Harvey M. Sheldon has extensive experience in the field of environmental law, including counseling, litigation, mediation and other dispute resolution and facilitation services. He has handled issues and litigation involving the Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Clean Water Act, Superfund, and other important environmental laws and regulations.
He is also regularly engaged in related business, transactional and liability questions for clients. Harvey has represented private clients ranging from individuals and entrepreneurial companies to Fortune 100 corporations and major financial institutions. He has appeared in both federal and state trial courts and in courts of appeals in environmental and other matters civil and criminal.
In addition to his hands-on experience helping clients resolve specific environmental issues and dealing with environmental protection agencies on specific problems, Harvey has represented major companies and public agencies in high-profile cases and important negotiations and public meetings.
His range of assignments for clients includes testimony before Congress, negotiations of legislation and rules, appellate briefs and arguments, public spokesperson, catastrophic event response, environmental management program and audit development, community outreach, multimedia criminal and civil enforcement defense, and negotiations on sensitive issues in various business, litigation and policy contexts.
Harvey is on the panel of approved Law Division and Chancery Division mediators for the Circuit Court of Cook County. He offers mediation and other dispute resolution and facilitation services for environmental, toxic tort and other public policy problems and issues, as well as for business relationships, land use, real estate and energy matters.
Harvey was the Chief of the Illinois Attorney General’s Environmental Enforcement Division in the early 1970s, supervising 20 lawyers and a staff of investigators in the representation of the state and the Illinois EPA.
His work in environmental enforcement began in January 1972, before several of the major federal laws governing the subject were even enacted. He supervised a docket of hundreds of proceedings that involved air, water and land pollution cases.
His division was responsible for the establishment of precedent on the federal common law of water pollution in interstate waters, in cases such as Illinois v. Milwaukee. Harvey filed the state’s amicus curiae brief that urged the Supreme Court to require rules on prevention of significant deterioration as part of the Clean Air Act regulatory scheme (Sierra Club et al v. Ruckelshaus).
In addition to supervising and directing the attorneys of the division, he tried environmental enforcement matters in court and in administrative proceedings. Harvey also argued a number of cases on appeal in both state and federal court.
In the mid-1970s, Harvey was named the Regional Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 (Midwest Region) office in Chicago. He was the principal EPA attorney for six Midwest states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Harvey worked with state legislatures on the adoption of state water laws and helped the EPA establish state programs under the Clean Water Act. He assisted enforcement attorneys and United States’ attorneys in important enforcement actions.
Harvey also recommended improvements in the legislative criteria for federal grants to upgrade public water treatment plants, and otherwise advised the Regional Administrator on numerous issues.
Harvey’s public counsel continued even after he entered private practice. He served for a time as Special Counsel to the Illinois Department of Mines & Minerals, helping the department develop the state’s surface coal mining regulation program.
Harvey’s public service experience also includes work as an Assistant Attorney General in the Special Prosecutions Unit of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. He participated in investigations and sought civil remedies against official corruption and organized crime.
Professional Affiliations :
- American Bar Association
- Association for Conflict Resolution and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
- Section on Environment, Energy and Resources
- Chemical Industry Council, Board of Directors, Past Member
- Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce’s Environmental Regulation Committee, Past Chair
- Certificate, Mediation, DePaul University, 2001
- J.D., Harvard Law School, 1968
- B.A., Amherst College, 1965
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar
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