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Lawrence W. Falbe

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+1.312.460.4266
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+1.312.460.4200
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+1.312.460.4201
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Education

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business, Cert. of Executive Management

DePaul University College of Law, J.D.

Augustana College, B.A.

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals

  • 7th Circuit

U.S. District Court

  • Northern District of Illinois
  • Central District of Illinois
  • Southern District of Illinois
  • Northern District of Indiana
  • Southern District of Indiana
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin

Lawrence (Larry) Falbe is a Chicago environmental attorney who focuses on environmental transactional support of real estate and corporate deals, environmental defense and litigation, Brownfields issues, environmental regulatory compliance and energy development/facility siting.

Larry has more than 20 years of experience reviewing and analyzing Phase I and Phase II assessments to satisfy due diligence requirements, obtaining No Further Remediation Letters, evaluating the cost/benefit of transactions, and advising clients on potential liability and remediation issues. He also focuses on endangered species and wetland issues and is experienced in obtaining Incidental Take Authorization from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for development projects that affect endangered and threatened species.

He also has substantial litigation and regulatory experience involving environmental issues, including CERCLA (Superfund), FIFRA, EPCRA, RCRA (hazardous waste), toxic torts, Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, underground storage tanks, and nuclear fuel processing. He has represented clients involved in enforcement actions by federal, state, and local authorities (including the Illinois Pollution Control Board), and negotiated numerous compliance programs, consent decrees, and settlements. He also completed internships with the U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Enforcement Division and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5.

Most recently, Larry was successful in defending an industrial client in an administrative action brought by U.S. EPA under RCRA, in which U.S. EPA demanded a seven-figure civil penalty for alleged violations of the regulations governing hazardous waste and industrial by-products. That action culminated in a three-week administrative hearing before the U.S. EPA Chief Administrative Law Judge Susan Biro, in which she rendered a zero liability verdict in a 90-page written opinion. In addition, Larry has advised a pharmaceutical distributor with respect to regulation of unused pharmaceuticals as hazardous waste under RCRA; a large manufacturing company in connection with claims brought by the Attorney General and Illinois EPA related to alleged contamination of private drinking water wells; a municipality with redevelopment of a former manufactured gas plant (MGP) site; various industrial clients related to alleged toxic tort injuries; and many former industrial property owners in connection with CERCLA claims and other environmental claims.

Larry has also published a number of articles on a wide variety of environmental issues and is a frequent lecturer on due diligence and environmental liability concerns. He has written extensively on the development of "fracking" regulations in Illinois, having published several articles in Law360 and also has been cited as an authority by the Chicago Tribune in its coverage of the fracking issues.  As an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law, Larry has taught a course that he personally created, "Environmental Considerations in Commercial and Real Estate Transactions," as part of NU's "Structuring Transactions" course series. 

A strong supporter of diversity in the legal community, Larry has a long history of mentoring, training, and supporting diverse associates. In his off-hours, Larry races his sailboat on Lake Michigan. He is also active in local politics in Lake County, Illinois, and serves on the board of directors of numerous private and public organizations, including the Illinois Enterprise Zone Board and the METRA Citizens’ Advisory Board.

Honors

DePaul University College of Law
DePaul Law Review
DePaul Environmental Law Digest, Editor

Augustana College
B.A., cum laude
Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Activities

Illinois Association of Environmental Professionals, Board of Directors

Technology and Manufacturing Association, Member

Chemical Industry Council of Illinois, Member

American Bar Association, Member

Lake County Bar Association, Member

DuPage County Bar Association, Member

Chicago Bar Association, Member

Civic, Cultural & Social Activities

Illinois Enterprise Zone, Board Member

METRA Citizens Advisory Board, Member

Lake County Partners, General Counsel

Conserve Lake County (formerly Liberty Prarie Conservancy), Board of Directors

Mettawa Open Lands Association, Board of Directors

Busy Brains Children's Museum, Board of Directors

Gus Berthold Electric Company, Board of Directors

Metropolitan Planning Council, Member

Lake County Regional Planning Commission, Former Member

Village of Mettawa, Former Trustee

Village of Mettawa Zoning Board of Appeals, Former Member

Lincolnshire Architectural Review Board, Former Member

Speeches

Webinar: Measure Twice; Merge (& Acquire) Once, Association of Corporate Counsel, Chicago, IL, August 4, 2015

"Vapor Intrusion II - Practitioner and Legal Perspectives" (Co-presenter), Illinois Association of Environmental Professionals, Chicago, IL, June 17, 2015 

