Thomas P. McElligott - Quarles & Brady LLP

Thomas P. McElligott

Listed in Best Lawyers since 1995

Tom McElligott has significant experience in all aspects of environmental law including: negotiating air and water discharge permits, administrative and judicial litigation regarding air and water permits, defense of governmental and third-party enforcement actions, representing private and municipal clients in real estate and commercial transactions, with a particular emphasis in “Brownfield” transactions and representing private and municipal clients in remedial projects involving state and federal authorities.

Mr. McElligott’s experience includes:

  • Serving on numerous governmental technical and advisory committees, including committees which developed Wisconsin rules implementing the federal Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative and the state’s mercury strategy. 

  • Advising clients in connection with water withdrawals and diversions, including issues arising under the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact and implementing state legislation. 

  • Representing a client in successfully obtaining a “§316(a)” alternative effluent limitation for a thermal discharge to Lake Michigan. The case included a demonstration that the alternative thermal effluent limitation was protective of a balanced indigenous aquatic community and involved the successful defense of that demonstration from a third party challenge. 

  • Representing clients in obtaining regulatory approval of “§316(b)” compliance alternatives for cooling water intake structures (Best Technology Available determinations) at both new and existing facilities, including extensive interaction with federal and state authorities. In one case, the regulatory approval was the subject of extensive administrative and judicial litigation. 

  • Obtaining a favorable “antidegredation” determination for increased mercury discharges from a state NPDES authority and successfully defending that determination from a third party challenge. 

  • Successfully defending a third party attack on an air pollution control permit for a major expansion of a client’s facility. The case involved complex issues regarding disputed emissions factors, control efficiencies and the applicability of categorical emission standards. 

  • Representing a municipal client in the first ever use of Wisconsin’s “Brownfield” law which lead to the redevelopment of an old industrial site and the creation of over 1000 jobs. 

  • Advising clients regarding environmental and regulatory issues relating to the construction and operation of renewable energy projects, including biomass and biogas.

Additional Information

Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 1983
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1983 
Marquette UniversityBA 1976Marquette University Law SchoolJ.D. 1983
American Bar AssociationFederation of Environmental TechnologistsMetropolitan Milwaukee Association of CommerceCystic Fibrosis FoundationMarquette University Law School

Office Location

411 East Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2400
Milwaukee, WI 53202-4426
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2016 Lawyer of the Year in Natural Resources Law of the Milwaukee Metro Area2012 Lawyer of the Year in Litigation - Environmental of the Milwaukee Metro Area2011 Lawyer of the Year in Environmental Law of the Milwaukee Metro Area
Thomas P. McElligott has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2016!Thomas P. McElligott has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2012!Thomas P. McElligott has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2011!

Practice Areas

Environmental Law (Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Climate Change, Environmental Cleanup, Litigation)
Litigation - Environmental
Natural Resources Law