(415 ILCS 5/22.15a)
Open dumping cleanup program.
(a) Upon making a finding that open dumping poses a threat to the public
health or to the environment, the Agency may take whatever preventive or
corrective action is necessary or appropriate to end that threat. This
preventive or corrective action may consist of any or all of the following:
(1) Removing waste from the site.
(2) Removing soil and water contamination that is
related to waste at the site.
(3) Installing devices to monitor and control
groundwater and surface water contamination that is related to waste at the site.
(4) Taking any other actions that are authorized by
(b) Subject to the availability of appropriated funds, the Agency may
undertake a consensual removal action for the removal of up to 20 cubic yards
of waste at no cost to the owner of property where open dumping has occurred in accordance with the following
(1) Actions under this subsection must be taken
pursuant to a written agreement between the Agency and the owner of the property.
(2) The written agreement must at a minimum specify:
(A) that the owner relinquishes any claim of an
ownership interest in any waste that is removed and in any proceeds from its sale;
(B) that waste will no longer be allowed to
accumulate at the site in a manner that constitutes open dumping;
(C) that the owner will hold harmless the Agency
and any employee or contractor used by the Agency to effect the removal for any damage to property incurred during the course of action under this subsection, except for damage incurred by gross negligence or intentional misconduct; and
(D) any conditions imposed upon or assistance
required from the owner to assure that the waste is so located or arranged as to facilitate its removal.
(3) The Agency may establish by rule the conditions
and priorities for the removal of waste under this subsection (b).
(4) The Agency must prescribe the form of written
agreements under this subsection (b).
(c) The Agency may provide notice to the owner of property where open dumping has occurred whenever the
Agency finds that open dumping poses a threat to public health or the
environment. The notice provided by the Agency must include the identified
preventive or corrective action
and must provide an opportunity for the owner to perform the action.
(d) In accordance with constitutional limitations, the Agency may enter, at
all reasonable times, upon any private or public property for the purpose of
taking any preventive or corrective action that is necessary and appropriate
under this Section whenever the Agency finds that open dumping poses a threat
to the public health or to the environment.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision or rule of law and subject only to
the defenses set forth in subsection (g) of this Section, the following persons
shall be liable for all costs of corrective or preventive action incurred by
the State of Illinois as a result
of open dumping, including the reasonable costs of collection:
(1) any person with an ownership interest in property
where open dumping has occurred;
(2) any person with an ownership or leasehold
interest in the property at the time the open dumping occurred;
(3) any person who transported waste that was open
dumped at the property; and
(4) any person who open dumped at the property.
Any moneys received by the Agency under this subsection (e) must be deposited
into the Subtitle D Management Fund.
(f) Any person liable to the Agency for costs incurred under subsection (e)
of this Section may be liable to the State of Illinois for punitive damages in
an amount at least equal to and not more than 3 times the costs incurred by the
State if that person failed, without sufficient cause, to take preventive or
corrective action under the notice issued under subsection (c) of this Section.
(g) There shall be no liability under subsection (e) of this Section for a
person otherwise liable who can establish by a preponderance of the evidence
that the hazard created by the open dumping was caused solely by:
(1) an act of God;
(2) an act of war; or
(3) an act or omission of a third party other than an
employee or agent and other than a person whose act or omission occurs in connection with a contractual relationship with the person otherwise liable. For the purposes of this paragraph, "contractual relationship" includes, but is not limited to, land contracts, deeds, and other instruments transferring title or possession, unless the real property upon which the open dumping occurred was acquired by the defendant after the open dumping occurred and one or more of the following circumstances is also established by a preponderance of the evidence:
(A) at the time the defendant acquired the
property, the defendant did not know and had no reason to know that any open dumping had occurred and the defendant undertook, at the time of acquisition, all appropriate inquiries into the previous ownership and uses of the property consistent with good commercial or customary practice in an effort to minimize liability;
(B) the defendant is a government entity that
acquired the property by escheat or through any other involuntary transfer or acquisition, or through the exercise of eminent domain authority by purchase or condemnation; or
(C) the defendant acquired the property by
(h) Nothing in this Section shall affect or modify the obligations or
liability of any person under any other provision of this Act, federal law, or
State law, including the common law, for injuries, damages, or losses resulting
from the circumstances leading to Agency action under this Section.
(i) The costs and damages provided for in this Section may be imposed by the
Board in an action brought before the Board in accordance with Title VIII of
this Act, except that subsection (c) of Section 33 of this Act shall not apply
to any such action.
(j) Except for willful and wanton misconduct, neither the State, the Director, nor any State employee shall be liable for any damages or injuries arising out of or resulting from any act or omission occurring under the provisions of this amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly.
(k) Before taking preventive or corrective action under this Section, the Agency shall consider whether the open dumping:
(1) occurred on public land;
(2) occurred on a public right-of-way;
(3) occurred in a park or natural area;
(4) occurred in an environmental justice area;
(5) was caused or allowed by persons other than the
(6) creates the potential for groundwater
(7) creates the potential for surface water
(8) creates the potential for disease vectors;
(9) creates a fire hazard; or
(10) preventive or corrective action by the Agency
has been requested by a unit of local government.
In taking preventive or corrective action under this Section, the Agency shall not expend more than $50,000 at any single site in response to open dumping unless: (i) the Director determines that the open dumping poses an imminent and substantial endangerment to the public health or welfare or the environment; or (ii) the General Assembly appropriates more than $50,000 for preventive or corrective action in response to the open dumping, in which case the Agency may spend the appropriated amount.
(Source: P.A. 94-272, eff. 7-19-05.)