BYRON TAYLOR is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and co-leader of Sidley’s Environmental practice group. His practice includes civil litigation, crisis response, compliance counseling, internal investigations, regulatory advocacy, and environmental aspects of transactions.
Byron assists clients and advises boards in high-stakes matters following major environmental incidents, including matters that involve both environmental regulatory issues and related tort claims. He also frequently provides key strategic advice on regulatory and permit matters and defends clients against alleged violations of a variety of federal and state environmental laws. Over the past several years, Byron has become well known for his work on complex Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act matters.
Byron was named the Litigation — Environmental law “Lawyer of the Year” in Chicago in the Best Lawyers’ 2013 edition. He has been recognized as a leader in Chambers USA 2013–2023 in Environment: Litigation, which noted he “feels like a steady hand for clients in difficult negotiations.” Byron was named by Crain’s Chicago Business to its 2019 list of “Notable Minorities in Accounting, Consulting & Law” and its 2022 list of “Notable Black Leaders & Executives.” He is also listed among the 2023 Lawdragon “Green 500: Leaders in Environmental Law” and 2023 Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) “Rainmaker”.
Within the firm, Byron is a co-chair of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee and serves on the Lawyer Training and Professional Development Committee and the Counsel Committee.
- Representing a medical device sterilization company in regulatory litigation, permitting matters, and new rule development relating to ethylene oxide air emissions at multiple facilities across the country;
- Defending a manufacturer in a joint federal and state enforcement action concerning claims of NPDES permit violations and a related fish kill at a facility in the Midwest;
- Representing an oil pipeline company in enforcement litigation following a release of crude oil;
- Assisting a petroleum refining company in obtaining the air emission construction permit for a major expansion and negotiating an innovative agreement with an environmental citizen’s group concerning the project;
- Defending a petroleum refining company against claims of excess flaring and an upset event that included a release affecting a nearby neighborhood;
- Successfully negotiated a federal and state settlement agreement covering air emissions from a coke oven battery;
- Defending a manufacturing company in a RCRA 3008(h) correction action matter concerning a currently operating facility;
- Defended a Midwestern electric utility company in a Clean Air Act New Source Review enforcement matter that ultimately was dismissed by the federal court;
- Defended an electric generating station against an interstate claim that emissions from the plant violated the law in the neighboring state; and
- On a pro bono basis, advised the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee regarding environmental matters.