Section Newsletter Articles on Environmental Law

U.S. Supreme Court leads PRPs back to §107(a) for cost recovery under CERCLA By Kyle Rominger Environmental Law, October 2007 In a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court has ended recent uncertainty regarding cost recovery under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA”).
Recent SEC enforcement of environmental financial disclosure By E. Lynn Grayson and Stephanie M. Ailor Corporate Law Departments, September 2007 In the past few months, the SEC has resolved a number of pending actions against corporate executives accused of engaging in improper environmental financial reporting.
Financial reporting 201: A review of key principles of environmental financial reporting By Chris Blume Environmental Law, July 2007 Last year, this newsletter included an analysis of the key principles of financial reporting of environmental claims. This article provides a further update and a brief summary of the key concepts.
One final warning before we call security: The debut of chemical facility anti-terrorism standards By T.J. Hunter Environmental Law, July 2007 Congress has authorized the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to promulgate interim final regulations establishing risk based performance standards for the security of chemical facilities.
Illinois ethical release reporting dilemmas for environmental attorneys, engineers and geologists By Raymond T. Reott and Becky J. Schanz Environmental Law, April 2007 This article will examine the confidentiality duties of Illinois attorneys and other environmental professionals with regards to the release reporting obligations.
Fear and loathing in the Wetlands: Murder on the Kumbaya Express—“It Ain’t That Pretty At All” By Thomas J. Immel Environmental Law, February 2007 What is the environmental practitioner to do in advising a “wetlands” client after Rapanos?
Will EPA’s Administrative Order on Consent Satisfy the Procedural Requirements of Cooper v. Aviall? By Gene Schmittgens and Jessica Merrigan Environmental Law, February 2007 Not only did the Court’s decision in Cooper Industries, Inc. v. Aviall Services, Inc. eliminate the availability of contribution under CERCLA following a voluntary cleanup, it also has the potential to significantly limit the right of contribution for parties that have “settled” or wish to “settle” liability in an administrative setting.
Delegation Agreements under the Illinois Environmental Protection Act By Lisle A. Stalter Environmental Law, December 2006 The delegation agreement is a formal written agreement between the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and a unit of local government.
Recent decision addresses landlord liability for lead-based paint hazard By T.J. Hunter Environmental Law, December 2006 Earlier this year the Fourth District of the Appellate Court of Illinois allowed tenants to pursue a private cause of action against a landlord and its agent even though the defendants had no knowledge of the presence of lead paint.
Supreme Court will hear global warming case Environmental Law, September 2006 Just as this issue is going to press, the United States Supreme Court agreed to resolve the pending dispute related to the scope of USEPA’s regulatory powers with regard to carbon dioxide, one of the principle greenhouse gases emitted from motor vehicles.
U.S. EPA argues no implied right of contribution for PRPs under Section 107(a) of CERCLA By Joseph R. Podlewski, Jr. Environmental Law, September 2006 In the October, 2005 issue of the newsletter, we reported on the case of Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago v. Lake River Corp., 365 F. Supp. 2d 913 (N.D. Ill. 2005).
Do you want fries with that? Biodiesel regulation in America By Christine LeBel Environmental Law, June 2006 Your local greasy spoon might provide a partial solution to the problem of U. S. dependence on foreign oil. New state and local laws are helping, including an Illinois law just signed last year.
Financial reporting for environmental claims By Chris Blume Environmental Law, June 2006 Editor’s Note: As federal courts convict the participants in the various financial scandals that rocked the corporate and financial accounting worlds the last several years, there also will be increased attention on the reporting of environmental liabilities.
Extension of “arranger” liability to suppliers of dry-cleaning equipment By Jorge Mihalopoulos Environmental Law, May 2006 In two unrelated suits, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court both recently addressed whether dry-cleaners could compel their equipment suppliers to share the costs of cleaning up contamination discovered at the drycleaners’ former facilities.
General Assembly expands IEPA’s powers and public notice duties By Jorge Mihalopoulos Environmental Law, February 2006 On July 25, 2005, Governor Rod Blagojevich signed into law Public Act 94-0314, which makes several amendments to the Illinois Environmental Protection Act (“Act”).
