Since the early 1970s, government regulation of activities affecting human health and the environment has increased exponentially. This regulation reflects a growing awareness on the part of government, business, industry, and the public of the potentially serious impact that pollution may have on human health and the environment. As the demand for solutions to the problems of pollution increases, environmental regulation has become increasingly broad and complex.
The environmental framework in Illinois is shaped by many government agencies. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, headquartered in Springfield, implements a variety of State environmental laws as well as most major federal environmental programs. The IEPA is responsible for issuing permits, monitoring industry compliance, overseeing remediations, and investigating alleged violations of environmental laws and regulations. The IEPA and Illinois Attorney General's Office prosecute alleged violations. The Illinois Pollution Control Board develops regulations implementing state and federal environmental laws. It also adjudicates permitting disputes and violations of related laws and regulations. Other agencies such as the State Fire Marshall, Department of Natural Resources, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, have specialized jurisdiction over environmental regulation.
These agencies present a complex and interrelated web of regulation clients must observe. Environmental regulation has also led to an increase in related legal issues. These include complex real estate transactions involving contaminated property, lender liability, private actions to recover the cost of, or to compel, remediations, insurance coverage disputes, and the prosecution or defense of toxic tort actions. The firm has represented clients in litigation related to insurance coverage and claims of personal injury based upon pollution.
Sorling Northrup attorneys offer a wide range of experience to clients confronting all of the above-discussed environmental regulating agencies and the applicable statutes and administrative rules. Firm attorneys have served in directly relevant governmental positions such as counsel to the IEPA, and regularly practice before state and federal environmental agencies. Firm attorneys have appealed adverse decisions to the state and federal courts. Sorling Northrup lawyer-lobbyists regularly participate in legislative and regulatory developments in the environmental field.
Sorling Northrup attorneys who practice in this area include: