Lowry A. Crook
Lowry Crook advises and represents public and private clients on water infrastructure, the Clean Water Act, environmental review and permitting, ecosystem restoration, and disaster resilience and recovery issues. He is a partner in the Environmental Law & Natural Resources practice group in Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Washington, D.C. office. Lowry works with cities, counties, water districts, flood control districts and private entities to develop and advance water infrastructure and ecosystem restoration projects, expedite environmental reviews and permitting, resolve water operation and regulatory issues, and prepare for — and recover from — natural disasters.
Lowry has served in senior positions at the White House and federal agencies governing a wide range of environmental, natural resources, infrastructure, energy, land management and transportation issues. He served as a senior leader and counsel overseeing the Army Corps of Engineers, the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Federal Maritime Commission. Prior to his government service, Lowry worked for 10 years as a litigation and government investigations attorney at the law firm WilmerHale in Washington, D.C.
Lowry’s experience and knowledge helps local governments and private clients navigate complex issues such as:
- The Army Corps of Engineers’ project planning and budgeting processes
- Regulation and permitting under section 404 of the Clean Water Act and section 408 of the Rivers and Harbors Act
- Reviews and interagency consultations under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act
- Tools for expediting reviews and permitting, including the FAST Act of 2015 and the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council
- White House Office of Management and Budget and Congressional authorization, budgeting and appropriations
- Public-private partnerships and innovative finance approaches for infrastructure
- Resolving complex water operations and allocation issues
- Federal programs and resources for ecosystem restoration
- Requirements for mitigating project impacts on natural resources, including for advanced conservation through mitigation banks and in lieu fee programs
- Federal tools and resources for preparing for disasters, reducing hazards, increasing resilience, and disaster response and recovery
- Federal regulation of international shipping and ports
Lowry has also advised and represented clients and organizations in a wide range of government and Congressional investigations, hearings and litigation.
Before he began his law practice in Washington, D.C., Lowry served as a judicial clerk for then-Justice Greg Abbott of the Texas Supreme Court.
- Serves as lead outside counsel for the Port of Houston’s $1 billion ship channel expansion project, and recently led the negotiation of a Project Partnership Agreement between the Port of Houston Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allow the project to proceed to construction.
- Advises and represents Harris County Flood Control District on its federal flood risk management projects and planning efforts, including the Clear Creek Flood Risk Management Project and the next phases of the Buffalo Bayou and Tributaries Resiliency Study with the Army Corps of Engineers.
- Advising and representing the recently created Texas Gulf Coast Protection District on its array of coastal storm protection projects with the Army Corps of Engineers, including the $2.3 billion Orange County Coastal Storm Risk Management Project, and the $29 billion in projects recently recommended to Congress in the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Study.
- National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Legal Affairs and Water Quality committees
- "Financing Harbor Deepening and Widening Projects: Legal Developments on Existing Fee Authority," Association of Pacific Ports Winter Conference, Feb. 10, 2023
- "Getting Along with the Feds: Tips and Best Practices for Infrastructure Projects with a Federal Component," Texas City Attorneys Association Annual Summer Conference, Jun. 16, 2022
- "Virtual Roundtable Discussion on Federal Funding," Association of California Water Agencies Webinar, Jun.15, 2022
- "Roundtable Discussion - Accessing Federal Funding," Association of California Water Agencies Spring Conference, May 4, 2022
- "Insights Into USACE: Behind the Scenes," National Waterways Conference, Apr. 25, 2022
- "American Rescue Plan State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds: Key Implementation, Compliance and Reporting Guidelines," BB&K Webinar, Sept. 14, 2021
- "What's New in Water?" International Municipal Lawyers Association's Mid-Year Seminar, WONK Brunch, Apr. 21, 2021
- "The Changing Scope of Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) Jurisdiction: The Trump Administration's Changes to the Definition of "Waters of the US" and Other Developments," Clean Water and Wetland Seminar, Law Seminar International, Aug. 27, 2020
- "Developments in U.S. Water Law and Infrastructure," International Municipal Lawyers Association's Mid-Year Seminar, WONK Breakfast, Apr. 22, 2020
- "Regulatory Colloquium - Rules of the River," Colorado River Water Users Association, 2019 CRWUA Conference, Dec. 11, 2019
- "Legal Update and PFAS Legal Challenges," WESTCAS 2019 Fall Conference, Western Coalition of Arid States, Oct. 24, 2019
- "Navigating California's New Regulations for Wetlands and State Waters," BB&K Webinar, Oct. 10, 2019
- Speaker, CMANC Washington Week 2019, California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference, Mar. 5, 2019
- "Coastal Surge Protection Barrier Project," The City of League City Texas, Dec. 4, 2018