Complex business problems frequently have an environmental aspect. Our clients turn to Schiff Hardin’s Environmental Group because we have the in-depth knowledge to simplify problems and find workable solutions, even those on the cutting-edge of new law and novel litigation. We advise clients engaged in a variety of industries and commercial endeavors, including electric generation from numerous fuel sources, natural gas transportation and distribution, manufacturing, site remediation, chemical processing, bio-fuels processing, real estate development, water treatment, and consumer goods manufacturing. We bring a strategic and practical approach to the issues, promoting trust with our clients.

National Scope and Breadth

Our practice reaches all corners of the country and problems affecting all environmental media. Our work impacts high profile Superfund and sediment sites in New York, New Jersey, Washington, and Ohio; enforcement and citizen suit litigation in California, Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana; gas pipeline work in Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and California; project and real estate development in the Midwest; transactional assistance affecting assets across the country; and electric generation New Source Review defense in Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana.

We Have the Experience

Rapidly evolving regulations challenge businesses every day. Climate change, limited resources, increased scrutiny by community and non-governmental organizations, increasing calls for lower and lower pollution standards, and increased globalization impact the environmental rules and regulator decisions that affect business. Our Environmental Group has helped develop, interpret, and implement nearly every major piece of environmental and energy legislation over the past 40 years.

We capably handle all aspects of regulatory compliance. We work with clients to analyze and minimize environmental risk through due diligence reviews and audits and guide them through the complex process of Superfund site remediation. We have seasoned litigators who understand how to present highly technical information to the courts and the public in an understandable way. Our lawyers efficiently assess matters, develop cost-effective litigation strategies, and bring disputes to successful conclusions through trial or settlement.

We speak the regulators’ language, as several of our lawyers worked for federal and state environmental agencies, two in leadership positions, so our lawyers are able to effectively negotiate and advocate for our clients’ needs. Solutions are crafted to align regulatory and business objectives.

We Are Leaders in Environmental Law

Chambers & Partners' Chambers USA consistently recognizes our Environmental Group as a premier practice in its annual rankings, and five of our attorneys were named leading lawyers in Illinois by Chambers & Partners’ Chambers USA (2017). Several of our lawyers also have been recognized by other publications including the Law Bulletin’s Illinois Leading Lawyers Network (2016), Thomson Reuters’ Illinois Super Lawyers (2016), U.S. News and World Report's Best Lawyers in America (2018).

Energy and Environmental Law Adviser

Administrative Deference Doesn’t Mean Anything Goes – Just Ask the D.C. Circuit

Administrative deference – in essence, that courts resolve close questions in favor of “expert” agencies – is a cornerstone of environmental practice and we’ve blogged frequently on this issue. Courts question agencies, however, when their decisions do not square with cited evidence. For regulatory challenges, courts also confine their review to the administrative record and... Continue Reading

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Three Strategies for Manufacturers to Address Escalating Citizen Science

The manufacturing industry may be increasingly embroiled in disputes with “citizen scientists” – non-scientists eager to fill in what they see as gaps in EPA regulation and enforcement. Here are several strategies to minimize associated misinformation, fear, and potential reputation damage. MORE

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Utilities Empowered to Help Shape How Coal Ash is Regulated

Utilities have an opportunity to influence how coal ash is regulated following the EPA’s recent issuance of interim final guidance on state-led Coal Combustion Residual permit programs. MORE