CBA Record November-December 2021
of the public is killed or receives injuries requiring hospitalization, or if a fire, release, or contamination occurs involv- ing an etiologic agent. However, a release solely to the site on which a facility is located is exempt from the notification requirements. The initial telephone notification must provide the specific information listed in the regulations at 29 Ill. Admin. Code 430.40, to the extent known. Within 30 days of a release of report- able quantities of hazardous substances or extremely hazardous substances, the owner or operator must provide a written follow-up notice to the IEMA and LEPC, updating the information provided in the initial notification and detailing the actions taken to respond to and contain the release; any known or anticipated health risks associated with the release; and, where appropriate, advice regarding medical attention necessary for exposed individuals. See 29 Ill. Admin. Code Pt. 430 for more information. The State’s Attorney or the Attorney General’s Office may institute a civil action where there is a “substantial danger to the environment or to the public health of persons or to the welfare of persons where such danger is to the livelihood of such persons.” In such circumstances, a com- plaint seeking an immediate injunction may be filed. The statutory requirements for issuing a temporary restraining order do not apply; therefore, an injunction will issue if the plaintiff proves a “substantial danger” exists. (See People v. Conrail Corp. , 251 Ill. App. 3d 550 (4th Dist. 1993); see also 415 ILCS 5/42(e) (requirements for injunctive relief ). The court may issue an ex parte order and schedule a hearing on the matter within three working days from the date of injunction. Additionally, IEPA has authority under Emergency Environmental Enforcement in Illinois In emergency situations, both IEPA and Illinois prosecutorial authorities are empowered to take immediate action under the Illinois Environmental Protec- tion Act (415 ILCS 5/1, et seq.)
Illinois Civil Environmental Enforcement Procedures
Section 34 of the Illinois Act to seal equip- ment, vehicles, vessels, aircraft, or facilities in the following circumstances: (1) Section 34(a): Upon a finding that episode or emergency conditions specified in [Pollution Control Board] regulations exist; (2) Section 34(b)(1): At any pollution control facility where the Agency finds that an emergency condition exists creating an immediate danger to public health or welfare or the environment (A “pollution control facility” means any waste storage site, sanitary landfill, waste disposal site, waste transfer sta- tion, waste treatment facility, or waste incinerator); or (3) Section 34(b)(2): Where an imminent and substantial endangerment to the public health or welfare or the environ- ment exists. Whereas Section 34(a) provides that the emergency conditions that trigger IEPA’s authority must be specifically provided for in the Board regulations, Section 34(b) gives IEPA discretion to determine what constitutes “immediate danger” or “immi- nent and substantial danger” to public health or welfare, or the environment. Seal orders may only be removed by the IEPA when it determines that the contamina- tion has been cleaned up or the risk has been abated. Otherwise, a seal order may be challenged pursuant to Section 34(d).
Civil enforcement of alleged violations of the Illinois Act and associated environmen- tal regulations, including federal programs that Illinois is authorized to implement, follows the enforcement procedures in Sec- tion 31 of the Illinois Act. 415 ILCS 5/31. The Section 31 enforcement procedures are mandatory unless they are waived. Violation Notices The enforcement process commences when IEPA issues a Violation Notice (VN), which informs the respondent of the alleged violation and provides suggested compliance measures. A person receiving an IEPA VN has 45 days to submit a writ- ten response and an opportunity to meet with representatives of Illinois EPA within 60 days. The response must include: (1) Information in rebuttal, explanation or justification of each alleged violation; (2) If the person complained against desires to enter into a compliance commit- ment agreement (CCA), proposed terms for a CCA including specified times for achieving each commitment, or a statement indicating that compli- ance has been achieved; and (3) A request for a meeting if one is desired. If a meeting is held, an updated written response may be submitted within 21 days after the meeting. Failure to respond to the VN is considered a waiver of the Section
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