Stephen Grossmark represents clients in the areas of environmental law and sustainable development. He also provides counseling and litigation services regarding claims for personal injury and property damage related to environmental pollution and exposure to toxic materials, including on an industry wide basis. His clients include corporate entities as well as local government bodies such as park and school districts.
Steve is highly experienced in providing litigation, counseling, regulatory, administrative law and transactional services under federal and state environmental and health and safety statutes. These include: the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA” or “Superfund”), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), The Clean Water Act (CWA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) and the Illinois Environmental Protection Act.
Steve is engaged to address a variety of environmental matters, including site remediations, cost recovery actions, hazardous and solid waste management, water pollutant discharges, air pollutant emissions, environmental permitting, environmental due diligence, environmental investigations and underground storage tanks.
He has been designated a LEED® Accredited Professional (AP) for demonstrating a thorough understanding of green building practices and principles and the LEED® Rating System.
Following is a sampling of the CERCLA matters that Steve has handled:
- Acme Solvents Superfund site, Illinois, (including private party cost recovery action)
- American Chemical Services Superfund site, Indiana
- Fisher-Calo Superfund site, Indiana
- City of Janesville municipal site, Wisconsin
- City of Edgerton municipal site, Wisconsin
- City of Quincy municipal sites, Illinois (including private party cost recovery action)
- Lenz Oil Reclaiming Superfund site, Illinois
- Ninth Avenue Superfund site, Illinois
- U.S. Steel Drum Superfund site, Illinois
- Tri-County Landfill municipal site, Illinois (private party cost recovery action)
- Elgin Landfill municipal site, Illinois (private party cost recovery action)
- Battery reclaiming site, Illinois (private party cost recovery action)
- Industrial facility with PCB contamination, Michigan (including private party cost recovery action)
- Industrial facility with TCE contamination, Indiana (private party cost recovery action)
- Industrial facility with general contamination, Indiana (private party cost recovery action)
In addition, he has handled numerous other environmental matters, such as:
- Environmental due diligence for real estate purchases and sales including Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments.
- Secure (with environmental consultants) defenses to federal and state statutory environmental liabilities for purchasers of real estate including by conducting environmental due diligence and All Appropriate Inquiry.
- Secure (with environmental consultants) for land owners or from prior landowners No Further Remediation (NFR) letters from IEPA, including release of statutory environmental liabilities.
- Determine baseline of environmental condition of property in advance of obtaining, and for use of, an easement.
- Obtain for client permits and other authorizations to develop and operate properties, including as to environmental issues, i.e. recycling facility in Chicago.
- Prepare contracts to provide environmental protections to client regarding lease of property.
- Prepare (with environmental consultants) protections to client regarding environmental liabilities regarding neighboring polluted property.
- Protect interests of client in waste site siting proceedings.
- Provide consulting services for employing green construction techniques in cleaning and developing polluted property.
- Provide consulting services to secure government grants to fund identifying the nature and extent of contamination at, and remediate of, a polluted site.
- Represented contractor in a case involving claims of mold causing novel personal injuries; obtained court ruling requiring plaintiffs to produce support for novel personal injury claim while staying other discovery.
- Represented and provided consulting services to water remediation contractors regarding management of mold issues and defense of mold claims.
- Represented chemical manufacturer against claims of property damage and novel personal injuries, including immune system and neurological injury; 120 plaintiffs sued end user of chlorinated solvents and seven manufacturers and distributors of the chemicals.
- Represented lumber retailer against novel personal injury and property damage claims, in a case where 240 plaintiffs sued landfill owner and operator as well as 20 separate companies that disposed of wastes at the site.
- Represented transporter of TCE against claims of property damage attributed to accidental discharge of chemical.
- Represented plating company against common law property damage claims stemming from alleged air and ground water pollution.
- Represented a flooring manufacturer against property damage claims brought by Chicago area school districts, a hospital and the state of Illinois to recoup the cost of asbestos abatement. More than 30 districts were involved in school district litigation, including the Chicago Board of Education, which placed 600 of its more than 900 buildings at issue. The state put more than 400 of its buildings at issue in its case.
- Represented pigment manufacturer in a series of seven bodily injury cases alleging injury caused by exposure to silica and pigment. Each suit included more than 12 defendants.
- Represented one of several defendants against claims by plaintiff regarding exposure to chemicals that allegedly caused pulmonary injury, or reactive airway dysfunction syndrome.
Prior to entering private practice, Steve was an assistant attorney general with the state of Illinois for seven years. As a member of that office’s Environmental Control Division, he concentrated in civil environmental enforcement actions in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies. In 2015 and 2016, he was selected for inclusion of Illinois Super Lawyer®
in Environmental Law.