As an attorney who has extensive experience in state government and private practice, Eli Bell has represented clients involved in manufacturing, refining, development, and aviation, in a wide variety of legal matters.
The former Executive Director of the Texas Air Control Board, (a predecessor agency to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality), Bell supervised over 400 state employees and 12 field offices of a major environmental regulatory agency with an annual budget of over $15 million. Prior to becoming director, he served as staff attorney, general counsel, and director of permitting and enforcement, gaining valuable knowledge about environmental regulation in the state of Texas.
Prior to joining the Texas Air Control Board, Bell earned his law degree from the University of Texas, and graduated from North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
Since leaving state employment, Bell has utilized his experience and knowledge to assist clients in understanding and complying with local, state, and federal laws regarding air quality and other environmental issues. As a former regulator who worked his way up the ladder, Bell is uniquely equipped to advise and assist clients, whether they are planning to install a new manufacturing facility, add a new process to their operation, or upgrade a chemical plant. Additionally, he advises clients in how to appropriately address environmental issues at their operations to assure ongoing compliance.
With the environmental arena becoming more complex each year, Bell maintains a strong and fact-based understanding of environmental regulations and laws which might affect his clients. He notes, “A major goal of our legal work is to help our clients to stay abreast of changes in environmental regulations that might affect their business operations. We help them to make sure they remain in compliance with the law.”
Examples of Bell’s work since his departure from state government include work in obtaining permits for manufacturing, refining and chemical operations, helping clients achieve compliance whenever new rules are put into place by a regulatory body, and helping clients cope with federal, state and local enforcement action.
Apart from his environmental work, Bell also assists a number of nonprofit organizations that are involved with placing and supervising children in the foster care system. Individual social workers and other front line workers are sometimes caught in the crossfire in difficult and heart-rending situations when providing care for abused and neglected children. In many cases, these are workers who would never survive a battle in court for their reputations and their jobs. Bell provides legal representation for these workers and these nonprofits on a reduced fee basis. When they are unjustly accused, he works to make sure that they have representation and an opportunity to present their side of the story.
Professional Licenses, Memberships, Honors and Awards
- State Bar of Texas, 1972
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Northern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas
- Member, Austin Bar Association
- Executive Director, Texas Air Control Board, 1986-1990
- Doctor of Jurisprudence, University of Texas School of Law, Austin, 1972
- Bachelor of Business Administration, North Texas State University, Denton, 1969