Thomas M.Donnelly (Tom)


San Francisco + 1.415.875.5880

Tom Donnelly has practiced environmental and insurance coverage law for 30 years. He represents clients in environmental litigation and regulatory enforcement proceedings, provides environmental compliance counseling and due diligence/transactional support, and assists clients in securing coverage from their insurers. Tom's clients have included high-tech, aerospace, energy, oil and gas, and metals and mining companies; auto manufacturers; utilities; equipment and consumer product manufacturers; food companies; retailers; financial institutions; and real property owners and developers. He has appeared in all federal district courts in California, the Ninth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, and California trial and appellate courts.

Tom's recent representations include: Chevron, Fluor, Owens Corning, and Wells Fargo in environmental litigation matters (including citizen lawsuits); Lennar, Gruma (food company), and dozens of equipment and consumer product manufacturers in Proposition 65 lawsuits; Firestone Building Products and Procter & Gamble in regulatory enforcement matters; Aerojet Rocketdyne (aerospace), Kyocera (semiconductor), SanDisk (data storage), Scotts (fertilizers and pesticides), and Toyota in environmental compliance matters; Sutter Home and Leprino Foods in securing environmental permits for new or expanded operations; oil and gas companies in climate change matters; and banks and private equity firms in environmental due diligence related to real property and other business transactions. For PG&E, after a seven-week jury trial, Tom secured a verdict that a policy issued by AIG covered PG&E for property damage claims totaling $24 million.

Tom is listed in Chambers USA as one of the leading environmental attorneys in the state of California, and he has been recognized as a leading environmental attorney by several other trade publications.


Parallel Capital Partners sells 12 office buildings located in Sorrento Valley area of San Diego to Boston-based Longfellow Real Estate Partners
Jones Day advised Parallel Capital Partners, Inc. in its $112 million sale of 12 office buildings located in the Sorrento Valley area of San Diego to Boston-based Longfellow Real Estate Partners.

Conagra Brands acquires Pinnacle Foods for $10.9 billion in cash and stock
Jones Day advised Conagra Brands, Inc. in connection with the acquisition and related financing of Pinnacle Foods Inc. in a $10.9 billion merger.

Owens Corning secures dismissal of lawsuit alleging CERCLA and RCRA responsibility
Jones Day represented Owens Corning in the defense of a lawsuit filed by the current owners of property in Southern California who sought recovery of alleged response costs under CERCLA, an order requiring cleanup under RCRA, and alleged damages under various state law claims related to environmental contamination at their property.

Chevron defends against lawsuit relating to accidental fire at California refinery
Jones Day represented Chevron Corporation and Chevron U.S.A. Inc. in defense of a lawsuit filed by the City of Richmond relating to an accidental fire that occurred at CUSA's Richmond (California) refinery in August 2012.

Lam Research attempts merger with KLA-Tencor
Jones Day represented Lam Research Corporation in its proposed acquisition of all outstanding shares of KLA-Tencor Corporation in a cash and stock transaction that placed an equity value on KLA-Tencor of approximately $10.6 billion based on its closing stock price on October 20, 2015.

Wells Fargo sells mixed-use project known as 'Sunnyvale Town Center,' located in downtown Sunnyvale, California
Jones Day represented Wells Fargo Bank, National Association in connection with the sale of a mixed-use project known as 'Sunnyvale Town Center,' a thirty-six acre site located in downtown Sunnyvale, California, which was consummated in two separate closings, for a total sales price of approximately $370 million.

Fluor defeats RCRA and Clean Water Act citizen suit and settles CERCLA claims in California
Jones Day represented Fluor Corporation in a CERCLA cost recovery and RCRA/CWA citizen suit relating to alleged contamination at its former wood treatment plant in Windsor, California.

Kyocera seeks counseling on environmental compliance and regulatory support
Jones Day provides environmental compliance counseling and regulatory support to Kyocera International, Inc.

