Patrick Traylor is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Vinson & Elkins LLP where he is a member of the Environment and Natural Resources practice. He is a graduate of the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University, where he received his undergraduate degree in History in 1991. He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the South Texas College of Law Houston in 1994 and his Master of Laws degree in Environmental Law from The George Washington University College of Law in 1997.
While in law school, he clerked in the Office of Regional Counsel at Environmental Protection Agency Region 6, in the Environmental Crimes Section of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, in the Environmental Enforcement Section of the United States Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division, and in the Office of General Counsel at the American Chemistry Council. He joined the Washington, D.C. law firm of Hogan & Hartson, LLP (now Hogan Lovells US LLP) in 1997 as an associate in the Environmental practice group and was elected to the partnership in 2004.
In 2007, he was appointed by President George W. Bush as a member of the Department of the Interior Wind Turbine Advisory Committee, an appointment that was confirmed in 2010 by President Obama. In 2017, he was appointed by President Trump as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, where he served as one of the highest-ranking environmental enforcement officials in the federal government, a position he held until 2019 when he joined Vinson & Elkins.
During his tenure at the EPA, Professor Traylor supervised the agency’s nationwide Clean Air Act civil enforcement docket. He was also integrally involved in the development of every significant enforcement policy and represented the enforcement program in reviewing all Clean Air Act regulations and guidance issued by the EPA. He now leverages this insight into the EPA’s enforcement processes to effectively and efficiently represent clients facing enforcement investigations and actions. In addition to his litigation practice, companies in the energy sector have turned to him to secure project-critical environmental approvals for the construction and expansion of tens of billions of dollars’ worth of projects at refineries, petrochemical and fertilizer plants, LNG export terminals, and coal- and gas-fired power plants.
He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and the State of Texas and before the Supreme Court of the United States, two United States Courts of Appeal, and numerous United States District Courts.