Thomas A. Bloomfield

Tom Bloomfield advises public and private clients on complex environmental disputes involving administrative law, public policy, and litigation.  He routinely negotiates and drafts consent decrees, environmental cleanup documents, and other environmental settlements.  For more than 25 years, he has successfully represented his clients on major Superfund and other contamination cases, liability risk transfers, energy issues, ozone and regional haze rulemakings, and oil and gas matters.

Tom has played a pivotal role representing clients in the most significant air quality and climate change rulemakings in Colorado.  These accomplishments include the first statewide rules to control methane from oil and gas operations; the groundbreaking Clean Air Clean Jobs Act rulemakings that integrated energy planning and environmental regulation to address regional haze, climate change and public health; the Colorado Regional Haze State Implementation Plan; and the state’s adoption of low emission vehicle standards.

Representative clients include industrial and public entities, counties, cities and towns, utilities, the state of California, and several California state agencies.

Prior to joining Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell, Tom served as an attorney with two other law firms and as an Associate Regional Counsel for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in San Francisco.  While at U.S. EPA Region 9, Tom litigated and resolved some of the most significant, high profile CERCLA cases in the region.  Tom has been recognized as a leading national expert on financial assurance issues, environmental insurance, fixed-price contractual arrangements, and alternative financing approaches for public projects.

Representative Experience

Superfund and Hazardous Contamination Issues

San Fernando Groundwater Cleanup
Representing a major utility regarding numerous large CERCLA response actions anticipated to remediate 1,4-dioxane, volatile organic compounds, and other chemicals present throughout the San Fernando basin in southern California, adversely affecting the beneficial uses of a critical source of drinking water at multiple large well fields

North Hollywood Operable Unit (NHOU) Superfund Site
Representing on behalf of a public utlity to negotiate a groundbreaking settlement between the public utility and Lockheed Martin near the NHOU superfund site

Leviathan Mine Superfund Site
Representing multiple California state agencies in complex state environmental litigation concerning remediation of the Leviathan Mine Superfund site, an inactive sulphur mine discharging acid mine drainage into surface waters; work included prevailing on key motions and successful settlement of the case on the third day of a scheduled five-week jury trial (Atlantic Richfield Company v. State of California, et al., Case No. BC380474, Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles)

Rialto/Colton Perchlorate Litigation
Representing numerous parties in a ten-year lawsuit regarding perchlorate and other chemical contamination in the Rialto/Colton Basin in southern California; work included negotiation of a favorable settlement involving a precedent-setting order that protected clients from both contribution claims and CERCLA cost recovery claims (City of Rialto v. U.S. Dept. of Defense, U.S. District Court, C.D. California, May 25, 2007, 492 F. Supp. 2d 1193, 2007 WL 1805329; City of Rialto v. U.S. Dept. of Defense, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, Apr. 17, 2008, 274 Fed. Appx. 515, 2008 WL 1776571; City of Colton v. American Promotional Events, Inc., West, 614 F.3d 998 (9th Cir. 2010); City of Colton v. American Promotional Events, Inc., 277 F.R.D. 578 (C.D. Cal. 2011))

Airport Groundwater Plume
Representing an airport proprietor in southern California in connection with the investigation and cleanup of a large groundwater plume involving 1,2,3 TCP and other contaminants

Hazardous Waste Landfill Post Closure Management
Advising government entity on four RCRA hazardous waste landfills regarding post closure funding and related issues

Hazardous Waste Treatment Facility Closure
Represented property owner in successful closure of permitted RCRA TSD facility

Beverly Hills High School Toxic Tort Defense
Represented key defendants in a high profile toxic tort matter brought by 1000+ plaintiffs alleging personal injury, fear of cancer, and wrongful death as a result of claimed benzene and other contaminant exposure from oil wells in the area; prevailed on summary judgement for twelve bellwether plaintiffs, securing dismissal of those claims, a summary judgment motion to dismiss all claims against the parent corporation, and a favorable settlement to resolve the remaining claims (Lori Lynn Moss and Randy Moss, et al., v. Venoco, Inc., et al., Case No. BC297083 and consolidated actions, Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles – Complex Litigation Section)

Bay Area Research and Extension Center Toxic Tort Defense
Represented the California Department of General Services, a state agency sued by 150 plaintiffs for personal injury and property damage based on alleged exposure to pesticides and other chemicals; spearheaded expert work and discovery on exposure and other technical analysis leading to favorable resolution without trial, resolving all claims, and securing protection against claims by other defendants (Adame, et al. v. The State of California, et al., Case No. 1-08-CV-106710, Superior Court of the State of California, In and For the County of Santa Clara – Unlimited)

Casmalia Resources Superfund Site
Represented EPA at site involving complex soil and groundwater contamination issues associated with more than 5.5 billion pounds of hazardous waste; site involved more than 10,000 PRPs; negotiated a series of administrative and judicial settlements valued at more than $75 million

Operating Industries Superfund Site
Represented EPA to complete negotiations for the final consent decree at the Operating Industries Superfund site in southern California, after those negotiations were stalled for more than a year.  Soil and groundwater remediation costs estimated to exceed $600 million

