Environmental Law

Environmental Law

Former environmental regulators and a former environmental prosecutor combined more than 40 years of experience in environmental matters to found Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s full-service environmental practice. Since the practice’s inception, firm attorneys have gained extensive experience litigating in federal and state courts and appearing before the Illinois Pollution Control Board. This experience has resulted in Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s proven track record of resolving a wide variety of land, air and water pollution matters.

Areas of expertise include:
  • CERCLA/Superfund
  • RCRA
  • Review and approval of all pleadings
  • Underground storage tanks
  • Groundwater and drinking water contamination
  • Contaminated property disputes
  • Sale or purchase of contaminated commercial and industrial properties
  • Wetlands issues
  • Defense of regulatory violations
  • Illinois pollution control facility/landfill sitings (Section 39.2 or SB172)
In addition to defending a wide range of environmental cases, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP attorneys have successfully sued and recovered on behalf of owners of property contaminated by others. Contamination may have been the result of activities from a prior owner or may have migrated from an off-site source. Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP environmental attorneys use a combination of statutory and common law tools to force remediation of the property and to recover costs and damages.
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP environmental attorneys also assist clients in maintaining compliance with today’s constantly changing environmental laws and regulations. In fact, members of the environmental practice group have participated at all levels of regulatory rulemaking, including drafting state regulations and testifying regarding legislative initiatives. Firm attorneys have also written authoritative articles for law reviews and bar journals and taught environmental law to students.
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s vast experience in environmental law enables firm attorneys to bring this broad range of environmental legal services to clients at reasonable rates, focusing on resolving the matter in the most efficient manner.


Chicago, Lisle, Libertyville, St. Louis, Madison County, Indiana, August 19, 2021
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Named to 2022 Best Lawyers, Ones to Watch Lists
Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review.

Chicago, March 24, 2021
Monaco Speaks at CBA Seminar on Litigating During COVID-19
Monaco will be among a panel of experienced litigators providing insight into how medical malpractice, work accident, and mass torts cases have been litigated in the age of COVID.

Chicago, February 19, 2021
Recent Law School Graduates Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
The four newly sworn in lawyers joined the firm's Chicago office as associates.

Chicago, February 2, 2021
Illinois Super Lawyers Recognizes 25 Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces that 12 attorneys have been named n to the 2021 Illinois Super Lawyers list and 13 have been named to the Illinois Rising Stars list.

Chicago, Lisle, Libertyville, Madison County, January 11, 2021
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Named Leading Lawyers, Emerging Lawyers for 2021
Those designated Leading Lawyers were recommended by their peers to be among the top lawyers in Illinois.

Chicago, November 5, 2020
Best Lawyers Names Mass Tort Litigation, Personal Injury, Product Liability Practices to Annual List
Published by U.S. News and World Report and Best Lawyers, the firm once again received a National Tier 1 ranking for Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants.

Chicago, Lisle, St. Louis, Madison County, August 20, 2020
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers, Ones to Watch Lists
Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review.

Chicago, August 15, 2019
Seven Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Named to 2020 Best Lawyers List
Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review.

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Chicago, May 23, 2018
Harvey Hosts Humane Society Legislative Fund's National Policy Council Meeting
HSLF works to pass animal welfare and protection laws at the state and federal levels, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support candidates for office who are committed to animal welfare.

Chicago, April 16, 2018
Kincaid Speaks to Illinois Association of County Zoning Officials
Kincaid spoke at the Illinois Association of County Zoning Officials Spring Conference at Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Illinois.

Chicago, November 10, 2017
Lateral Partner, Lateral Associate Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Patrick G. Cooke joins the Chicago office, while Jordan C. Olejniczak joins the Lisle office.

Chicago, Indiana, October 30, 2017
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Highlights New Indiana Office, 25th Anniversary
The article quotes partners Brian W. Bell and Timothy G. Nickels, and speaks of the firm's long history in Indiana.

Chicago, October 9, 2017
Maher Speaks at FETTI Conference
Maher presented on vapor intrusion claims.

Chicago, Indiana, October 6, 2017
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Opens Indiana Office
The trial firm, which celebrates 25 years in business in 2017, already boasts more than 130 attorneys between its downtown Chicago headquarters and its other offices in Illinois and Missouri.

Chicago, October 2, 2017
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Celebrates 25th Anniversary, Continued Growth
In recognition of its 25th anniversary year, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP has made a monthly donation to a non-profit with whom the firm has a strong relationship.

Chicago, January 25, 2017
Maher Profiled in Leading Lawyers Article
The article describes Maher's time in the Marines and how it ultimately shaped his legal practice.

Chicago, August 11, 2016
Maher Joins Board of Visitors for NIU College of Law
Maher is a 1985 graduate of Northern Illinois University's College of Law.

Chicago, December 17, 2015
Lateral Associates, Law School Grads Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
The firm welcomes two lateral associates and two recent law school graduates to the firm's Chicago office.

Chicago, September 23, 2014
Kernell Law Firm Attorneys Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP, SMB Opens St. Louis and Madison County Offices
"We believe our new St. Louis and Madison County offices will provide the same excellent service that clients have come to expect from Tom Kernell and his team," said Managing Partner Timothy G. Nickels.

Chicago, July 9, 2013
Seven Lateral Attorneys Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Four partners and three associates have recently joined the firm's Chicago office.

January 23, 2012
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Names New Partners
The firm's new partners focus on a variety of practice areas.

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