Tom counsels and litigates in all aspects of environmental law, including air, water, hazardous waste, Superfund and natural resource damages. He assists clients in negotiating and obtaining environmental permits from state and federal environmental agencies and defending these permits from legal challenges. His practice includes significant focus on Clean Air Act permitting and enforcement, including new source review, Title V operating permits, and hazardous air pollutants. Tom works with clients in a broad range of industries, including utility, cement, agricultural products, mining and chemical manufacturing. Tom’s environmental litigation experience includes successful arguments in federal and state courts of appeal. In addition, Tom counsels clients on occupational health and safety issues and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance.
Tom’s recent experience includes:
- Defending and litigating on behalf of mining companies against claims for natural resource damages under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and common law by federal, state and tribal governments at historic metals mining sites, including litigation of NRD damage assessment and valuation methods;
- Defended agricultural products company in multi-facility, U.S. EPA enforcement action under the Oil Pollution Act, concerning spill prevention, control and countermeasure compliance requirements.
- Serving as litigation counsel for the Potentially Responsible Parties group in CERCLA and state law cost recovery claims for river sediments remediation;
- Appealing federal greenhouse gas permit regulations in the Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, on behalf of a Missouri electric utilities association;
- Challenging and arguing the appeal of the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard in the Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, on behalf of a manufacturing industry association;
- Serving as general counsel for a municipal wastewater treatment agency and as outside environmental counsel for various municipalities and sewer agencies in Missouri and Kansas in Clean Water Act enforcement matters for combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, municipal stormwater control and pretreatment agreements with industrial operators;
- Successfully obtaining contribution and cost recovery against the liquidating trust of a former auto parts manufacturer;
- Defending a paper manufacturer against private party CERCLA contribution and cost recovery claims related to PCB contamination at a former facility, including successful dismissal of cost recovery claims;
- Defending a PSD construction permit for a 250 MW electric power plant against challenges by the Sierra Club in the Missouri Air Conservation Commission through the Missouri Supreme Court;
- Appealing emission control technology (Best Available Control Technology) limits in a construction permit for an oil extraction facility before the Missouri Air Conservation Commission;
- Defending Portland cement manufacturers in Clean Air Act enforcement actions and Section 114 investigations; and
- Coordinating and serving as litigation counsel for a Fortune 500 chemical manufacturer's national toxic tort and CERCLA litigation.
Tom began his career as an assistant attorney general in the Ohio Attorney General’s environmental enforcement section, representing the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in civil and criminal enforcement, permit appeals, and development of environmental regulations.
Tom serves as co-chair of Shook’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Practice Group.
Co-author, Emerging Regulation of Emerging Contaminants, American Bar Association, March 16, 2023.
Co-author, Considerations for Carbon Reduction Initiatives, American Bar Association, February 27, 2022.
Author, Chevron Deference: Ambiguous Future, or All Clear?, ABA's Natural Resources & Environment, Winter 2017.
Editorial Board, National Resources & Environment (American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources).
Co-author, Environmental Compliance, Chapter 3 in Missouri Environmental Law (2002 2nd ed., supp.).
Regulation by Litigation, Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference, September 2022.
Hot Topics in Environmental and Toxic Tort Law, Legal and Ethical Developments for In-House Counsel, Miami, Florida, November 30, 2018.
State and Federal Enforcement Priorities, Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference, April 2018.
Clean Power Plan at a Crossroads, REGFORM Missouri Air Seminar, March 2017.
Up in the Air: Clean Air Act Litigation Update, REGFORM Missouri Air Seminar, March 2016.
Clean Power Plan: Litigation and Implementation, Missouri Bar Environment & Energy Conference, November 2015.
U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Legal Issues on the Proposed Rule, Missouri Public Service Commission Annual Conference, October 2014.
Area Source NESHAPs Update, Missouri Chamber Environmental Conference, 2014.
Air Regulatory Litigation, Missouri Bar Masters Series, 2014.
Air Litigation Update, Missouri Bar Environmental Conference, November 2013.
Boiler MACT Developments, Missouri Chamber of Commerce Annual Environmental Law Conference, July 2013.
2011 Environmental Regulatory Update, American Meat Institute Annual Environmental Conference, March 2011.
EPA Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule Developments, Air & Waste Management Association - Midwest Section, Annual Conference, January 2011.
Climate Change: Regulation Through Litigation, Kansas City Agribusiness Council, January 2010.
Environmental Regulatory Update, American Meat Institute Annual Environmental Conference, April 2008.
New Source Review Developments, Air & Waste Management Association - Midwest Section, Annual Conference, January 2007.
Hazardous Air Pollutants and MACT 101, Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Annual Environmental Conference, July 2006.