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


  • Sep 25, 2014- 12:30 PM
    EPA Audit Policy Update: Traps for the Unwary & Strategies for Success Amid TSCA Reform and Next Generation Compliance Initiatives

    For more information on this event, please click here.

    Dave Scriven-Young will be speaking at this live webinar coming Thursday, September 25, 2014, 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm central time.

    The EPA’s audit policy, “Incentives for Self-Policing: Discovery, Disclosure, and Prevention of Violations,” was developed back in 1995 to address the scope of “privilege” allowed for voluntary environmental audits and findings and offered incentives to perform audits where the findings were disclosed and promptly corrected. Benefits include reductions in civil penalties, possible elimination of gravity-based penalties, and possible avoidance of criminal prosecution.

    In 2012, this program was targeted for abandonment, but following industry objections, the program survived. Since 2012, there has been an ongoing discussion as to how the EPA’s audit policy should be crafted in light of political activity, federal budgetary cutbacks, and the issuance and introduction of other programs such as the “National Program Manager (NPM) Guidance” the “Next Generation Enforcement Initiative,” TSCA reform, the dismantling of EPA’s electronic reporting program, and the reduction of EPA inspections.

    Having a clear sense of how the EPA audit can benefit your organization, especially with the ongoing and likely continuing changes, is a challenging endeavor.  Clearly understanding your organization’s options is critical to making the right choices and now is a good to time to consider exactly how you should proceed.

    Join us on September 25 for this in-depth webinar. Our presenter, a seasoned environmental lawyer who has been actively involved with the EPA audit policy for many years, will discuss recent and proposed changes to the EPA audit policy, and give suggestions how best to take advantage of the policy to benefit your organization.

    You and your colleagues will learn:

    • Recent changes to the EPA audit policy, and why it’s important for you to know about the changes likely to occur in the future
    • How the EPA audit policy process actually work and the benefits—and potential drawbacks—of participation
    • The departments within your organization that should be weighing in on the company’s decision to participate
    • Where the EPA audit policy fits in with relation to other programs, directives, and actions such as “National Program Manager (NPM) Guidance” the “Next Generation Enforcement Initiative”, TSCA reform, the dismantling of EPA’s electronic reporting program, and the reduction of EPA inspections
    • How to identify and evaluate outside resources to help your organization determine if participation in the EPA audit policy is right for you and how to best move forward

  • Oct 3, 2014- 9:00 AM
    Friends of the Chicago River's 10th River Summit
    Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella
    330 North Wabash Avenue, 21st Floor

    Please join Friends of the Chicago River for the 10th River Summit on October 3 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the law offices of Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella to explore this year’s topic: Rewilding and the Urban Environment.  At this special event, regional and national leaders in this field will answer questions like:

    -What sort of impact does rewilding have on restoring the functionality of ecosystems?

    -What type of expectations should we have for how rewilding can be supported in an urban environment?

    -What steps are currently being taken to strengthen the Chicago River ecosystem?


    Tickets are available for purchase here. Hope to see you at the Summit!

  • Oct 4, 2014- 10:00 AM
    Illinois Solar Tour

    For more information:

    The Illinois Solar Tour, on Saturday, October 4th, 2014 is a FREE PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE

    Home and business owners with renewable energy installations will open their homes to the public to share their passion, knowledge and experience of owning and living with renewable energy.

    Visit any site at any time between 10 am and 2 pm. Homeowners will be available at each site to provide information, share experiences and answer questions.

    Attend the Solar Tour to:
    • Learn how home and business owners are utilizing solar and other clean energies to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and to become energy independent

    • Meet people who have renewable energy installations, learn why they did it, the process, what they love about it and lessons learned

    • Learn about the different technologies and see how they are installed

    • Hear how different renewable energy technologies work together

    • Find out all of the ways you can use clean energy to power your life.

  • Oct 21, 2014- 12:00 PM
    Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret
    John Marshall Law School, Room 1200A
    315 S. Plymouth Court

    cowspiracy flyer

  • Oct 22, 2014- 9:00 AM
    Prairie Lands Environmental Summit
    Western Illinois University Union
    1 University Circle

    Online registration is now open for the Prairie Lands Environmental Summit, which is scheduled from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22 at the Western Illinois University Union. According to Tim Collins, assistant director at the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at WIU, the Prairie Lands Environmental Summit originated from Western’s Environmental Summit, which has been held at WIU for the previous 10 years. The event is open free to the public.

    “Beginning this year, the summit has been expanded and renamed to promote a more regional focus and image,” he said.

    This year the summit includes three tracks:

    • “Greening Our Community” will be of interest to the western Illinois and Macomb area community in recognition of Campus Sustainability Day.
    • “Arts on the Prairie Landscape: Main Streets and Country Roads” is aimed at community and economic developers, local officials and community residents, especially those interested in enhancing local arts and humanities in their communities.
    • For high school science teachers, the third track focuses on continuing education and will provide teachers with modules they can use in their classrooms to meet state standards and improve their teaching methods.

    Michael Howard, associate director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and south side of Chicago community activist, is this year’s keynote speaker. At 1 p.m. (Oct. 22) in the University Union Grand Ballroom, Howard will discuss his work as a community leader and as the founder of Eden Place Nature Center in Chicago. Developed on an abandoned brownfield site, Eden Place was honored in May 2004 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Chicago Wilderness with the Conservation and Native Landscaping Award.

    “The winners were recognized for their extensive and creative use of natural landscaping to support native plants and animals that contribute to the region’s biodiversity,” Collins noted. “That same month, Eden Place was filmed for a PBS special documentary called ‘Eden’s Lost & Found.’”

    Register online for the Prairie Lands Environmental Summit at In-person registration begins at 9 a.m. (Oct. 22), and sessions are scheduled from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. The summit will be followed by a reception at the WIU Art Gallery.

    For more information, contact Collins at (309) 298-3412 or via email

  • Oct 30, 2014- 10:30 AM
    Openlands 2014 Annual Luncheon
    Hilton Chicago
    720 S. Michigan Ave.

    For more information on this event, please click here.

    Openlands appreciates the power of art to give voice to landscapes, to help people engage with the natural world, and to allow a community to express its beliefs. The Openlands 2014 Annual Luncheon will focus on the capacity of public art to invite its audience into the natural landscape, inspiring and educating along the way.

    Wild flowers and tall trees, breezy lakeshores and wide prairies, serene wetlands and urban gardens all provide the focus of conservation work. But they also provide us daily artistic inspiration. As part of our mission to connect people to nature, Openlands has integrated a multitude of art forms into open spaces. Our partnership with Marwen and our Building School Gardens Program allow students to explore the relationship between community, nature and art. The art installations featured at the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve invite visitors to consider the role of art in our open spaces. Please join us at this year’s luncheon as we celebrate the enriching connection between nature and art.

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