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Public Act 097-0298


 

Public Act 0298 97TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
Public Act 097-0298
 
HB1563 EnrolledLRB097 05383 RLJ 45440 b

    AN ACT concerning local government.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 5. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Act
is amended by changing Section 7a as follows:
 
    (70 ILCS 2605/7a)  (from Ch. 42, par. 326a)
    Sec. 7a. 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 sanitary district.
    "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, surface, 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, or 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 except 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
sanitary district.
    (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 otherwise.
    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 of time the 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 $100
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.
        (8) (Blank).
        (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 Board of 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 the 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 have to prevent violation
of its ordinances and orders of its Board of Commissioners.
    (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 the 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 day's continuance 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 sanitary district 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 the
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. 95-923, eff. 1-1-09; 96-328, eff. 8-11-09.)
 
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 8/11/2011