Environmental Regulations in Chicago

zjrupeakpzi-aidan-meyer-300x200Chicago is one of those cities that is conscious about the impact of human economic activity on the environment. You need a competent and qualified lawyer to ascertain your rights, privileges, duties, and responsibilities under the current regime. The state has put in place a number of interrelated regulations that are meant to ensure that there are some limits to human behavior in this respect. There is an implicit agreement with the local community that they will submit to the state for the greater public good. The issues of environmental protection are contentious. It is therefore not surprising that some people believe the state should adopt a hands-off approach in this respect. Nevertheless, there are certain minimum standards that are enforced in Chicago.

The environment is defined way beyond the ecological conceptualizations that many people associate with this section of the law. The environment can include land, air, water, and even space. The idea is that the public should be able to enjoy these amenities and facilities in a responsible way so as not to deplete or damage them. Some of the benefits of environmental protection are not restricted to the current generation but are more to do with the future generations. This is what is known as inter-generational solidarity, in which one generation is able to see beyond its immediate interests in order to protect natural resources for those that come after it.

Penalties for Unacceptable Behavior

Over time, there have been many changes and amendments to the basic Chicago environmental regulations law. Nevertheless, the principles that underpin the regulations remain fairly constant. The environmental protection law in Chicago is really about the divide between private consumption and public benefits. A company that dumps its waste products in protected streams may be increasing its profitability by reducing the costs of waste management. However, it will also make the water unsafe for the wider community. That is why the state imposes fines on companies that engage in this kind of behavior. Indeed, it is one of the reasons why some parts of the state are designated as protected areas so that they cannot be used in ways that damage them.

Research has shown that it is the poorest communities that face the largest burden of environmental degradation, and yet they benefit least from the polluting activities. The rationale for the fines that are imposed for failure to comply is partly related to the redistributive function of the state that takes away from those who have and gives to those who do not have. This is the one aspect of the environmental protection laws that conservatives consider to be harmful to the economy.

The Reality of Climate Change

Although there are many in Chicago who continue to deny the existence of climate change, let alone global warming, the evidence is beginning to stack up. The recent floods in some parts of Texas and Florida have shown that there can be devastating effects if we ignore the forces of nature. Of course, those who deny climate change argue that these are nothing more than natural movements and changes that should not attract legislative interventions. Others disagree and feel that these are changes that reflect a poor use of resources on the part of the general populace.

Any corporation that is opening up a business in Chicago needs to do some background research on the environmental regulations. In some cases, the failure to comply with the rules can lead to a criminal prosecution. For expert help with your criminal case, you should contact David Freidberg Attorney at Law at telephone number 312-560-7100 for further information on how your organization is affected by the existing laws.

(image courtesy of Aidan Meyer)

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