Matthew D. Thurlow

Partner

Washington, D.C.
T +1 202.861.1681
F +1 202.861.1783
San Francisco
T +1 202.861.1681
F +1.415.659.2601

Overview

Matt Thurlow is an environmental and toxic tort litigator with significant experience in civil enforcement and private party matters brought under the Clean Air Act, CERCLA, RCRA, Clean Water Act, FIFRA and TSCA. His clients include major oil and gas companies, utilities, oil refiners, chemical and product manufacturers and financial services companies. He has significant environmental and toxic tort litigation experience in state and federal courts across the country, including multi-district litigation.

He also has experience advising companies regarding their environmental regulatory compliance obligations. He frequently assists companies on advertising, marketing, labeling, and compliance issues concerning the regulation of pesticides and pesticide devices under FIFRA and consumer products under Proposition 65.

Matt previously served in the Environmental Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice. During that time, Matt acted as lead counsel on a variety of civil enforcement matters, including a major Clean Water Act case, several Superfund cases, and Clean Air Act matters involving power plants and oil refineries.

Matt also has recovered millions in insurance proceeds for clients under Commercial General Liability, Directors and Officers, Errors & Omissions, Environmental and Cyber Liability policies. He has extensive experience submitting and negotiating complex insurance claims involving multiple claims, different carriers and incomplete or missing policy information.

Matt is a frequent writer and speaker for the American Bar Association.

Select Experience

  • Lead counsel for product manufacturer in AFFF firefighting foam multi-district litigation in District of South Carolina.
  • Represents major oil refinery in high profile matter involving Clean Air Act and other environmental compliance matters following U.S. EPA’s issuance of an emergency Section 303 Order.
  • Advises chemical and consumer product companies regarding FIFRA compliance obligations.
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Experience

  • Lead counsel for product manufacturer in AFFF firefighting foam multi-district litigation in District of South Carolina.
  • Represents major oil refinery in high profile matter involving Clean Air Act and other environmental compliance matters following U.S. EPA’s issuance of an emergency Section 303 Order.
  • Advises chemical and consumer product companies regarding FIFRA compliance obligations.
  • Successfully defended and obtained partial summary judgment for major oil company in federal court litigation relating to legacy ownership of fuel terminal.
  • Lead counsel for major paint manufacturer in enforcement litigation brought by the South Coast Air Quality Management District alleging sale and distribution of coatings exceeding limits on concentrations of volatile organic compounds.
  • Represented major global aluminum manufacturer in CERCLA cost recovery and breach of contract dispute relating to former ownership of production facility. Briefed, argued and defeated motions for summary judgment on CERCLA issues in federal district court.
  • Obtained summary judgment for metal manufacturer in groundwater contamination dispute in federal district court. Briefed and argued summary judgment motion on CERCLA and RCRA claims.
  • Served as lead counsel for a Fortune 50 company in several state-wide MTBE litigations.
  • Negotiated numerous consent decree settlements with the EPA and DOJ involving power plants, industrial manufacturers and oil refineries.
  • Frequently advises companies in oil and gas, electrical generation and industrial manufacturing regarding Clean Air Act, Prop 65, CERCLA, RCRA and Clean Water Act regulatory compliance.
  • Performs due diligence and advises banks and hedge funds regarding significant potential environmental liabilities.
  • Significant litigation experience against the EPA, Department of Justice and citizens groups in enforcement cases.

Recognitions and Memberships

Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Section of Energy, Environment, and Resources: 
    • Section Leadership (2019 to present)
    • Vice Chair, Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Committee (2021)
  • DC Bar Association

Community

  • U.C. Berkeley Library System: Board of Directors

Pro Bono

  • Served as liaison for Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
    • Liaison
    • Advisory Committee
  • Represents group to protect wild bison in Yellowstone National Park.

Industries

Prior Positions

  • U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Enforcement Section: Trial Attorney (2008 to 2011)
  • Clerk for the Honorable Jerome Farris, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (2005 to 2006)

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • California
  • District of Columbia

Education

  • J.D., Yale Law School, 2005; Editor, Yale Law Journal
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 2002, with highest distinction, Phi Beta Kappa

Blog

In The Blogs

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AD-ttorneys Law Blog
What Is a PFAS, and Why Should I Care? Part III – California's Proposition 65
By Ryan Fischbach, Bethany G. Lukitsch, Matthew D. Thurlow, Theodore Weiss
May 12, 2022
In Part I and Part II of this blog series, we introduced and discussed per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly referred to as “forever chemicals,” which have been recent targets of consumer class actions and regulatory...
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AD-ttorneys Law Blog
What Is a PFAS, and Why Should I Care? Part II – Restaurants and Food Packaging and Potential Personal Injury Classes
By Kamran B. Ahmadian, Bethany G. Lukitsch, Matthew D. Thurlow
April 1, 2022
In our initial blog post, we introduced readers to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known as “forever chemicals,” and predicted the rise of PFAS consumer class actions and increased regulatory activity barring the use of PFAS in...
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AD-ttorneys Law Blog
What is a PFAS, and Why Should I Care?
By Kamran B. Ahmadian, Bethany G. Lukitsch, Amy Ralph Mudge, Julie Singer Brady, Matthew D. Thurlow
March 9, 2022
We are bombarded with countless abbreviations every day – CPPA, GLBA, MSRP, SARS and BPA, to name just a few. Time to add one more to the list. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, colloquially known as PFAS, are a class of more than 4,700...
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