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

Model Stormwater Ordinance Contains Ideas to Prevent Flood Damage

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on November 7, 2015 4:43 pm
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, in collaboration with Illinois State Water Survey, developed a model stormwater ordinance to help Illinois communities manage flooding and combat flooding-related damages in urban areas.  The ordinance was developed as a result of a report that found increasing extreme precipitation events and that an increasing number of flood claims are occuring outside of floodplains. The model stormwater ordinance includes specific recommendations and regulations to better mitigate urban flooding damages: 

US EPA Limits Amount of Pollutants Discharged by Steam Electric Power Plants

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on November 4, 2015 3:13 pm
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a final rule under the Clean Water Act regulating steam electric power plants.  According to EPA, the rule "establishes the first nationally applicable limits on the amount of toxic metals and other harmful pollutants that steam electric power plants are allowed to discharge in several of their largest sources of wastewater."  EPA believes that regulating steam electric power plants is important because they "contribute the greatest amount of all toxic pollutants discharged to surface waters by industrial categories regulated under the CWA."

EPA Adds to Legal Morass to Business with Permit to Build

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on November 2, 2015 1:36 pm
Environmental law is complicated, and those complications can multiply when several states and the federal government get involved on a project.  This principle is on display in Eagle Creek Township, Indiana, where work is underway to build a 600-acre quarry.  According to news reports, the business building the quarry received a discharge permit under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, and the company says that it "for the past five years has been diligent about following the appropriate process to obtain approvals from local, state and federal agencies."  Now, U.S. EPA is allowing additional oversight--now from the State of Illinois--to determine if the quarry would affect water quality in Illinois.  Section 401(a)(2) of the Clean Water Act allows another State to be involved whenever EPA determines that a discharge may affect the quality of the waters of that other State.

New Webinar Assisting Businesses Comply With Used Oil Regulations

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on October 29, 2015 12:14 pm
My next speaking engagement will be a BLR (Business & Legal Resources) webinar entitled "Used Oil Generators: Cost-Effective Strategies to Ensure Compliance with EPA Regulations".  Business owners and plant managers will learn how to:

New Study Shows PCB Contamination Still a Problem in Chicago

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on October 22, 2015 11:02 am
According to new research, "soils, sewage sludge and paint are major sources" of PCB contamination in Chicago, and "current cleanup strategies may not be the most effective for protecting people’s health."  The research also suggests that "more than 400 pounds of toxic PCBs are emitted to Chicago’s air each year."  Read the News Story This is the unfortunate consequence of chemicals like PCBs, which were banned in 1979.  It can take years to remove these chemicals from the environment and that is why they are still present decades after they have been banned.

Chicago’s Chief Sustainability Officer Discusses Plans To Reduce Carbon Footprint & Increase Energy Efficiency

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on October 21, 2015 4:30 pm
The City of Chicago's Chief Sustainability Officer, Karen Weigert, recently gave an interesting interview concerning her work.  Some of the achievements: "We’ve been able to look at our own infrastructure. We are focused on retrofitting city buildings. We were able to do about 60 buildings recently, funded at no risk to our taxpayers.  We’ve built a Retrofit Chicago program where we collaborate with partners and make it easier for residents to become more energy efficient.  We have a single phone number for residents to access energy efficiency programs. We actually know which neighborhoods are more or less energy efficient and who’s really going to benefit from efficiency. The commercial buildings initiative of Retrofit Chicago, involves more than 50 buildings that have committed to at least a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency within five years."  Read Part 1 of the Interview

Illinois Follows Federal Guidance & Reduces Fluoride in Water Supplies

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on October 20, 2015 3:03 pm
Following the recommendation of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Illinois reduced the fluoridation requirement in its public water supply regulations, changing the requirement that all community water suplies maintain a fluoride ion concentration of 0.90 to 1.2 mg/L in the community water supply distribution system to reflect a fluordiation ion concentration of 0.7 mg/L.  The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency filed a new rulemaking to make this change with the Illinois Pollution Control Board, which is responsible for determining, defining, and implementing environmental control standards in Illinois.

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