Iron Mountain Mine Superfund Site
Represented EPA as the principal architect and lead federal negotiator for one of the largest and most innovative settlements in the history of the Superfund program; negotiated environmental cost overrun insurance, a finite risk policy, indemnities, corporate guarantees, bonds, and other insurance and finance tools to secure perpetual treatment of acid mine drainage pollution containing toxic metals, which if left untreated, would threaten critical spawning habitat for a number of endangered species.  Followed successful litigation on the merits (U.S. v. Iron Mountain Mines, Inc., 987 F. Supp. 1277 (E.D. Cal. 1997); U.S. v. Iron Mountain Mines, Inc., 987 F. Supp. 1263 (E.D. Cal. 1997); U.S. v. Iron Mountain Mines, Inc., 987 F. Supp. 1233 (E.D. Cal. 1997))

Energy and Air Quality

Colorado Energy Plan
Represented Pueblo’s Energy Future in Public Utilities Commission rulemaking, leading to the adoption of the Colorado Energy Plan Portfolio and the replacement of two coal plants with renewable energy generation

Colorado Low Emission Vehicle Standards
Represented a coalition of environmental organizations before the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission’s (AQCC) and successfully advocated for the adoption of a Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) program in Colorado

Colorado Oil and Gas Methane Regulations
Represented nonprofit client in negotiating new statewide rules to control emissions from oil and gas production activities in Colorado and in securing passage of the rules following a year-long stakeholder process.  The rules were the first in the country to address methane emissions on a statewide basis from the oil and gas sector and became the model for a federal program.

Oil and Gas Regulation by Colorado Municipalities
Advised Colorado municipalities regarding regulation of oil and gas production; drafted new oil and gas regulations that were adopted by the municipalities

Multiple Colorado Oil and Gas Stakeholder Programs
Represented nonprofit client in multi-year oil and gas stakeholder process to improve state regulations for oil and gas production operations

Colorado Clean Air Clean Jobs Act
Representing coalition of nonprofit organizations before the PUC and AQCC, securing adoption of a Regional Haze Colorado State Implementation Plan that retired numerous coal plants and secured significant pollution controls on others; successfully defended the action in state court and through appeals.  Colorado’s State Implementation Plan served as a template for EPA’s national Clean Power Plan regulation

Colorado Zero Emission Vehicle Rulemaking
Represented coalition of environmental organizations and local governments before the AQCC and successfully argued for the adoption of zero emission vehicle standards for automakers, making Colorado the first state in more than a decade to adopt such standards

Colorado State Implementation Plan and Ozone Rulemakings
Represented clients in multiple rulemaking proceedings (2014–2018) before the AQCC regarding State Implementation Plan and other ozone matters (2014–2018)

Colorado New Source Review Rulemaking
Represented multiple clients in a rulemaking regarding amending the state New Source Review (NSR) regulation under the Clear Skies Plan

State and Federal Climate Change Regulations and Policy
Advised confidential client on state and federal climate regulations, policy, and strategy

Regional Haze Colorado State Implementation Plan Litigation
Represented a coalition of nonprofit organizations that successfully defended the Regional Haze Colorado State Implementation Plan in state court litigation, including before the district court, court of appeals, and the Colorado Supreme Court (Colorado Mining Association v. Urbina, 318 P.3d 562 (Col. App. Div. 1., 2013))

California South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD)
Represented a commercial client in negotiations with the SCAQMD to obtain Emission Reduction Credits arising from the modification of the client’s production process

Professional and Civic Activities / Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America® for Energy Regulatory Law; Environmental Law (2021-2024)
  • Chambers USA, Colorado, Environment – Band 3 (2021–Present)
  • Denver’s Top Rated Lawyers, Denver Post (2015)
  • Trustee and Treasurer, Dartmouth Association of Rocky Mountains (DARM) (2014–Present)
  • Trustee, Congregation Har Hashem (2012–2016)
  • Member, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2009–Present)
  • Advisory Board, The Trust for Land Restoration (2008–2015)
  • Member, Environment, Energy, and Resources Section, American Bar Association (2003–Present; Vice Chair 2003–2008)
  • U.S. EPA Bronze Medal for Commendable Service, Casmalia Resources Superfund Site (2003)
  • U.S. EPA National Superfund Team of the Year, Operating Industries, Inc. Superfund Site (2002)
  • U.S. DOJ Certificate of Commendation for Outstanding Performance and Invaluable Assistance In Support of the Activities of the Environment and Natural Resources Division (2001)
  • U.S. EPA Federal Employee of the Year, Civil Law Enforcement Category, Federal Executive Board (Bay Area) (2001)
  • U.S. EPA Gold Medal for Individual Exceptional Service, Iron Mountain Mine Superfund Site (2001)
  • California Lawyer of the Year, California Lawyer Magazine (2000)
  • U.S. EPA Gold Medal for Team Exceptional Service, Iron Mountain Superfund Site (1997)

News & Publications


Strafford Publications Webinar
You Find Your Groundwater Polluted – Now What?
3rd Annual California Water Summit, Sacramento, CA
Hot Off the Presses: Federal Regulation of Carbon Pollution from Existing Power Plants
Annual National CLE Conference
Cutting Edge Strategies for Managing and Resolving CERCLA Liability
Clear Law Institute Webinar
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J.D., Order of the Coif, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, 1992
B.A., cum laude, Dartmouth College, 1988

Bar and Court Admissions

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit