Thomas K. Prevas
Thomas K. Prevas is a commercial litigator with particularized experience in environmental law. Tom also works closely with developers, non-profits and other stakeholders on transformative real estate development projects, including projects on contaminated or blighted property. His grasp of legal issues involving the environment is underscored by his role as chair of the Environmental and Energy Section of the Maryland State Bar Association. Prior to joining Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, Tom was also an environmental attorney at DLA Piper, LLP, during which time he played a key role in the trial and appeal of one of the largest tort cases in Maryland history - a gasoline release from a Baltimore County service station involving a major oil company.
Drawing from his experience as general counsel to a significant charitable community development corporation, Tom thinks holistically about how to achieve clients' goals while minimizing costs. Tom also gained substantial trial experience as a special assistant state's attorney for Baltimore County.
Currently, Tom is bringing together his understanding of business, legal, land use and political issues from his law practice to support an effort to improve Baltimore’s trash diversion rate. His work on this project includes preparing a report for Baltimore’s mayor, with the assistance of the Department of Public Works and stakeholders, to create an action plan that involves reuse, recycling, composting and similar opportunities. Through this and other work for waste-industry clients, Tom has developed an understanding of the challenges that they face in their development and operation of a wide range of facilities, services and programs, including municipal landfills, solid or hazardous waste disposal, incinerators/waste-to-energy operations, and recycling. He is also knowledgeable about wastewater treatment and associated piping issues, stormwater and associated piping issues, retention and land application of biosolids, and composting facilities.
Tom has also represented victims of revenge pornography to get images removed from the internet and testified before the Maryland House Judiciary Committee in favor of a bill to outlaw revenge pornography. He frequently assists House of Ruth clients in obtaining protective orders against their abusers.
Upon graduation from the University of Maryland School of Law, Tom received the Roger Howell Award, given to a member of the graduating class whose “leadership, scholarship and moral character are representative of the high ideals of the legal profession.”
Select representative matters include:
- Advise clients on limiting environmental risk in real estate transactions involving contaminated property through due diligence, corporate structuring, statutory defenses, brownfields programs and other relevant strategies.
- Represented engineering firm in negotiating with a local municipality over the construction of a wastewater treatment plant.
- Represented large company in litigation/arbitration over wastewater treatment plant waste hauling and disposal.
- Represented clients going through Maryland's Voluntary Cleanup Program.
- Represented clients in numerous litigations involving gas station releases.
- Provided environmental counseling to companies relating to the purchase or sale of environmentally contaminated properties.
- Represented large company on issues pertaining to assessment of CERCLA liability at large National Priority List site.
- Represented large company in responding to EPA potentially responsible party inquiry under CERCLA.
- Represented large company to prevent the taking of its property by the U.S. Department of Transportation by highlighting NEPA and Department of Transportation Section 4f compliance issues.
- Negotiated consent decree between EPA and Local Education Agency in an enforcement action under TSCA-AHERA, relating to asbestos in schools, and counseled Local Education Agency on AHERA compliance.
- Represented client to oppose stormwater management fine imposed by Maryland Department of Environment for construction runoff.
- Represented large corporation on a fats, oil and grease notice of violation filed by a local wastewater treatment agency.
- Represented power company on environmental compliance, siting and permitting of power plants.
- Represented gas station in challenge to a zoning board decision on a special exception.
- Represented students in cases involving significant disclosures to local private schools regarding teacher misconduct.
- Represented coal fired power plant in litigation on water permit exceedances relating to mandated flue scrubbers.
- Frequently represents clients in environment enforcement litigation brought by federal, state and local environmental agencies