(70 ILCS 2605/7a)
(from Ch. 42, par. 326a)
Discharge into sewers of a sanitary district.
(a) The terms used
in this Section are defined as follows:
"Board of Commissioners" means the Board of Commissioners of the
"Sewage" means water-carried human wastes or a combination of
water-carried wastes from residences, buildings, businesses, industrial
establishments, institutions, or other places together with any ground,
storm, or other water that may be present.
"Industrial Wastes" means all solids, liquids, or gaseous wastes
resulting from any commercial, industrial, manufacturing, agricultural, trade,
business operation or process, or from the development, recovery, or processing
of natural resources.
"Other Wastes" means decayed wood, sawdust, shavings, bark, lime,
refuse, ashes, garbage, offal, oil, tar, chemicals, and all other substances
sewage and industrial wastes.
"Person" means any individual, firm, association, joint venture,
sole proprietorship, company, partnership, estate copartnership, corporation,
joint stock company, trust, school district,
unit of local government, or private corporation organized or existing under
the laws of this or any other state or country.
"Executive Director" means the executive director of the
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge sewage, industrial
waste, or other wastes into the sewerage system of a sanitary district or into
any sewer connected therewith, except upon the terms and conditions that the
sanitary district might reasonably impose by way of ordinance, permit, or
Any sanitary district, in addition to all other powers vested in it and in
the interest of public health and safety, or as authorized by subsections (b)
and (c) of Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act, is hereby empowered
to pass all ordinances, rules, or regulations necessary to implement this
Section, including but not limited to, the imposition of charges based on
factors that influence the cost of treatment, including strength and volume,
and including the right of access during reasonable hours to the premises of a
person for enforcement of adopted ordinances, rules, or regulations.
(c) Whenever the sanitary district acting through the executive director
determines that sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes are being discharged
into the sewerage system and when, in the opinion of the executive director
the discharge is in violation of an ordinance, rules, or regulations adopted by
the Board of Commissioners under this Section governing industrial wastes or
other wastes, the executive director shall order the offending party to cease and desist. The order
shall be served by certified mail or personally
on the owner, officer, registered agent, or individual designated by permit.
In the event the offending party fails or refuses to discontinue the
discharge within 90 days after notification of the cease and desist order, the executive director
may order the offending party to show
cause before the Board of Commissioners of the sanitary district why the
discharge should not be discontinued. A notice shall be served on the
offending party directing him, her, or it to show cause before the Board of
Commissioners why an order should not be entered directing the discontinuance
of the discharge. The notice shall specify the time and place where a hearing
will be held
and shall be served personally or by registered or certified mail at least 10
days before the hearing; and in the case of a unit of local government or a
corporation the service shall be upon an officer or agent thereof. After
reviewing the evidence, the Board of Commissioners may issue an order to the
party responsible for the discharge, directing that within a specified period
discharge be discontinued. The Board of Commissioners may also order the party
responsible for the discharge to pay a civil penalty in an amount specified
by the Board of Commissioners that is not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000
per day for each day of discharge of effluent in violation of this Act as
provided in subsection (d). The Board of Commissioners may also order the
party responsible for the violation to pay court reporter costs and hearing
officer fees in a total amount not exceeding $3,000.
(d) The Board of Commissioners shall establish procedures for assessing
civil penalties and issuing orders under subsection (c) as follows:
(1) In making its orders and determinations, the
Board of Commissioners shall take into consideration all the facts and circumstances bearing on the activities involved and the assessment of civil penalties as shown by the record produced at the hearing.
(2) The Board of Commissioners shall establish a
panel of independent hearing officers to conduct all hearings on the assessment of civil penalties and issuance of orders under subsection (c). The hearing officers shall be attorneys licensed to practice law in this State.
(3) The Board of Commissioners shall promulgate
procedural rules governing the proceedings, the assessment of civil penalties, and the issuance of orders.
(4) All hearings shall be on the record, and
testimony taken must be under oath and recorded stenographically. Transcripts so recorded must be made available to any member of the public or any party to the hearing upon payment of the usual charges for transcripts. At the hearing, the hearing officer may issue, in the name of the Board of Commissioners, notices of hearing requesting the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence relevant to any matter involved in the hearing and may examine witnesses.