Wells Fargo defends Superfund allocation proceeding related to sediment contamination in Lower Duwamish River in Seattle
Jones Day represents Wells Fargo Bank in a federal Superfund allocation proceeding initiated by the federal EPA and the State of Washington, the objective of which is to allocate the costs of investigating and remediating sediment contamination in the Lower Duwamish River in Seattle, Washington among potentially responsible parties.

Procter & Gamble resolves regulatory enforcement action
Jones Day defended The Procter & Gamble Manufacturing Company against a civil penalty and enforcement action brought by the County of Sacramento (California) Environmental Management Department, claiming that P&G had failed to comply with certain hazardous waste regulations at its Sacramento plant.

Chevron defends against allegations of environmental damage from oil seeps off coast of Brazil
Jones Day is serving as lead U.S. counsel for Chevron with respect to various legal and administrative proceedings arising out of oil seeps that occurred off the coast of Brazil in November 2011 and March 2012.

Riverside completes sale of FoodState to Pharmavite
Jones Day advised The Riverside Company in connection with its sale of FoodState, Inc. (formerly known as BioSan Laboratories, Inc.), a manufacturer and distributor of whole food nutritional supplements, to Pharmavite, LLC, a producer and distributor of dietary supplement products.

Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, and Deutsche Bank, as representatives of underwriters, complete concurrent offerings by KB Home of $400 million of Senior Notes and $143.7 million of Common Stock
Jones Day represented Citigroup Global Markets Inc.; Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC; Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated; and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., as representatives of the underwriters, in connection with a public offering of $400 million of 4.75% Senior Notes due 2019 by KB Home, one of America's premier homebuilders, and concurrent $143.7 million public offering of 7,986,111 million shares of KB Home Common Stock.

Luxfer Group acquires Vexxel Composites
Jones Day advised Luxfer Group in its acquisition of Vexxel Composites, LLC, a manufacturer of high-pressure composite cylinders for containment of compressed natural gas.

Credit Suisse fund acquires Adam Grant building at 114 Sansome Street in San Francisco for approx. $102 million
Jones Day advised a fund managed by Credit Suisse Group in the approx. $102 million acquisition of the Adam Grant building at 114 Sansome Street, San Francisco, California.

Wells Fargo provides workout and restructuring financings for California real estate development company
Jones Day assisted Wells Fargo Bank, National Association with multiple workouts and restructuring transactions for a California real estate development company.

RBS Citizens leads sponsor financing for Dymatize Enterprises
Jones Day represented RBS Citizens, N.A., as arranger and agent, in connection with the $80 million sponsor acquisition financing.

Oil and gas companies obtain advice on issues associated with California's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Jones Day is providing counseling and advice to oil and gas companies on various issues associated with the State of California's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including California's low carbon fuel standard, and California's cap and trade program.

Confidential food and consumer product manufacturers resolve Proposition 65 "citizen group" lawsuits
On behalf of several confidential food and consumer product manufacturers, Jones Day has resolved (on favorable terms) a series of lawsuits filed by purported "citizen groups" under California's Proposition 65, claiming that the clients' products require a Proposition 65 warning because they allegedly contain lead, phthalates and other listed chemicals.

Lennar successfully resolves California Proposition 65 lawsuit involving alleged environmental exposure to naturally-occurring asbestos
Jones Day secured dismissal of a California Proposition 65 lawsuit filed against Lennar Corporation and related entities claiming that Lennar did not provide adequate warning about alleged environmental exposure to naturally-occurring asbestos during grading for development of real property in California.

The following represents experience acquired prior to joining Jones Day.

Represented Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in a seven-week jury trial, securing a verdict that a policy issued by AIG affiliates, National Union Fire Insurance, and Lexington Insurance, covered property damage claims totaling $24 million asserted against PG&E for a wildland fire that occurred in Sonoma County, California.

Defended Aerojet-General Corporation, an aerospace and defense contractor, in a half-dozen lawsuits filed by the United States, the State of California, and neighboring property owners, in Sacramento County Superior Court and in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, seeking cost recovery, contribution, injunctive relief, and damages related to groundwater contamination at, and allegedly migrating from, Aerojet's rocket and propellant manufacturing and testing facility located in eastern Sacramento County. The site is on the federal Superfund list. The government lawsuits were resolved through a series of complicated consent decrees for site investigation and cleanup, which Aerojet is implementing. The private party cases settled.

Negotiated for Aerojet-General Corporation substantial revisions to a federal consent decree with the EPA and the State of California that allowed Aerojet to "carve out" 3,000 clean acres from its 8,500-acre federal Superfund site in Sacramento County, and thus put that land to productive use. The carve-out included a complicated set of covenants and deed restrictions.

Defended Northgate Minerals Corporation in a lawsuit filed by the California Attorney General that sought issuance of a cleanup order and recovery of tens of millions of dollars in response costs and damages related to arsenic and other contamination found at an inactive gold mine. Settled on favorable terms and secured court approval of the settlements over opposition from other parties.

Defended United American Energy Corp. in a lawsuit filed by the California Attorney General concerning contamination caused by a major tire fire in Northern California that burned for weeks. Settled on favorable terms and secured court approval of the settlements over opposition from other parties.

Represented a winery in Napa County, California and secured a defense verdict after trial in a nuisance action filed by a neighboring property owner who claimed that wastewater discharges from the winery caused a private and public nuisance and violated applicable permits and regulations.

