Stephen Bonebrake

Schiff Hardin LLP

Stephen J. Bonebrake is an experienced environmental lawyer, a seasoned counselor on regulatory and permitting issues, and a zealous advocate for his clients. He employs a thorough understanding of environmental laws to help clients efficiently and, where needed, creatively find real-world solutions to challenging matters. Most of all, he understands that an effective outcome satisfies client business goals, not just the legal problem at hand.

Steve has extensive experience representing energy and manufacturing companies and other property owners in matters related to Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act compliance and permitting, Superfund actions, brownfield redevelopment, plant closure and expansion matters, waste disposal and transport and the environmental components of asset and stock sales.

As an accomplished advocate, Steve represents clients in a variety of environmental administrative and litigation matters. His experience includes enforcement and cost-recovery actions, toxic tort cases, rule variance, permit issuance and appeal proceedings, federal and state rulemakings, government investigations and litigation concerning the environmental elements of stock and asset purchase agreements. He knows how to win a disputed case, but he also recognizes when client needs would be better served by an agreed resolution.


Steve protected a power company from regulatory exposure based on the actions of a former owner of the power company’s plants. The company was facing New Source Review and other Clean Air Act claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a state and environmental groups.

The plaintiffs claimed that a prior owner of several plants now owned by his client had “modified” those plants, triggering New Source Review requirements, and that those requirements applied to and were violated by our client. The plaintiffs sought penalties and pollution controls that could have cost billions of dollars.

Steve and his colleagues used novel defense arguments, making the case that New Source Review violations are one-time violations that occur only at the time of construction, and that a later owner does not, therefore, violate New Source Review requirements based upon earlier alleged modifications by a prior owner. The trial court agreed, finding that no relief may be obtained from the current owner.

The appellate court affirmed, ruling that the statute of limitations had run, which terminated  any New Source Review claim. The result set a precedent that current owners cannot be held liable based on alleged modifications of a prior owner and that the passage of time may bar New Source Review claims even absent a change of ownership.


  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., 1992
  • DePauw University, B.A., 1985


  • Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin


  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association


Rate : $$$

What types of cases Attorney Stephen Bonebrake & Schiff Hardin LLP can handle?
Schiff Hardin LLP can handle cases related to laws concerning Energy Utilities & Environmental. We manually verify each attorney’s practice areas before approving their profiles and reviews on our website.
Where is Schiff Hardin LLP located?
Schiff Hardin LLP is located at Willis Tower Skydeck, 232 S Franklin St #7100, Chicago, IL 60606, USA. You can reach out to Schiff Hardin LLP using their phone line 312.258.5646. You can also check their website or email them at [email protected].
How much would it cost to hire Schiff Hardin LLP?
Stephen Bonebrake lawyer charges are specific to each case. However, they work with contingency fees and its ranges from $$ to $$$. They also provide free consultation [and no obligation quotes] if you are interested to hire.
Are Stephen Bonebrake reviews trust-able?
We have the ratings and reviews moderation team who checks and verifies every review submitted on our website manually. You can trust all the reviews you see on Stephen Bonebrake lawyer profile listing.

Rate and write a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Is this your profile?Claim it now.

Make sure your information is up to date.
Schiff Hardin LLP
Willis Tower Skydeck, 232 S Franklin St #7100, Chicago, IL 60606, USA
Get directions

Tyler Nicoll

Crosspointe Drive 1019
Naples 34110 FL US

Rick Cofer

West Avenue 1002
Austin 78701 TX US

Brian Orlow

Main Street 71-18
11367 NY US

Lina Stillman

Broadway 42
New York 10006 NY US