Alex Garel-Frantzen loves tackling complex environmental issues. He represents businesses in a wide variety of environmental regulatory, permitting, transactional, and litigation matters, including federal and state cases arising under CERCLA, brownfields redevelopment statutes, RCRA, the Clean Water Act, and state analogs. Alex counsels clients on federal, state, and local regulatory compliance issues and the environmental aspects of real estate transactions and renewable energy development. He represents a variety of businesses, including electric power utilities; gas transmission, storage, and distribution companies; renewable energy developers; investment firms; industrial manufacturers and suppliers; and consumer product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.

Alex is co-chair of the Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section, Environmental Law Committee and member of the University of Illinois College of Law Alumni Board.

  • Experience

    • Obtained dismissal of third-party challenge to Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification issued to electric and natural gas company, as part of its transmission line construction project.
    • Obtained dismissal of third-party appeal challenging state variance issued to electric and natural gas company related to the management of coal combustion residuals surface impoundments.
    • Represents electric and natural gas utility at major Superfund sites in New York City.
    • Represents various electric and natural gas utilities in government-initiated and complex, private party litigation arising under CERCLA and RCRA.
    • Represents electric power utility in third-party appeal of state-issued water permit.
    • Represents clients in federal and state investigations under the Clean Air Act, CERCLA, RCRA, and state analogs.
    • Advises clients on RCRA compliance.
    • Advises clients on Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) compliance.
    • Counsels clients on California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) and product stewardship regulatory compliance.
    • Counsels clients on National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting.
  • Credentials


    • University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 2015, magna cum laude
      University of Illinois Law Review, Managing Notes Editor
      Environmental Moot Court, editor and national team member
      CALI awards in Legal Writing & Analysis, Legal Research, and Introduction to Advocacy
    • University of Illinois, B.A., History, 2012, magna cum laude

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
      • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

          Professional Memberships

          • Chicago Bar Association, YLS Environmental Law Committee, Co-Chair
          • University of Illinois College of Law, Alumni Board, Member
        • Insights

          Blog Post

          EPA Finalizes Revised Effluent Limitation Guidelines for Power Plants

          Schiff Hardin Energy & Environmental Law Adviser

          Blog Post

          EPA to Relax Civil Enforcement for Non-Compliance Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

          Schiff Hardin Energy & Environmental Law Adviser

          Blog Post
          Blog Post

          2020 Renewable Energy Outlook: Strategies to Elicit Community Support

          Schiff Hardin Energy & Environmental Law Adviser

          Blog Post
          Blog Post

          Courts Address the Rights of Out-of-State Liquor Retailers and New Food Purveyors

          Food and beverage businesses seeking to gain a foothold in a new place should be aware of two court decisions issued earlier this summer.

          Blog Post

          Supreme Court Punts Larger Key Administrative Deference Issues Until Later

          Schiff Hardin Energy & Environmental Law Adviser

          Other Publications

          • “CERCLA § 309 and Beyond: Statute of Limitations, Rules of Repose, and the Broad Implications of CTS Corp. v. Waldburger Outside the Context of Environmental Law,” University of Illinois Law Review Vol. 865 (2015)
          • “Methane Emissions Regulations on the Horizon for the Oil and Gas Industry,” (co-author) Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report (Aug. 2014)
          • “Gangsters and Organized Crime in Jewish Chicago,” The History Press (2013)

          Speeches & Presentations

          • “Environmental and Energy Law Policy: A Trump vs. Biden Administration,” (moderator) The Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section, Environmental Law Committee (Oct. 6, 2020)
          • “Views on Trump Administration Environmental Policy Updates,” Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers Sectionm, Chicago, Ill. (Feb. 21, 2018)
          • “Careers in Environmental Law for Young Lawyers,” Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, Ill. (Sep. 28, 2017)
        • Citizenship

          Pro Bono Activities

          Alex is committed to public service, with a recent focus on immigration and criminal law matters.

          • Represents citizen of Burma (Myanmar) in application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) for asylum and withholding of removal from the United States.
          • Obtained grant of asylum from the USCIS on behalf of a citizen of Togo, Africa.
          • Represented young man in Cook County Juvenile Court on robbery-related charges.
          • Obtained renewal of client’s deferred action for childhood arrivals and authorization to work in the United States.
          • Secured mother’s co-guardianship over her adult son whose physical and mental disabilities prevented him from making needed medical decisions on his own.

        Energy and Environmental Law Adviser

        EPA Finalizes Revised Effluent Limitation Guidelines for Power Plants

        On August 31, 2020, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the pre-publication notice of a final rule that revises two aspects of the technology-based effluent limitations guidelines and standards (ELGs) for the steam electric power generating industry set by the Obama Administration in 2015. The final rule takes effect 60 days after EPA... Continue Reading