Additional Publications

  • March 2018Federal Court in California Denies Remand of Climate Change Litigation
  • March 2018The Climate Report - Winter 2018
  • November 2017The Climate Report - Fall 2017
  • August 2017The Climate Report - Summer 2017
  • June 2017No Accord: Summarizing the U.S. Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement
  • May 2017Challenge to California's Cap-and-Trade Emission Allowances Auction Rejected on Appeal
  • May 2017The Climate Report - Spring 2017
  • Winter 2017The Climate Report
  • November 2016Energy and Environmental Ramifications of the Trump Election
  • Fall 2016The Climate Report
  • October 2016D.C. Circuit Considers Challenges to Clean Power Plan
  • October 2016EPA Issues Guidelines Addressing VOC Emissions from Oil and Gas Sector
  • September 2016Agencies Issue Joint Guidance Regarding Bulk Shipment of Hazardous Chemicals
  • September 2016California Requires Significant New Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions
  • August 2016Evolution of Source Determination for Certain Emission Units in the Oil and Natural Gas Sector
  • Summer 2016The Climate Report
  • July 2016Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Changes to Eagle Protection Regulations
  • June 2016EPA Moves Forward with Implementing Clean Energy Incentive Program Despite Stay of Clean Power Plan
  • Spring 2016The Climate Report
  • April 2016EPA Creates Ambiguity Regarding Clean Power Plan Compliance Deadlines
  • April 2016EPA's Consideration of Costs Leaves MATS Rule Unchanged
  • February 2016The Climate Report, Winter 2016
  • January 2016EPA Launches Online eDisclosure Portal
  • December 2015Air Permits Don't Stop Neighbors' Nuisance Claims
  • December 2015Paris Agreement Sets the Stage for Global Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions
  • Fall 2015The Climate Report, Fall 2015
  • September 2015EPA Proposes New Methane Emission Regulations for the Oil and Gas Industry
  • August 2015EPA Issues Clean Power Plan to Control Power Plant Carbon Emissions
  • Summer 2015The Climate Report Summer 2015
  • July 2015Supreme Court Rejects EPA Mercury Rule for Power Plants and Raises Questions about Judicial Deference to Future EPA Rules
  • June 2015EPA Proposes Renewable Fuel Standard Modification to Address Market Constraints, Yet Leaves Uncertainty for Future Targets
  • June 2015EPA Takes Final Action Requiring Revision of Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction Air Regulations in 36 States
  • Spring 2015Climate Report Spring 2015
  • Winter 2015The Climate Report
  • October 2014EPA Proposes to Eliminate Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction Affirmative Defenses Under Clean Air Act
  • Summer 2014The Climate Report
  • July 2014Utility Regulatory Group v. EPA: U.S. Supreme Court Stops EPA's Rewrite of the Clean Air Act
  • June 2014EPA Proposes Clean Power Plan for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Existing Electric Generating Units
  • Spring 2014The Climate Report
  • April 2014Update on Litigation Challenging California's Greenhouse Gas Regulatory Programs
  • March 2014EPA Proposes Rule to Alter Greenhouse Gas Reporting for Oil/Natural Gas Industries
  • February 2014Review of EPA Authority for Upcoming Rules for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Electric Power Plants
  • Winter 2014The Climate Report
  • Fall 2013The Climate Report
  • September 2013California's Green Chemistry Regulations Formally Adopted and Approved
  • Summer 2013The Art of the Deal: Strategies for Successful Negotiation in Environmental Cases, Environmental Law News, Vol. 22, No. 1
  • Summer 2013The Climate Report
  • July 2013California Air Resources Board Considers Important Amendments to Greenhouse Gas Emission Cap-and-Trade Regulations
  • May 2013EPA's Proposed Rule Regarding Treatment of Startups, Shutdowns, and Malfunctions Under the Clean Air Act
  • Spring 2013The Climate Report
  • Winter 2013The Climate Report
  • January 2013California's Cap-and-Trade Program for Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Key Regulatory Developments and Judicial Challenges
  • December 2012Looking Beyond Lead: Developments in Federal Regulation of Avgas Lead Emissions
  • Fall 2012The Climate Report
  • Summer 2012The Climate Report
  • Spring 2012The Climate Report
  • Winter 2012The Climate Report
  • December 20112011 Roundtable Series: Environmental Law, California Lawyer
  • Fall 2011The Climate Report
  • September 2011Cap-and-Trade in California Is Imminent
  • August 2011CARB Releases Modified Cap-and-Trade Regulations for Final Approval
  • Summer 2011The Climate Report
  • Spring 2011The Climate Report
  • March 2011California Superior Court Enjoins California's Cap and Trade Program for Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • March 2011EPA Proposes Hazardous Air Pollutant Emission Limits for Electric Generating Units
  • February 2011California Adopts Cap-and-Trade Program for Greenhouse Gas Emissions, The Environmental Counselor
  • February 2011Regulation of Chemicals in Consumer Products
  • January 2011California Adopts Cap and Trade Program for Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Winter 2011The Climate Report
  • June 2010Climate Change Regulation Via the Clean Air Act: EPA's New Greenhouse Gas Rule for Facilities
  • April 2010EPA Delays Greenhouse Gas Permits for Manufacturing Plants
  • April 2010EPA Proposes to Add Oil and Natural Gas, Carbon Sequestration, and Fluorinated Gas-Emitting Facilities to Greenhouse Gas Reporting System
  • February 2010Overview of California's Preliminary Draft Cap and Trade Program
  • Winter 2010The Climate Report
  • Fall 2009The Climate Report
  • Summer 2009The Climate Report
  • Summer 2009California Still Leading the Way in Environmental Regulation, Practice Perspectives: Environmental, Health & Safety
  • March 2009Policy Holders in Environmental Cleanup Actions are Potentially Entitled to Multiple Policy Limits; Multiple Causes of Loss are Not a Basis to Deny Coverage
  • September 2008California's Global Warming Solutions Act: Creating a Haze of Uncertainty for Business
  • August 2005The Fall-Out From Cooper v. Aviall, Chemical Waste Litigation Reporter, Vol. 50, No. 3

Speaking Engagements

  • January 26, 2011New Restrictions on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Jones Day Silicon Valley (Presentation slides)
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