(415 ILCS 5/2) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 1002)
    Sec. 2. (a) The General Assembly finds:
        (i) that environmental damage seriously endangers the
public health and welfare, as more specifically described in later sections of this Act;
        (ii) that because environmental damage does not
respect political boundaries, it is necessary to establish a unified state-wide program for environmental protection and to cooperate fully with other States and with the United States in protecting the environment;
        (iii) that air, water, and other resource pollution,
public water supply, solid waste disposal, noise, and other environmental problems are closely interrelated and must be dealt with as a unified whole in order to safeguard the environment;
        (iv) that it is the obligation of the State
Government to manage its own activities so as to minimize environmental damage; to encourage and assist local governments to adopt and implement environmental-protection programs consistent with this Act; to promote the development of technology for environmental protection and conservation of natural resources; and in appropriate cases to afford financial assistance in preventing environmental damage;
        (v) that in order to alleviate the burden on
enforcement agencies, to assure that all interests are given a full hearing, and to increase public participation in the task of protecting the environment, private as well as governmental remedies must be provided;
        (vi) that despite the existing laws and regulations
concerning environmental damage there exist continuing destruction and damage to the environment and harm to the public health, safety and welfare of the people of this State, and that among the most significant sources of this destruction, damage, and harm are the improper and unsafe transportation, treatment, storage, disposal, and dumping of hazardous wastes;
        (vii) that it is necessary to supplement and
strengthen existing criminal sanctions regarding environmental damage, by enacting specific penalties for injury to public health and welfare and the environment.
    (b) It is the purpose of this Act, as more specifically described in later sections, to establish a unified, state-wide program supplemented by private remedies, to restore, protect and enhance the quality of the environment, and to assure that adverse effects upon the environment are fully considered and borne by those who cause them.
    (c) The terms and provisions of this Act shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes of this Act as set forth in subsection (b) of this Section, but to the extent that this Act prescribes criminal penalties, it shall be construed in accordance with the Criminal Code of 2012.
(Source: P.A. 97-1150, eff. 1-25-13.)