Overview

Gabriel M. Rodriguez maintains a comprehensive environmental practice assisting manufacturing and energy clients with environmental compliance, enforcement and litigation matters. Gabe knows that, while there may be numerous ways to approach a problem, the best strategy is the one that aligns most closely with the client’s vision of success. He credits his strong track record of successful outcomes to the groundwork he lays in fully understanding his clients’ objectives and developing plans to achieve them as quickly and effectively as possible.

A Recognized Leader

Gabe leads the firm’s dynamic and highly regarded Environmental Practice Group. The group serves companies in a wide range of industries with compliance and enforcement of federal, state and local environmental laws, including air, water, and hazardous waste requirements, and climate change issues. Experience, integrity, and teamwork are fundamental to the success the group achieves for its clients.

Gabe co-chairs the firm’s Energy Infrastructure Team. He also is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and sits on the firm’s Diversity Committee.

A Versatile Advocate

Gabe currently represents manufacturing and energy companies in Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) enforcement matters, as well as in the remediation, closure, and disposition of former manufacturing facilities. He litigates CERCLA claims and tort claims alleging exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. He also represents developers and financial institutions regarding strategies for addressing Brownfield sites and other environmentally impaired real estate. Additionally, Gabe assesses due diligence and negotiates the environmental provisions in corporate mergers and acquisitions, and in real estate and lending transactions.

As regulations change, technology evolves, and community interest grows, Gabe embraces the challenge of a dynamic legal landscape. He is comfortable with the uncertainty and change inherent in environmental law, which allows him to produce creative and successful results for his clients.

Previous Experience

Prior to joining Schiff Hardin in 1988, Gabe was an Illinois Assistant Attorney General in the Environmental Control Division.

  • Experience

    • Represents an Indiana power generator in connection with the investigation of alleged releases of coal ash constituents from an ash disposal facility to groundwater. He negotiated CERCLA Administrative Consent Orders for removal actions involving the extension of municipal water service to approximately 270 residential homes and businesses. He also negotiated an Administrative Consent Order providing for the performance of a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study encompassing an approximately two-square-mile area.
    • Represented the Indiana power generator in lawsuits relating to the ash disposal facility. Several residents and two environmental groups filed federal litigation under the citizen suit provisions of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) against the utility. Concurrently, approximately 85 residents filed a state court lawsuit asserting public nuisance claims against the utility for alleged exposure to groundwater contamination and seeking damages for emotional distress and diminution in property value, and the establishment of a medical monitoring fund. Both lawsuits were settled on terms favorable to the client.
    • Represents a consumer products manufacturer in a CERCLA cleanup involving the remediation of historic releases of chlorinated solvents from the manufacturer’s Michigan factory to a municipal drinking water aquifer.
    • Advised a manufacturing company regarding vapor intrusion assessment and mitigation program at active and former plants across the country.
    • Advises several gas companies in connection with their programs for closing former manufactured gas plants.
    • Acted as special environmental counsel for a Brownfields redevelopment project that transformed an illegal dump on the southwest side of Chicago—a former “Silver Shovel” site—into an industrial park. He negotiated the environmental provisions of the real estate acquisition agreement with the seller and the redevelopment agreement with the City of Chicago, and worked with insurance carriers to develop environmental insurance coverage.
    • Acted as special environmental counsel in the acquisition of several industrial properties along the Chicago River.
    • Acted as special environmental counsel regarding the acquisition of a former industrial facility in Chicago’s near north side.
    • Acted as special environmental counsel regarding the acquisition of a former industrial property in Chicago south side.
    • Obtained a thermal variance for an Illinois power generator in a contested administrative proceeding involving the thermal component of the electric generating station’s cooling water discharge.
    • Represented a financial services company regarding its non-compliance with the Environmental Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) reporting and other reporting and permitting requirements at one of its Data Centers. The violations related to the uninterrupted backup power system at the Data Center. Gabe assisted the client in structuring a multi-facility audit and negotiated an agreement with U.S. EPA allowing for the audit and self-disclosure of violations under the EPA’s Audit Policy.
  • Credentials

    Education

    • Northern Illinois University College of Law, J.D., 1984, cum laude
    • Northwestern University, B.A., 1979

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
    • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

        Professional Memberships

        • American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources
        • Chicago Bar Association
        • Hispanic National Bar Association
      • Insights

        TITLE
        News Release

        61 Schiff Attorneys Named to 2019 Best Lawyers in America List and Six Recognized as “Lawyer of the Year”

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that 61 attorneys have been included in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, as well as six who were named a “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective areas of practice.

        News Release

        Chambers USA 2018 Recognizes Four Practice Areas and 22 Attorneys

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that four practice areas and 22 attorneys have been recognized in the 2018 edition of Chambers USA, a leading legal industry ranking.

        News Release

        Schiff Hardin Announces New Executive Committee, Eisenstein Re-Elected as Managing Partner

        Schiff Hardin LLP has announced the election of its new executive committee.

        Blog Post

        Three Strategies for Manufacturers to Address Escalating Citizen Science

        Schiff Hardin Energy & Environmental Law Adviser

        News Release

        95 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2018 Leading Lawyers Lists

        Ninety-six Schiff Hardin lawyers have been named to the 2018 Leading Lawyers lists for Illinois and Michigan.

        News Release

        Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2018 The Best Lawyers in America

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that five attorneys have been named a “Lawyer of the Year” in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©.

        News Release

        Chambers USA 2017 Recognizes 20 Schiff Hardin Attorneys and 4 Practice Areas

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that 20 attorneys and four practice areas were recognized in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA, a leading legal industry ranking.

        News Release

        99 Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named to 2017 Leading Lawyers List

        Ninety-nine Schiff Hardin lawyers have been named to the 2017 Leading Lawyers list for Illinois and Michigan.

        News Release

        Schiff Hardin Announces New Executive Committee
        Marci Eisenstein elected to third term as firm’s managing partner

        In addition to Eisenstein, the seven-member executive committee includes Gabriel M. Rodriguez and Christine A. McGuinness, both of whom are new to the committee.

        Speeches & Presentations

        • “Current Trends in Environmental Law,” (co-presenter) Continuing Legal Education Presentation, Madison, Wis. (Jul. 29, 2016)
        • “Environmental Enforcement Litigation and the Rise of the NGO,” (co-presenter) 20th Annual FERC Briefing, Chicago, Ill. (May 15, 2014)
        • “Mentoring: Why It’s Important, and Some of the Challenges to Doing It Well,” (moderator) Annual Corporate Counsel Conference, Hispanic National Bar Association, Orlando, Fla. (Mar. 20, 2014)
        • “Coal on the Run?” (co-presenter) 19th Annual FERC Briefing, Chicago, Ill. (Jun. 13, 2013)
      • Citizenship

        Civic and Charitable Memberships

        • Loyola Academy Rowing Association, Board of Directors
        • National Immigrant Justice Center, Leadership Board Member
      image description

      Rodriguez comments on oil pipeline executive orders

      The Legal Intelligencer quoted partner Gabe Rodriguez on how the executive orders advancing two major pipelines indicate an intent to “change course on energy policy.” MORE