Erin Gaines

Supervising Senior Attorney Fossil Fuels Program

Media Inquiries

Dustin Renaud
Public Affairs and Communications Strategist

Bar Admissions


Erin Gaines joined Earthjustice in 2020 and is a supervising senior attorney based remotely in Austin, Texas. Her work is focused on representing frontline communities and non-profit groups challenging oil, gas, and petrochemical buildout in Texas and along the Gulf Coast.

Before joining Earthjustice, Erin was an attorney and team manager at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, where she represented low-income community groups in environmental justice cases along the Texas Gulf Coast and the Texas-Mexico border. Her work included civil rights and fair housing complaints, permit challenges under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act review cases, and citizen suit enforcement.

Erin was a law clerk for the Honorable Gregg Costa on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Southern District of Texas, Galveston Division. She is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and Stanford University. She enjoys camping and exploring Texas parks and rivers with her family and eating breakfast tacos.

The Latest from Erin Gaines

February 14, 2024

In the News: KRIS TV

Corpus Christi Desalination: DOJ to review civil rights complaint

“The inner harbor desalination plant, which would be located in the Hillcrest, is just the latest example of this long-standing pattern of discrimination.”
July 30, 2023

In the News: The Texas Tribune

The “1-mile rule”: Texas’ unwritten, arbitrary policy protects big polluters from citizen complaints

“This practice is arbitrary and unlawful. TCEQ’s practices prevent people from having a meaningful voice in the permitting process for polluting facilities in their community.”
September 11, 2022

In the News: KPVI

Port dredging delayed to resolve lawsuit

“This delay is welcome news for communities that would be harmed by this dredging project and an obvious sign that this project needs to be re-evaluated. We’re committed to bringing the case to a close before any dredging takes place.”
March 29, 2021

In the News: Texas Observer

In Houston, a Plan to Expand Interstate 45 Encounters Federal Pushback

“The really important thing is that it’s about whether there’s a disparate impact. They may also be talking about intentional discrimination, but you don’t need intentional discrimination to violate Title VI in an administrative complaint. You need a disparate impact.”