News and Events Involving Environmental Law, Published by Chicago Environmental Attorney Dave Scriven-Young
of Peckar & Abramson, P.C. -- (312) 239-9722

Toxics Release Inventory Analysis Shows Good News Nationally, Mixed Bag for Illinois

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on January 17, 2017 1:34 pm
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released its annual 2015 Toxics Release Inventory ("TRI") National Analysis, which tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment.  This information is gathered from American facilities in different industries, which must report annually on how much of each chemical is released to the environment and/or managed through recycling, energy recovery, and treatment.  Overall, the report shows good news: releases of toxic chemicals into the air fell 56% from 2005-2015 at industrial facilities submitting data to the TRI program, including a 63 million pound decrease from 2014 to 2015.

New Law Countdown #3: Amendments to Illinois Environmental Justice Act

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on January 11, 2017 12:14 pm
Counting down new Illinois environmental laws that took effect on January 1, 2017 is Public Act 99-0541, which makes changes to the composition of the Illinois Commission on Environmental Justice.  The function of the Commission is to "advise State entities on environmental justice and related community issues, review and analyze the impact of current State laws and policies on the issue of environmental justice and sustainable communities, assess the adequacy of State and local laws to address the issue of environmental justice and sustainable communities, develop criteria to assess whether communities in the State may be experiencing environmental justice issues, and recommend options to the Governor for addressing issues, concerns, or problems related to environmental justice that surface after reviewing State laws and policies, including prioritizing areas of the State that need immediate attention."

New Member Appointed to Illinois Pollution Control Board

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on January 6, 2017 3:28 pm
On December 12, Governor Bruce Rauner appointed Cynthia Santos to the Board.  Santos comes to the Board after serving for 20 years as a Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.  From her official biography: "Board Member Santos was appointed to the Board by Governor Bruce Rauner in December 2016.  Before joining the Board, Ms. Santos served 20 years as an elected Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation of Greater Chicago.  During her tenure, she was instrumental in the development of District’s Stormwater Management Program.  She also served as the District’s representative on the City of Chicago’s Public Building Commission where she was involved in the construction of numerous schools, libraries, and police and fire stations.  Ms. Santos earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, Summa Cum Laude, as well as a Master’s Degree in Political Science and Public Policy from Northeastern Illinois University.  Ms. Santos resides in Chicago."

New Law Countdown #4: Amendments to the Illinois Pesticide Act

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on January 3, 2017 1:57 pm
Counting down new Illinois environmental laws that took effect on January 1, 2017 is Public Act 99-0540, which provides that if specified notice is submitted, then an employer may request that the unused portion of a terminated licensee's pesticide applicator or operator license term be transferred to a newly certified or re-certified individual.

EPA Proposes Changing Air Pollution Standards for Nutritional Yeast Manufacturers

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on December 28, 2016 4:10 pm
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently published a proposed rule that would amend the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for the Manufacturing of Nutritional Yeast source category.  This category includes any facility engaged in the manufacture of baker's yeast by fermentation (both active dry yeast and compressed yeast).  It also includes the following manufacturing process units: fermentation vessels and the drying and packaging system. The proposed amendments include revising the form of the fermenter volatile organic compounds (VOC) emission limits, changing the testing and monitoring requirements, and updating the reporting and recordkeeping requirements.  Click here to read the proposed rule.

Illinois Attorney General Settles Groundwater Contamination Enforcement Action

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on December 22, 2016 2:40 pm
The Illinois Attorney General's office recently settled an enforcement action seeking an injunction and civil penalties for alleged water pollution violations.  The case, People v. Inverse Investments LLC, dealt with an owner of property located in McHenry, Illinois, which was formerly used at various times as an automotive repair shop, a dry cleaning operation, and as a tire shop.  The Attorney General alleged that since at least August 2003, chlorinated volatile organic compounds were present in the groundwater at the Site.  Thus, an enforcement action was brought against the defendant alleging that it caused, threatened, or allowed the discharge of contaminants into the environment so as to cause or tend to cause water pollution.  The action sought a civil penalty of $50,000 for each violation plus an additional $10,000 per day of violation, along with an order requiring that the defendant cease and desist from committing any further violations of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act.

Consent Decree Calls for $100,000 Civil Penalty and Continuous Monitoring for Alleged Clean Air Act Violations

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on December 15, 2016 5:32 pm
U.S. EPA recently announced that a proposed consent decree in United States v. S.H. Bell Co., Case No. 16-cv-07955, was lodged with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  In a civil action filed in August 2016, the United States sought a civil penalty against the defendant for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.  These violations were alleged to have occurred at the defendant's bulk material handling facility located at 10218 South Avenue O in Chicago, Illinois.  Click here for a copy of the consent decree.

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