Lawmakers deal with environment

By Jim Harris

Environmental issues are now being addressed by lawmakers and have become part of the American political landscape.

The area of environmental law soon will be addressed by NIU alumni at an upcoming workshop.

NIU’s Hoffman Estates Education Center and the NIU College of Law will sponsor a workshop Nov. 11 on this topic.

Michael Maher, an environmental lawyer practicing in Chicago who is also an NIU graduate, will moderate the proceedings.

The workshop’s purpose is to provide advice regarding human toxicology, legal liability, insurance coverage issues and to explain the operation of Illinois’ environmental regulatory system.

The workshop consists of sessions on seven different topics, each session lasting about 20 minutes. All the presenters except for one received degrees from NIU. The exception, James Nelson, is an industrial hygienist with NIU.

The topics for the sessions are: Liability for Hazardous/Regulated Substances, Insurance Claims and Coverage, Petroleum Underground Storage Tanks, Human Toxicology, Geology and Hazardous Substances, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Pollution Control Board.

After the presentations, general questions will be taken, after which the speaker will be available in a separate area to discuss related issues and answer further questions.

The workshop is designed for attorneys, industrial health and safety professionals, environmental/toxic tort insurance personnel, owners and operators of underground storage tanks, environmental consultants and people responsible for environmental regulatory compliance.

Maher said the College of Law is bringing various experts together in an attempt to bridge the gap between industry and the public.

He added this workshop might be interesting for students as well as people in the environmental law field.

Maher said he became interested in environmental law while he was an undergraduate taking environmental economics at NIU.

The registration fee is $65 for non-students and $25 for students. The fee covers participation in all activities. Interested students or non-students may register by calling 753-0277.

The Hoffman Estates Education Center is located at 5555 Trillium Boulevard in Hoffman Estates.