on a variety of water legislation. After receiving his J.D. degree from the University of Texas School of Law, Mr. Ellis worked as legislative liaison for the Texas Water Commission and later served as general counsel to the Harris-Galveston Coastal Subsidence District. The Edwards Aquifer Authority hired Mr. Ellis as their first general manager in 1997, a position he held until October 2004 when he left to start his solo law practice. In addition to representing subsidence districts and groundwater conservation districts, he serves as board secretary of the Texas Water Foundation, a nonprofit corporation that provides water conservation education throughout the State.

Jerry Higdon

Partner at Locke Lord

Mr. Higdon is an experienced environmental lawyer with 28 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. Known for his pragmatism and imagination in solving environmental problems, he regularly advises members of the energy industry regarding management of issues affecting the renewables/alternative, upstream, midstream, and downstream energy sectors. Mr. Higdon has been named to Chambers USA’s America’s Leading Business Lawyers for Environmental Law every year from 2009-2019. He received his B.B.A degree from Texas Tech and received his J.D. degree with honors from The University of Texas School of Law.

Gerry Pels

Partner at Locke Lord

Mr. Pels, chair of the firm-wide Environmental Section - Energy and Industry, has been one of the leaders of the Texas environmental legal community for over 30 years. His diverse practice focuses on the areas of environmental compliance, counseling, and litigation. Mr. Pels has consistently led teams working on cutting edge matters of environmental law, including resolving the well-known Cooper v. Aviall litigation and arguing Clean Air Act issues before the fifth Circuit in litigation involving the Texas SIP. He has been consistently recognized in Chambers USA since 2004 as well as in The Best Lawyers in America for environmental law. He was also an adjunct law professor for seven years teaching both environmental law and an advanced RCRA seminar. Mr. Pels received his A.B. degree from St. Joseph’s University and J.D. degree from Vanderbilt University Law School, where he served as executive editor of the Vanderbilt Journal of Transactional Law.

Tuition Costs:

Standard Tuition: $289.00
Online Tuition (pre-registration): $289.00
Group Prices
3 or more people each: $269.00

Each registration includes one copy of a manual prepared by the seminar speakers.