Reconsidering environmental considerations in commercial real estate transactions—2006: New alternatives and new opportunities for clients By William J. Anaya Environmental Law, February 2006 Environmental cleanup liability has been a consideration in commercial real estate transactions for the past two and one-half decades, but the law’s response to that stimulus has changed significantly in just the past few years.
Groundwater and the CWA By Lisa A. Kirschner Environmental Law, October 2005 The scope of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) has been the subject of substantial discussion and judicial review subsequent to the Supreme Court’s 2001 decision addressing isolated waters in Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC), 531 U.S. 159 (2001).
Reading a Phase I environmental report By Raymond T. Reott Environmental Law, October 2005 By this time, any sizeable real estate or business transaction includes a Phase I environmental assessment.
Recent cases of note for Illinois environmental law practitioners By Joseph R. Podlewski, Jr. Environmental Law, October 2005 Several cases have been decided in Illinois and federal courts over the past six months that are significant to environmental law practitioners.
Regulatory status update: Perchlorate summary of federal and state regulations By Becky Raftery and Steven M. Siros Environmental Law, May 2005 One of the more confounding environmental issues to emerge in the last several years is the emergence of "new" contaminants, particularly at sites already undergoing remediation or that in some cases have been completely remediated.
Phase II stormwater discharge permits and the Tenth Amendment By Jorge Mihalopoulos Environmental Law, June 2004 The Tenth Amendment provides that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." U.S. Const. Amend. X. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, this protection of dual sovereignty prohibits the federal government from compelling state and local governments to regulate their residents according to federal standards.
The use of TMDLs to regulate nonpoint sources of water pollution By Jorge Mihalopoulos Environmental Law, January 2004 A nonpoint source of water pollution is generally understood to be pollution in the form of runoff from farming, ranching, forestry and land development activities.
The tide rises once again: Definition of wetlands revisited By James K. Weston Mineral Law, December 2003 A recent Virginia case, Treacy v. Newdunn Associates, analyzed once again the definition of "navigable waters" under the Clean Water Act.
The process of siting a municipal waste transfer station or landfill By David W. McArdle Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law, October 2003 Siting municipal or county waste transfer stations and landfills presents unusual problems for local governments.
The process of siting a municipal waste transfer station or landfill By David W. McArdle Local Government Law, August 2003 Siting municipal or county waste transfer stations and landfills presents unusual problems for local governments.
Clerk’s Office On-Line: Illinois Pollution Control Board’s “COOL” By Claire A. Manning and Richard R. McGill Environmental Law, December 2002 Ever since its introduction at the Illinois Pollution Control Board's 25th anniversary in Chicago in 1995, the Board's Web site has become a widely-used resource.
“Up the ladder” or “up the creek”? Environmental counsel and the strange new world of Sarbanes-Oxley By Phillip R. Van Ness Environmental Law, December 2002 In an earlier edition of this newsletter, we advised readers that the environmental practitioner may find himself/herself entangled in the attorney regulatory rules to be promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in response to the so-called Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (Public Law No. 107-204) (the Act).
Environmental attorneys may catch chill from new corporate ethics legislation By Phillip R. Van Ness Environmental Law, October 2002 They say an ill wind blows no good, and environmental practitioners may find themselves in the midst of a gale.
IERRC scores first “win” in drive to update the Illinois Environmental Protection Act By Phillip R. Van Ness Environmental Law, October 2002 As most readers of this newsletter know, Governor Ryan created the Illinois Environmental Regulatory Review Commission (IERRC) by Executive Order #18 in December of 1999.
Of peekaboo bonds and offers of proof: Court affirms Pollution Control Board holding that EPA not barred from denying landfill permit due to dropped surety By Phillip R. Van Ness Environmental Law, October 2002 Sometimes a company's environmental problems aren't related to the environment at all. Witness a recent (May 15, 2002) Third District case, Community Landfill Company v. Pollution Control Board.