Thomas Newlon Headshot
Retired Partner

Thomas A. Newlon


Thomas A. Newlon is a retired partner no longer practicing law. To connect with an environmental, land use, or natural resources attorney, please click here.

Tom Newlon practiced in the firm’s Environmental practice group. Tom’s experience includes issues related to contaminated sediments, aquatic cleanup and the acquisition and redevelopment of brownfields properties. He is also experienced in the administrative processes of federal and state cleanup programs as well as in obtaining permits for major marine and aviation expansion projects. Tom worked on significant regulatory reform efforts involving state programs in hazardous waste management (Washington dangerous waste regulations), contaminated sites (MTCA regulations and MTCA amendments), ESA-related permitting issues, and changes to the federal Superfund program. He is the co-author of major brownfields-related amendments to MTCA.

Before joining Stoel Rives, Tom was Senior Port Counsel at the Port of Seattle; an assistant professor at Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University, Macon, Georgia; a research biologist at the Washington State Game Department, Applied Ecology Division; and a research biologist at Ichthyological Associates, Middletown, Delaware.


University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1986; Order of the Coif; Editorial Board, Virginia Law Review; Editorial Board, Virginia Journal of Natural Resources Law

University of Idaho, M.S., 1977

University of Delaware, B.A., 1974, magna cum laude


  • Port of Anacortes Cleanup and Redevelopment (multiple sites): Assisting with the investigation and remediation of Anacortes waterfront facilities through a multi-faceted program of site investigation, remediation and cost recovery that maximizes the Port’s recovery of funds from other parties and successfully combines remediation with facility upgrades and infrastructure improvements.
  • Port of Bellingham New Whatcom Project: Advising on the implementation of a major insurance-backed liability transfer transaction involving the acquisition, cleanup, and development of former Georgia Pacific properties in Whatcom County, Washington. The project involves the remediation of the Whatcom Waterway and multiple upland industrial facilities.
  • Port of Seattle, Duwamish, and Harbor Island Waterways Superfund Sites: Assisting with the investigation and cleanup of two major sediment Superfund sites, and Port cost recovery efforts related to the sites.
  • SeaTac Airport Third Runway: Permitting and litigation for $1 billion expansion of SeaTac Airport. Project required ESA consultation, a 401 certification from the Washington Department of Ecology and a 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for wetland filling and the relocation of a salmon-bearing stream. Fill quality issues were a major concern in the permitting and litigation effort.
  • Port of Seattle Terminal 18 Expansion: Property acquisition and cleanup for a $270 million container terminal expansion project at a federal Superfund site. Over 30 properties were acquired and over 70 businesses were relocated. Redevelopment and facility construction was successfully coordinated with Superfund cleanup requirements for all parcels. Project received EPA national brownfields “Phoenix” award in 2004.
  • Port of Seattle Southwest Harbor Project: Comprehensive acquisition, cleanup, and redevelopment of multiple federal and state cleanup sites for a $250 million container terminal development. Project included three state consent decrees, a prospective purchaser agreement under state law limiting the Port’s long term liability, and the largest prospective purchaser agreement EPA’s Superfund program had ever entered into at that time. Al Gore dedicated the project and President Clinton cited the project as a model for coordinating economic development with environmental improvement in a speech at the site.


Insights & Presentations

  • “Contaminated Sediments in Urban Waterways and Embayments: How Best to Use Superfund,” ABA Newsletter, 2007
  • “Promoting Market-Driven Brownfields Cleanups,” Puget Sound Daily Journal of Commerce, 1997
  • “Prospective Purchaser Agreement Expedites Seattle Harbor Project,” Environmental Corporate Counsel Report, 1995
  • Book review, Susan J. Buck, “Understanding Environmental Administration and Law,” Northwest Environmental Journal, 1993
  • Living with Eagles: Habitat Protection Incentives (co-author), Northwest Renewable Resources Center, 1991
  • Note, “Defining the Appropriate Scope of Superfund Natural Resource Damage Claims: How Great an Expansion of Liability?” Virginia Journal of Natural Resources Law, 1985
  • Comment, “National Audubon Society v. Hodel” (co-author), Virginia Law Review, 1986
  • Streamside Management Zone Inventory (co-author), Washington State Department of Ecology, 1981
  • Western Washington Urban Stream Assessment (co-author), Washington State Department of Ecology, 1981
  • Relationship of Physical and Chemical Factors to Macroinvertebrate Biomass and Diversity in a Small Mountain Watershed (co-author), Idaho Water Resources Research Institute, 1977


  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America® (Environmental Law), 2010–2023
  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Washington) by Chambers USA (Environment), 2008–2023
  • Listed in Washington Super Lawyers® (Environmental, Energy & Natural Resources), 2001, 2003, 2006–2022
  • Stoel Rives LLP Andrew Guy Pro Bono Award, Recipient, 2019



  • Superfund Subcommittee of EPA’s National Advisory Committee for Environmental Policy and Technology, Member, 2002–2004
  • Washington Department of Ecology Model Toxics Control Act Policy Advisory Committee and External Advisory Group, Member, 1995–1997
  • Perkins Coie Community Service Fellow, Northwest Renewable Resources Center, 1989–1990 (six-month full-time pro bono fellowship involving the mediation of projects related to timber harvesting policy, eagle habitat protection and tribal and local government relations)
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