(5) The hearing officer shall conduct a full and
impartial hearing on the record, with an opportunity for the presentation of evidence and cross-examination of the witnesses. The hearing officer shall issue findings of fact, conclusions of law, a recommended civil penalty, and an order based solely on the record. The hearing officer may also recommend, as part of the order, that the discharge of industrial waste be discontinued within a specified time.
(6) The findings of fact, conclusions of law,
recommended civil penalty, and order shall be transmitted to the Board of Commissioners along with a complete record of the hearing.
(7) The Board of Commissioners shall either approve
or disapprove the findings of fact, conclusions of law, recommended civil penalty, and order. If the findings of fact, conclusions of law, recommended civil penalty, or order are rejected, the Board of Commissioners shall remand the matter to the hearing officer for further proceedings. If the order is accepted by the Board of Commissioners, it shall constitute the final order of the Board of Commissioners.
(9) The civil penalty specified by the Board of
Commissioners shall be paid within 35 days after the party on whom it is imposed receives a written copy of the order of the Board of Commissioners, unless the person or persons to whom the order is issued seeks judicial review.
(10) If the respondent seeks judicial review of the
order assessing civil penalties, the respondent shall, within 35 days after the date of the final order, pay the amount of the civil penalties into an escrow account maintained by the district for that purpose or file a bond guaranteeing payment of the civil penalties if the civil penalties are upheld on review.
(11) Civil penalties not paid by the times specified
above shall be delinquent and subject to a lien recorded against the property of the person ordered to pay the penalty. The foregoing provisions for asserting liens against real estate by the sanitary district shall be in addition to and not in derogation of any other remedy or right of recovery, in law or equity, that the sanitary district may have with respect to the collection or recovery of penalties and charges imposed by the sanitary district. Judgment in a civil action brought by the sanitary district to recover or collect the charges shall not operate as a release and waiver of the lien upon the real estate for the amount of the judgment. Only satisfaction of the judgment or the filing of a release or satisfaction of lien shall release the lien.
(e) The executive director may order a person to cease the discharge of
industrial waste upon a finding by the executive director that the final
order of the Board of Commissioners entered after a hearing to show cause has
been violated. The executive director shall serve the person with a copy
of his or her order either by certified mail or personally by serving
the owner, officer, registered agent, or individual designated by permit.
The order of the executive director shall also
schedule an expedited hearing before a hearing officer designated by
the Board of Commissioners
for the purpose of determining whether the company has violated the final order
of the Board of Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners shall adopt rules of
procedure governing expedited hearings. In no event shall the hearing be
conducted less than 7 days after receipt by the person of the executive director's order.
At the conclusion of the expedited hearing, the hearing officer shall prepare
a report with his or her findings and recommendations and transmit it to the
Commissioners. If the Board of Commissioners, after reviewing the findings and
recommendations, and the record produced at the hearings, determines that the
person has violated the Board of Commissioner's final order, the Board of
Commissioners may authorize the plugging
of the sewer. The executive director shall give not less than 10 days
written notice of the Board of Commissioner's order to the owner,
officer, registered agent, or individual designated by permit, as well as the
owner of record of the real estate and other parties known to be affected, that
sewer will be plugged.
The foregoing provision for plugging a sewer shall be in addition to and not
in derogation of any other remedy, in law or in equity, that the district may
to prevent violation of its ordinances and orders of its Board of
(f) A violation of the final order of the Board of Commissioners shall be
considered a nuisance. If any person discharges sewage, industrial wastes, or
other wastes into any waters contrary to the final order of the Board of
Commissioners, the sanitary district acting through the executive director
has the power to commence an action or proceeding in the circuit court in and
for the county in which the sanitary district is located for the purpose of
having the discharge stopped either by mandamus or injunction, or to remedy the
violation in any manner provided for in this Section.
The court shall specify a time, not exceeding 20 days after the service of
the copy of the complaint, in which the party complained of must plead to the
complaint, and in the meantime, the party may be restrained. In case of
default or after pleading, the court shall immediately inquire into the facts
and circumstances of the case and enter an appropriate judgment in respect to
the matters complained of. Appeals may be taken as in other civil cases.
