Renee Cipriano provides environmental strategic planning and counseling around statutory and regulatory requirements, enforcement and compliance. Her past experience as Director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), the Governor of Illinois’ Senior Advisor on Environment and Natural Resources, Associate Director and Chief Counsel of the IEPA, and Assistant Attorney General provide her with a valuable perspective into the complexity of government policy. She has been frequently recognized as one of the country’s top lawyers in the environmental field.
As co-deputy leader of Schiff Hardin’s Environmental Group, Renee is a trusted adviser with a creative approach to problem solving. She believes that there is a solution to every problem, and that a well-timed step back and a fresh look at the issue — as well as every available option — can be crucial. She knows from experience that often a policy change, a change in law, or a small compromise can yield cost-effective and timely results.
Renee helps corporations and manufacturers assess legislative, regulatory and policy initiatives that affect their project development plans and business strategy. She goes above and beyond simply telling her clients what approvals or permits are needed; instead, she analyzes and determines the most effective ways to move the business objective forward, whether the plan involves reaching out to the community, the media, third parties or legislators. Her practice includes a heavy emphasis on government relations and public law and policy, as well as third party litigation and challenges, with a thorough understanding of the legal landscape in Illinois as well as other states throughout the country.
She has extensive experience handling:
- Federal, state and local government approvals and local siting
- Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and air permitting
- National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 404 permitting/401 certification
- Federal and state government enforcement actions
- Clean Air Act (CAA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) Citizen Suits and Third Party Challenges
- Federal and State rulemaking and legislation
- Public hearings and community outreach
- Situational and crisis management
Renee is a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers and serves on the Board of Directors of the Environmental Law Institute.
As IEPA Director, Renee led the implementation of the state’s environmental programs. Her position frequently required her to balance the need to promote economic growth and job creation, while still providing the state with effective programs aimed at protecting the environment and public health. Renee was appointed to her position as Director by two Governors and required senate consent. She had a staff of approximately 1,100 and a budget exceeding $1 billion. Earlier, she served as IEPA Associate Director and Chief Counsel, Senior Advisor to Illinois Governor on Environmental and Natural Resources and as Assistant Attorney General in the Environmental Control Division of the Illinois Attorney General. Highlights of Renee’s government service include:
- Serving as Illinois Commissioner on the Great Lakes Commission.
- Sitting on the Board of Directors for the Clean Energy Community Foundation.
- Sitting on the Special Task Force on the Condition and Future of the Illinois Energy Infrastructure.
- Launching of the Green Fleets Program, the Green Dealers Program and Illinois Clean School Bus Program, which promote the use of clean fuel technology and alternative fuels.
- Spearheading the development and passage of numerous pieces of legislation, including the state's comprehensive Right to Know Law, which made Illinois a leader in public notification and community relations activities when the release of a contaminant is discovered.
- Launching “Green Pays on Green Days,” a program successfully implemented through partnership efforts to promote voluntary actions to improve air quality.
- Creating the first-ever Environmental Justice Officer position in the State of Illinois and Advisory Group to continue development of an environmental justice policy in Illinois.