February Newsletter

Erich Birch, J.D., P.E.
Birch, Becker, & Moorman, L.L.P.


Presentation Topic:

Superfund – Is it time for a change?

Brief description of speech:

The federal Superfund statute is now nearly 40 years old and this presentation provides a summary of Superfund’s goals, history, and current status, leading up to the thought-provoking question of whether this law has outlived its usefulness.  As reflected in its name, the primary purposes of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) were to set up a program to respond to seriously contaminated waste sites, provide funding for the cleanup activities, and identify the parties liable for cleanup costs.  So, after all these many years of experience, did Superfund accomplish its goals?  Is it accomplishing its goals today? This presentation will address those questions while also providing practical suggestions on avoiding Superfund liability.

Erich Birch Bio:
Erich Birch, J.D., P.E.
Birch, Becker, & Moorman, L.L.P.
4705 Spicewood Springs Road, Suite 200
Austin, Texas  78759
(512) 349-9300, (512) 349-9303 – fax

Erich Birch is an environmental lawyer with the firm of Birch, Becker & Moorman, LLP, where he assists clients with permitting, enforcement, environmental audits, contested hearings, and other environmental and regulatory matters.  Erich is a former attorney with the Texas Water Commission, and prior to practicing law he was an engineer in the chemical industry.  He is on the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas, is a former Chair of the Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Section, and was recently elected to the Texas Bar Foundation.  He provides ADR services to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is an arbitrator on the panel of the American Arbitration Association, a Credentialed Mediator, and an insurance Umpire.  He is also a Professional Engineer in Texas.  Erich has a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, and a law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.

Thanks to this Month’s Sponsor! 


Pape-Dawson Engineers is a leader in the civil engineering arena, helping to build stronger communities across Texas. As a respected engineering firm established more than 50 years ago, the San Antonio-based firm is dedicated to providing services for environmental, land development, water resources, transportation, and land surveying. Pape-Dawson’s experience in evaluating environmental resources, as well as our familiarity with regulatory requirements, enables us to protect the environment while also delivering a successful project. Our professional biologists, geologists, environmental scientists, archaeologists, and engineers guide our clients through environmental regulations, from initial property assessment to comprehensive solution design and permitting.  Our goal is a successful outcome for every client, the environment, and the community.

A Letter from the Chair 

Dear A&WMA Alamo Chapter Members,

This year is already speeding by!  I can’t believe it is already February.  I would like to take this opportunity to encourage those that can help to volunteer for the Basura Bash on February 16, 2019.  This is the 25th year that the event has been held and we want to make this the best year yet!  The event started with cleaning the San Antonio River and has now grown to tributaries across the city.  This year, a total of 18 tributaries will be involved in the event.  A&WMA members will be volunteering at the Salado Creek at Walker Ranch site.

I have been involved in the event for the last 18 years in different roles – starting out as a truck driver picking up trash bags to the planning committee for the last 8 years or so (time flies) handling the logistics for the event.  Everyone on the planning committee is a volunteer and we are always looking for help.  Please consider joining the committee for the 2020 event!

We have a tentative date in May for the Symposium.  We are looking for speakers for this event, so please contact any of the Board members or info@AWMA.org if you are interested in presenting at the Symposium.  The event takes a lot of hard work to be successful, so please let the Board know if you would like to volunteer!

Thank you all for your continued participation in A&WMA luncheons and activities.  Member participation keeps the organization going and your continued support is appreciated.

Best regards,
Heather Johnson
AWMA Alamo Chapter Chair


February Newsletter

February Luncheon