• Posts by Melissa S. Brown

    Melissa S. Brown focuses her practice on environmental law, assisting clients on a wide variety of environmental issues. Her clients regularly benefit from her ability to:

    • counsel them on environmental compliance issues ...

Illinois Supreme Court: no rights of action exist/implied in state’s Environmental Protection Act or its LUST (leaking underground storage tank) Program. Made clear distinction between legal remedies to protect environment and ones for recovery from personal injuries when those laws violated.


Announces U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Loper Bright, which overturns a long-standing doctrine of deferring to agency interpretations of ambiguous statutes.


Summarizes announcement by Illinois Pollution Control Board of its proposed amendments to the groundwater quality standards.


U.S. EPA proposes new National Primary Drinking Water Regulation and changes to the Waters of the United States and National Ambient Air Quality Standards


On March 25, 2020, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) published on its website a draft memorandum entitled “Interpretation of ‘Begin Actual Construction’ Under the New Source Review Preconstruction Permitting Regulations” (“draft memorandum”). The draft memorandum announces that USEPA is adopting a revised interpretation of “begin actual construction” that will allow a source owner or operator to undertake significantly more physical on-site activities prior to obtaining a construction permit than previously allowed ...


On December 4, 2019, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published in the Federal Register an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking titled “Addition of Certain Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances; Community Right-to-Know Toxic Chemical Release Reporting.” 84 Fed. Reg. 66369. USEPA is currently considering a rule proposal to add certain polyfluroroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the list of toxic chemicals subject to reporting under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (Right-to-Know Act) and the Pollution Prevention Act. This ...


On June 20, 2019, the Supreme Court of Illinois affirmed an appellate court’s ruling on an Illinois Pollution Control Board (“Board”) decision involving groundwater monitoring at clean construction or demolition debris fill sites, in The County of Will v. The Pollution Control Board, 2019 IL 122798, Case Nos. 122798, 122813. The case concerned the Board’s adoption of regulations governing the use of clean construction or demolition debris (“CCDD”) and uncontaminated soil (“US”) as fill material at CCDD fill operations.

CCDD is uncontaminated broken concrete ...


On March 25, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a final rule that increased the protections in place for employees exposed to silica in the workplace and imposed new obligations on employers. The final rule created two separate standards addressing occupational exposure to silica – one for general industry and maritime and another for the construction industry. Most of the provisions of the standard for general industry and maritime became enforceable on June 23, 2018.

The new standard establishes a permissible exposure limit ...


The Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule (GIR), which was finalized by USEPA in 2016, is a significant reorganization of the regulations applicable to hazardous waste generators. 81 Fed. Reg. 85732 (Nov. 28, 2016). With the GIR, USEPA moved all of the RCRA generator provisions into one section – 40 C.F.R. Part 262. The GIR also included several substantive changes to the hazardous waste generator rules which were more stringent than current RCRA generator regulations and, therefore, must be adopted by states with authorized RCRA programs.

The “more stringent than” ...


Crystalline silica (“silica”) is a mineral found in materials such as sand, concrete, stone and mortar that are used in industrial products and at construction sites. Silica is also used in the manufacture of glass, pottery, ceramics, bricks, concrete and artificial stone. Medical studies have concluded that inhalation of silica can cause silicosis (a lung disease marked by scarring of the lungs) and increases the risk of lung cancer, COPD, and kidney disease. Exposure to silica is widespread in the construction and maritime industries, as well as in numerous general industry ...

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