(g) The sanitary district, acting through the executive director, has
power to commence an action or proceeding for mandamus or injunction in the
circuit court ordering a person to cease its discharge, when, in the opinion of
the executive director, the person's discharge presents an imminent danger
to the public health, welfare, or safety, presents or may present an
endangerment to the environment, or threatens to interfere with the
operation of the sewerage system or a water reclamation plant under the
jurisdiction of the sanitary district. The initiation of a show cause hearing
is not a prerequisite to the commencement by the sanitary district of an action
or proceeding for mandamus or injunction in the circuit court. The court shall
specify a time, not exceeding 20 days after the service of a copy of the
petition, in which the party complained of must answer the petition, and in the
meantime, the party may be restrained. In case of default in answer or after
answer, the court shall immediately inquire into the facts and circumstances of
the case and enter an appropriate judgment order in respect to the matters
complained of. An appeal may be taken from the final judgment in the same
manner and with the same effect as appeals are taken from judgment of the
circuit court in other actions for mandamus or injunction.
(h) Whenever the sanitary district commences an action under subsection (f)
of this Section, the court shall assess a civil penalty of not less than
$1,000 nor more than $10,000 for each day the person violates a Board order.
Whenever the sanitary district commences an action under subsection (g) of this
Section, the court shall assess a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 nor
more than $10,000 for
each day the person violates the ordinance. Each
of the violation is a separate offense. The penalties provided in this Section
plus interest at the rate set forth in the Interest Act on unpaid penalties,
costs, and fees, imposed by the Board of Commissioners under subsection (d),
the reasonable costs to the sanitary district of removal or other remedial
action caused by discharges in violation of this Act, reasonable attorney's
fees, court costs, and other expenses of litigation together with costs for
inspection, sampling, analysis, and administration related to the enforcement
action against the offending party are recoverable by the sanitary district in
a civil action.
(i) The Board of Commissioners may establish fees for late filing of reports
with the sanitary district required by an ordinance governing discharges. The
shall provide by certified mail a written notice of the fee assessment that
states the person has 30 days after the receipt of the notice to request a
conference with the executive director's designee to discuss or dispute
the appropriateness of the assessed fee. Unless a person objects to paying the
fee for filing a report late by timely requesting in writing a conference with
a designee of the executive director, that person waives his or her right
to a conference and the sanitary district may impose a lien recorded against
the property of
person for the amount of the unpaid fee.
If a person requests a conference and the matter is not resolved at the
conference, the person subject to the fee may request an administrative hearing
before an impartial hearing officer appointed under subsection (d) to
determine the person's liability for and the amount of the fee.
If the hearing officer finds that the late filing fees are owed to the
sanitary district, the sanitary district shall notify the responsible person or
persons of the hearing officer's decision. If payment is not made within 30
days after the notice, the sanitary district may impose a lien on the property
of the person or persons.
Any liens filed under this subsection shall apply only to the property to
which the late filing fees are related. A claim for lien shall be filed in the
office of the recorder of the county in which the property is located. The
filing of a claim for lien by the district does not prevent the sanitary
district from pursuing other means for collecting late filing fees. If a claim
for lien is filed, the sanitary district shall notify the person whose property
is subject to the lien, and the person may challenge the lien by filing an
action in the circuit court. The action shall be filed within
90 days after the person receives the notice of the filing of the claim for
lien. The court shall hear evidence concerning the underlying reasons for the
lien only if an administrative hearing has not been held under this subsection.
(j) If the provisions of any paragraph of this Section are declared
unconstitutional or invalid by the final decision of any court of competent
jurisdiction, the provisions of the remaining paragraphs continue in effect.
(k) Nothing in this Section eliminates any of the powers now granted to
municipalities having a population of 500,000 or more as to design, preparation
of plans, and construction, maintenance, and operation of sewers and sewerage
systems, or for the control and elimination or prevention of the pollution of
their waters or waterways, in the Illinois Municipal Code or any other Act of
the State of Illinois.
(l) The provisions of the Administrative Review Law and all amendments and
rules adopted pursuant to that Law apply to and govern all proceedings for
the judicial review of final administrative decisions of the Board of
Commissioners in the enforcement of any ordinance, rule, or regulation adopted
under this Act.
(Source: P.A. 96-328, eff. 8-11-09; 97-298, eff. 8-11-11.)