At all levels of government, rulemaking proceedings can have a significant effect on the business operations of our clients. The ability to analyze and identify key issues of concern in proposed rules is critical to assisting clients in proactively influencing the “how” and “why” of environmental regulations. Through well-reasoned and articulate legal arguments and alternative proposals to regulate environmental issues, we assist clients through the rulemaking process to address those issues which may otherwise place undue burdens on their business operations. There may be times when a company is unable, for technical, economic, or other reasons, to meet the requirements of a rule or standard. We work with our clients to assess the various options to obtain regulatory relief from compliance, including site-specific rulemakings, adjusted standards, and variances.
At the federal level, we have prepared rulemaking comments and responses to information gathering requests associated with proposed rulemaking directed to our clients. We have participated in U.S. EPA outreach efforts to regulated parties concerning proposed rules to bring issues of client concern to its attention. In Illinois, we have participated in stakeholder efforts to work cooperatively with Illinois EPA personnel to craft regulations that achieve the goals of environmental legislation in a fair and reasonable manner. We also have participated in numerous rulemaking proceedings before the Illinois Pollution Control Board in both the solid waste and water areas. Applying our extensive litigation experience to the public hearing process, our questioning of agency and expert witnesses has highlighted inconsistencies and deficiencies in the proposed rules that paved the way to amended proposals that more appropriately regulate the area of concern.
The firm is experienced with seeking variances and adjusted standards and has represented clients in siting hearings. Currently, we represent a client before the Illinois Pollution Control Board seeking a Clean Water Act Section 316(a) thermal variance for discharges from three facilities to the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal and the Lower Des Plaines River and we represent a circuit board manufacturer in an adjusted standard petition to obtain relief from hazardous waste regulations. We successfully assisted a metals refinery by modifying their adjusted standard petition to avoid having the client’s recycling process fall within the hazardous waste regulations and we represented a company to obtain siting approval for a state-of-the-art biosolids recycling facility at a municipal wastewater treatment plant.
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