skip to main content

→ Top Stories:
Clean Power plan
Fracking
Safe Chemicals

Ann Alexander, Senior Attorney, Chicago

Ann Alexander

I grew up in Seattle, Washington, then went to law school in New York City and lived there for 16 years before coming to the Midwest. I like to think that Seattle gave me a love of our natural environment, and New York gave me the legal street smarts to fight for it. While in New York, I was a clinical professor at the Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic, helping law students to gain practical experience in environmental litigation. After coming to Chicago in 2002, I was Environmental Counsel to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, developing environmental initiatives and serving as her point person on multistate environmental litigation. I have been with NRDC since 2007, and since coming here have worked on a wide variety of issues of concern in the Great Lakes region, both as a litigator and a policy advocate. In particular, I work against dirty fuels projects such as Canadian tar sands development and liquid coal, and in support of strong Clean Water Act regulations and permits.

Recent Posts

The uphill battle for a river that won't make us sick

Posted September 1, 2015 by Ann Alexander

Tags:
, , , , , , ,

Comments (3)

Cleaning up the Chicago River feels a bit like kicking a rubber mattress up a hill - slow and maddening. That feeling is bolstered by the Chicago Tribune's investigative piece published yesterday rather scarily titled, "Chicago River still teems with...continued

Fixing what ain't broke II: Clean Air Act requirements survive with limited damage

Posted June 9, 2015 by Ann Alexander

Tags:
, , ,

A few weeks back, I blogged in this space about Illinois industry efforts to dismantle a Clean Air Act permitting system in the name of "streamlining" it. Their expressed concern was that the program's system for citizen challenges to air...continued

Fixing a Clean Air Act program that ain't broke

Posted April 24, 2015 by Ann Alexander

Tags:
, ,

Comments (2)

For several decades now, Illinois has been administering a permitting program to make sure that big new sources of air pollution put on modern pollution controls. As the name implies, the "prevention of significant deterioration," or PSD, program keeps those...continued

Gulf Dead Zone pollution case: EPA can't dodge court scrutiny or the Clean Water Act

Posted April 8, 2015 by Ann Alexander

Tags:
, , , , ,

Comments (5)

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit yesterday delivered a ruling in our lawsuit against EPA challenging its refusal to make a decision about how to address the algae pollution plaguing our nation's waterways. The court rejected EPA's...continued

Des Moines versus Goliath gets real: Water Works follows through on its lawsuit against Iowa drainage districts

Posted March 11, 2015 by Ann Alexander

Tags:
, , , ,

In January, the Des Moines Water Works decided it had had enough of paying for costly treatment equipment to deal with an algae pollution mess it didn't make, and served some of those responsible with a 60-day notice of intent...continued

New study: algae pollution makes coastal communities vulnerable to ocean acidification damage

Posted February 23, 2015 by Ann Alexander

Tags:
, , , , ,

In case we needed yet another reason to worry about the runaway algae choking our nation's waterways, we've now got one. A new study by scientists at NRDC collaborating with UC Davis, Ocean Conservancy, and Duke University shows that the...continued

Des Moines versus Goliath: drinking water supplier tired of paying for algae mess it didn't make

Posted February 11, 2015 by Ann Alexander

Tags:
, , , ,

Comments (1)

EPA has thus far shown no backbone in addressing the algae pollution plaguing the nation, but at least one victim of that crisis is responding like a vertebrate. The Des Moines Water Works, sick and tired of paying for costly...continued

EPA damns itself with faint praise in response to Inspector General's Gulf Dead Zone report

Posted December 17, 2014 by Ann Alexander

Tags:
, , , , , , , ,

You may recall, if you follow these things, that the EPA Office of the Inspector General—EPA’s independent internal watchdog—issued a report in September criticizing EPA’s hands-off approach toward  addressing the nation’s algae pollution crisis.  The Inspector General provided data...continued

Illinois fracking rules update 3: state unveils the final rule

Posted November 14, 2014 by Ann Alexander

Tags:
, , ,

The final draft of the fracking regulations that was approved but not revealed last week has finally been made available to the public.  The product reflects heavy wear and tear from industry’s crusade in recent months to reverse progress by...continued

Illinois fracking rules update 2: state scraps public process in secret backroom deal with industry

Posted November 7, 2014 by Ann Alexander

Tags:
, , ,

The long process of developing regulations implementing the Illinois fracking legislation is finally over.  The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules on Thursday voted 11-1 to approve a revised version of the rules.  We would love to show you exactly what’s...continued

Illinois fracking rules update: industry self-pity winds up while the clock winds down

Posted October 16, 2014 by Ann Alexander

Tags:
, , , ,

Comments (5)

On Tuesday, the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules once again postponed its decision concerning the Illinois fracking rules, until November 6.   They are cutting things pretty daredevil close:  Illinois law provides that agencies have exactly one year to...continued

Cry me a polluted river: industry complains the revised Illinois fracking regulations are too clear about public protections

Posted September 15, 2014 by Ann Alexander

Tags:
, , , ,

Comments (1)

Well that was inevitable.  Now that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has fixed some of the grossest deficiencies in the proposed fracking rules, the ones that gutted the statute’s protections, industry is not happy at all.   They are complaining...continued

Utterly non-surprising EPA Inspector General finding: EPA's weak half-measures on algae pollution aren't working

Posted September 9, 2014 by Ann Alexander

Tags:
, , , , ,

Comments (2)

 The Office of the Inspector General at EPA released a report last week concerning the Agency’s efforts to address the ugly mess of algae that’s choking the Mississippi River basin waterways and creating the enormous (as in, Connecticut-sized enormous) “dead zone”...continued

Revised Illinois fracking rule: meticulous IDNR response closes some loopholes but warns that fracking is still risky

Posted September 4, 2014 by Ann Alexander

Tags:
, ,

Comments (6)

It’s been quite a while since the tumultuous public comment period on the first draft of Illinois’ fracking rules that ended in January, in which a record number of commenters criticized the draft’s multiple glaring inadequacies.  We have heard little...continued

Michigan's draft fracking rules: weak sauce and no beef

Posted August 5, 2014 by Ann Alexander

Tags:
, ,

Michigan has finally gotten around to proposing new regulations for fracking, but unfortunately for Michiganders, the first three words they bring to mind are, where’s the beef?  Fracking is increasingly posing a threat to health and quality of life in...continued

About

Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

Feeds: Ann Alexander’s blog

Feeds: Stay Plugged In