The Role of the Illinois Attorney General in Environmental Enforcement
Burris, Roland W.
Rosenfeld, Diane L.
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In this article, the authors explain the critical role of the Attorney General in the enforcement of Illinois' environmental laws. Improvements made in the attorney-client relationship between the Attorney General's Office and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency have led to streamlined enforcement of cases and a stronger prioritization of environmental matters. Attorney General Burris' hands-on management style in prosecuting environmental violations and formulating initiatives to strengthen enforcement is explained. The first part of the article describes the responsibilities and function of the Attorney General as chief legal officer for the State in his representation of State agencies and as lawyer for the People of the State of Illinois. The second part of the article describes environmental policy initiatives taken by the Attorney General to improve the delivery of environmental legal resources in the State. The article concludes that the most effective approach to environmental enforcement must include a policy of gaining full information to carefully balance the competing interests at stake in environmental matters.