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

Illinois Department of Public Health Approves New Lead Rules

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on January 16, 2019 9:46 pm
On January 15, 2019, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules approved rules proposed by the Illinois Department of Public Health that will increase the number of children identified with lead poisoning and trigger earlier intervention.  The rules lower the level at which public health interventions are initiated for children with blood lead levels from 10 micrograms per deciliter to 5 micrograms per deciliter, the same lead reference level used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New Federal Decision Requires Clean Water Act Permits for Recyclers of Construction Waste

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on December 19, 2018 9:46 am
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently decided that contractors that process construction debris and waste for recycling may need to obtain permits under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) for their stormwater runoff. As the Second Circuit ruled, “not every incident of stormwater runoff is subject to regulation under the CWA.  Only stormwater runoff associated with certain enumerated activities in the Act and its implementing regulations is required to be covered by” a CWA permit.  For example, permits are required for discharges “associated with industrial activity”, which EPA defined in part as work involved in the recycling of materials, including those classified as Standard Industrial Classification (“SIC”) 5015 and 5093.  SIC 5093 encompasses “establishments primarily engaged in assembling, breaking up, sorting, and wholesale distribution of scrap and waste materials.”

Illinois Attorney General Wins Lawsuit Over Trump Administration Regarding Smog Regulations

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on March 16, 2018 3:19 pm
A federal judge has ruled that the Trump administration failed to timely designate the areas of the country that have "attainment" (meeting) or "nonattainment" (not meeting) with the ground-level ozone standards established in 2015.  When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency missed an October 1, 2017 deadline, fourteen states (including Illinois), the District of Columbia, and several environmental organizations sued.

Illinois Pollution Control Board Announces Regulatory Changes and Other News

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on March 13, 2018 3:01 pm
The Illinois Pollution Control Board recently issued its Environmental Register for February 2018.  The Board has the authority to adopt environmental standards and regulations for the State of Illinois and to adjudicate contested cases arising from the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and its implementing regulations.  The Environmental Register summarizes the Board's work for the past six months and provides a rulemaking update, appellate update, summary of actions of the Board, the Board's calendar, and listings of community water supplies that have been designated with the labels "restricted status" or critical review".

Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Offense of Failure to Notify IEPA of Asbestos Removal

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on March 6, 2018 6:03 pm
Criminal prosecutions of federal environmental laws are rare and are typically limited to situations where the defendant knowingly, intentionally, and willfully violated a particular environmental statute or regulation.  The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois recently announced that a man was charged with the felony offense of failure to notify regulatory authorities prior to removing asbestos material.  The defendant pled guilty to the charge and will be sentenced in June.

State of Illinois Settles Alleged Water Pollution Claims Against Coal Mine Operators

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on February 26, 2018 6:49 pm
On February 22, 2018, the Illinois Pollution Control Board accepted the parties' stipulation and proposed settlement in People v. Illinois Fuel Co., PCB 10-86.  This case concerned two coal mines, one located five miles north of Herod, Illinois in Saline County, and one located five miles southwest of Junction, Illinois in Gallatin County, Illinois.  The State alleged that the mine operators violated the Illinois Environmental Protection Act by discharging effluent from the mines into waters of the State so as to cause or tend to cause water pollution and in violation of the mines' National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.

US Department of Justice Announces Changes to Consent Decree Settling Case Against Heat Recovery Coking Facility

Posted by Dave Scriven-Young on February 14, 2018 3:57 pm
On February 13, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice announced in a Federal Register notice that it lodged a proposed Second Amendment to Consent Decree with the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in its lawsuit against companies that included the Gateway Energy & Coke Company.  The United States, on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the State of Illinois filed a complaint under the Clean Air Act asserting claims relating to two Midwestern heat recovery coking facilities, one of which is located in Granite City, Illinois (the "Gateway Facility").  The United States and the State of Illinois sought civil penalties and injunctive relief against the owners and operators of the Gateway Facility.

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