J. Tom Boer’s experience at the EPA and DOJ provides him with a firsthand perspective into how the government pursues and resolves enforcement actions. He, in turn, offers clients invaluable insights into the processes, risks, issues and strategies for resolving alleged environmental liabilities.
Tom represents companies, municipal utilities, and individuals in federal and state environmental litigation, in defense of environmental enforcement actions and citizen suits, in response to catastrophic environmental emergencies and chemical releases, and in connection with site cleanup and cost recovery.
Before entering private practice, Tom served as a trial lawyer with the United States Department of Justice and as a lawyer with the EPA’s Office of General Counsel.
As a lawyer with the DOJ, Tom prosecuted cases on behalf of the United States under the Clean Air Act; Clean Water Act; Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA); Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA); Oil Pollution Act; and the Park System Resource Protection Act.
Tom is admitted to practice before the US District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts of California, and the US Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the DC Circuit.
Enforcement and Citizen Suit Defense and Litigation. Tom represents clients in administrative and civil environmental enforcement actions brought by federal and state regulatory agencies and in response to citizen suits brought by environmental groups and other private parties. Relevant matters include:
- Representing major northern California utility in response to Endangered Species Act citizen suit filed in the Northern District of California;
- Representing California utility in response to a Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) citizen suit filed in the Northern District of California;
- Representing major municipality in response to Clean Water Act enforcement action alleging violations in the operation and maintenance of its sewer system and potentially seeking billions in injunctive relief;
- Representing a substantial corporate landholder in pursuing claims against another corporation for contamination of its property and business interruption;
- Resolving an EPA enforcement action for alleged violations of Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) and Facility Response Plan (FRP) requirements at an industrial facility storing in excess of 10 million gallons of oil;
- Defending industrial clients in response to Clean Water Act citizen suits related to alleged permit violations;
- Defending a manufacturing client in response to alleged violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act;
- Defending a food manufacturer in response to an EPA enforcement action for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act;
- Defending a client in response to an enforcement action for the allegedly noncompliant sale of pesticide products by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and the EPA; and
- Defending a retail client in connection with an enforcement action for the sale of noncompliant products by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
Emergency Response and Catastrophic Releases. Tom represents clients in all stages of responding to emergency and catastrophic release incidents. Relevant matters include:
- Representing a client in response to a fire incident at a waste transfer station and recycling facility resulting in an Air District investigation;
- Representing a client in connection with the release of petroleum product from a third-party terminal.
- Successfully representing a manufacturing client in response to a substantial ammonia release resulting in local, state and federal enforcement actions, and third-party business interruption and personal injury claims;
- Representing an industrial facility in response to a threatened levee breach;
- Representing an oil services company in response to a tanker truck incident resulting in the release of a hazardous substance on an interstate freeway;
- Successfully pursuing claims against contractors and insurers in connection with negligence exacerbating the release of a hazardous substance; and
- Advising an industrial client on emergency response reporting requirements.
- JD, The George Washington University Law School, with honors, Executive Articles Editor, American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal; Member, Moot Court Board; Quarter Finalist, Moot Court Competition, 1998
- BA, Public Policy/Environmental Studies, Occidental College, cum laude, Class of 1995 Commencement Speaker, 1995
- District of Columbia
- Trial Lawyer, US Department of Justice
- Lawyer, Office of General Counsel, Environmental Protection Agency
- Programs Vice-Chair, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources; Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Committee, August 2018–August 2019
- At-Large Vice Chair, Social Media Vice Chair, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources; Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Committee, August 2017–August 2018
- At-Large Vice Chair, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources; Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Committee, August 2016–August 2017
- Member, Environmental Law Institute Leadership Council
- Authorized User, Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information, US Department of Homeland Security
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