Alex Garel-Frantzen loves tackling complex environmental issues. He counsels companies to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws; litigates land and water issues; and conducts environmental due diligence to support corporate transactions. He represents a variety of businesses, including electric power utilities; gas transmission, storage and distribution companies; manufacturers; and commercial goods distribution companies.

Alex listens carefully to his clients’ concerns and then makes them his own, digging into the facts and untangling the web of statutes, regulations, cases, and policies. Alex then provides clear, actionable advice to help his clients achieve their goals.

  • Experience

    • Represents electric and natural gas utility in CERCLA action brought by the United States to recover costs associated with cleanup of redeveloped property.
    • Represents electric and natural gas utility in connection with Remedial Design at major Superfund site in New York City.
    • Advises electric power utility in third-party appeal of state-issued water permit.
    • Counsels companies to ensure everyday compliance with various laws, ranging from the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and RCRA to California’s Proposition 65 and local environmental and zoning ordinances.
    • Obtained dismissal of third-party challenge to Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification issued to client, an electric and natural gas distribution company, as part of its transmission line construction project.
    • Conducted environmental due diligence to assess and minimize environmental risk associated with client’s proposed acquisition of lubricant business and steel production company.
  • Credentials


    • University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 2015, magna cum laude
      University of Illinois Law Review, Managing Notes Editor
      Environmental Moot Court, editor and national team member
      CALI awards in Legal Writing & Analysis, Legal Research, and Introduction to Advocacy
    • University of Illinois, B.A., History, 2012, magna cum laude

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
      • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

          Professional Memberships

          • Chicago Bar Association, YLS Environmental Law Committee, Co-Chair
        • Insights

          Blog Post
          Blog Post
          Blog Post
          News Release

          Schiff Hardin Represents Central Steel in Acquisition by Ryerson

          Schiff is representing Central Steel & Wire Company, a leading metal service center with a strong reputation as a valued supply chain partner.


          Recent Developments in Toxic Tort & Environmental Law

          American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal


          Views on Trump Administration Environmental Policy Updates

          Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section

          Chicago, Ill.

          Careers in Environmental Law for Young Lawyers

          Chicago Bar Association

          Chicago, Ill.
          Blog Post

          No Delay for Proposition 65 Listing of Glyphosate

          Schiff Hardin Product Liability & Mass Torts Blog

          Blog Post

          EPA Jobs Review Mandate Win May Have Sweeping Industry Impact

          Schiff Hardin Energy & Environmental Law Adviser

          Blog Post

          Other Publications

          • “CERCLA § 309 and Beyond: Statute of Limitations, Rules of Repose, and the Broad Implications of CTS Corp. v. Waldburger Outside the Context of Environmental Law,” University of Illinois Law Review Vol. 865 (2015)
          • “Methane Emissions Regulations on the Horizon for the Oil and Gas Industry,” (co-author) Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report (Aug. 2014)
          • “Gangsters and Organized Crime in Jewish Chicago,” The History Press (2013)

          Speeches & Presentations

          • “Views on Trump Administration Environmental Policy Updates,” Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers Sectionm, Chicago, Ill. (Feb. 21, 2018)
          • “Careers in Environmental Law for Young Lawyers,” Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, Ill. (Sep. 28, 2017)
        • Citizenship

          Pro Bono Activities

          Alex is committed to public service, with a recent focus on immigration and family law matters.


          • Represents citizen of Togo in application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service for asylum and withholding of removal from the United States.
          • Obtained renewal of client’s deferred action for childhood arrivals and authorization to work in the United States.
          • Secured mother’s co-guardianship over her adult son whose physical and mental disabilities prevented him from making needed medical decisions on his own.

        Energy and Environmental Law Adviser

        Three Strategies to Develop Renewable Energy Projects on Potentially Contaminated Lands

        Developing renewable energy on contaminated lands has proven to be both effective and cost-effective for companies pursuing a new solar or wind energy project. The utility-scale solar farm constructed on the 120-acre Reilly Tar & Chemical Corporation Superfund site is a great example, and there are thousands more that are ripe for redevelopment. Renewable energy... Continue Reading