"New Hazardous Secondary Materials Recycling Regulations: How to Seamlessly Transition to Meet 2015 Requirements," BLR - Business and Legal Resources Webinar, May 14, 2015

"Environmental Laws and Regulations," DePaul University Certified Hazardous Materials Management Review Course, Chicago, Ill., March 25 2015

"Due Diligence at Dawn: How to Eliminate Environmental Consultant Professional Liability," EDR Seminar, Schaumberg, Ill., November 19, 2014

"Trending Topics in Environmental Law: What Every Dealmaker, Developer, Landlord, and Tenant Need to Know," ICSC Law Conference, Orlando, Fla., October 24, 2014

"National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) Workshop" (Planning Committee), Illinois Association of Environmental Professionals Seminar, Chicago, Ill., April 30, 2014

"Enviromental Contract Considerations in Real Estate Transactions," Chicago Bar Association Real Estate Law Committee, Chicago, Ill., April 23, 2014

"2014 Hot Topics in Municipal Finance" (Moderator), Lake County Partners and the Lake County Municipal League, Lake County, Ill., February 19, 2014

"Overcoming Environmental Obstacles to Retail Development," International Council of Shopping Centers (ISCS) Law Conference, San Diego, Cal., October 16, 2013

"The Impact of Health Care Reform" (Moderator), 2013, Lake County Business Forum, June 19, 2013

"How to Develop Contaminated Properties," International Council of Shopping Centers Law Conference, Orlando, Fla., October 24, 2012

"Caselaw Updates Regarding CERCLA Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Defense," ISBA 11th Annual Environmental Law Conference, Chicago, Ill., May 10, 2012

"Environmental Due Diligence: How Much is Enough?" ICSC Legal Conference, Phoenix, Ari., October 29, 2011

"The Greener Side of Real Estate Development: Green Construction, Endangered Species and Wetlands," Illinois State Bar Association Environmental Law Conference, Chicago, Ill., May 12, 2011

"Contract Considerations in Environmental Law," DuPage County Bar Association, Environmental Law Committee, December 8, 2010

"Land Use Law: Current Issues in Subdivsion, Annexation and Zoning," NBI Seminar, Oak Brook, Ill., December 7, 2010

"Climate Change Panel Discussion," Northwestern University School of Law, November 9, 2010

"New Environmental Issues for Real Estate Transactions," IICLE 6th Annual Real Estate Short Course, Palatine, Ill., February 19, 2010

"Environmental Regulation in the Real Estate and Zoning Fields," NBI Navigating Local Land Use Law and Approval Process Seminar, Oak Brook, Ill., June 9, 2009

"Contract Considerations in Environmental Law," 2009 Illinois State Bar Association Environmental Law Conference, Chicago, Ill., May 14, 2009

"Navigating the Impact of Endangered Species Law on Development Projects in Illinois," Chicago Bar Association Environmental Law Committee, Chicago, Ill., December 2, 2008

"Environmental Law Nuts and Bolts," 2008 Illinois State Bar Association Environmental Law Conference, Naperville, Ill., May 2, 2008

"Environmental Issues in Real Estate Development," The Development Approval Process in Illinois, Countryside, Ill., October 18, 2007

Publications

"Environmental Compliance Audits - A Cheap 'Insurance Policy' Against Environmental Regulatory Violations", Technology and Manufacturing Newsletter, August 2015

"Five tips for hiring environmental consultants," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, April 23, 2015

"Surviving and Thriving through Environmental Inspections," Bloomberg BNA Daily Environmental Report, January 9, 2015

"Preparing for Environmental Inspections," Technology & Manufacturing Association, November 1, 2014

"Tracking Fracking: Where is Ill. One Year Later?" Law 360, August 28, 2014

"New vapor intrusion policies change scope of environmental due diligence," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, May 15, 2014

"Overcoming Environmental Obstacles to Retail Development: Five Tips for Avoiding Environmental Deal Killers," International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Shopping Center Legal Update, May 1, 2014

"Challenges Still Ahead After Ill.'s New Fracking Bill," Law360, June 18, 2013

"Supreme Court Finds Right of Recovery for CERCLA ‘Voluntary’ Cleanups but Reduces Contribution Protection for Settling Parties," The Real Estate Finance Journal, July 6, 2007

"Recovery of ‘Voluntary’ Cleanup Costs – Will the Supreme Court Provide an Answer?" The Real Estate Finance Journal, March 8, 2007

"Beware of reliance on ‘as-is, where is’ clauses," The National Law Journal, September 29, 2003