State of Illinois
91st General Assembly

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 1        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  Metropolitan  Water  Reclamation
 2    District Act by changing Section 7a.

 3        Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 4    represented in the General Assembly:

 5        Section  5.   The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District
 6    Act is amended by changing Section 7a as follows:

 7        (70 ILCS 2605/7a) (from Ch. 42, par. 326a)
 8        Sec. 7a.  Discharge into sewers of a sanitary district.
 9        (a)  The terms  used  in  this  Section  are  defined  as
10    follows:
11        "Board of Commissioners" means the Board of Commissioners
12    of the sanitary district.
13        "Sewage"   means   water-carried   human   wastes   or  a
14    combination  of   water-carried   wastes   from   residences,
15    buildings,     businesses,     industrial     establishments,
16    institutions,  or  other  places  together  with  any ground,
17    surface, storm, or other water that may be present.
18        "Industrial Wastes" means all solids, liquids, or gaseous
19    wastes   resulting   from   any    commercial,    industrial,
20    manufacturing,  agricultural, trade, or business operation or
21    process, or from the development, recovery, or processing  of
22    natural resources.
23        "Other  Wastes"  means  decayed  wood, sawdust, shavings,
24    bark,  lime,  refuse,  ashes,  garbage,  offal,   oil,   tar,
25    chemicals,   and  all  other  substances  except  sewage  and
26    industrial wastes.
27        "Person" means any individual, firm,  association,  joint
28    venture,  sole  proprietorship,  company, partnership, estate
29    copartnership,  corporation,  joint  stock  company,   trust,
30    school   district,  unit  of  local  government,  or  private
31    corporation organized or existing under the laws of  this  or
                            -2-                LRB9101161PTpk
 1    any other state or country.
 2        "General Superintendent" means the general superintendent
 3    of the sanitary district.
 4        (b)  It  shall  be  unlawful  for any person to discharge
 5    sewage, industrial waste, or other wastes into  the  sewerage
 6    system  of  a  sanitary  district or into any sewer connected
 7    therewith, except upon the  terms  and  conditions  that  the
 8    sanitary   district   might   reasonably  impose  by  way  of
 9    ordinance, permit, or otherwise.
10        Any sanitary district, in addition to  all  other  powers
11    vested in it and in the interest of public health and safety,
12    or  as authorized by subsections (b) and (c) of Section 46 of
13    the Environmental Protection Act, is hereby empowered to pass
14    all ordinances, rules, or regulations necessary to  implement
15    this Section, including but not limited to, the imposition of
16    charges   based   on  factors  that  influence  the  cost  of
17    treatment, including strength and volume, and  including  the
18    right  of access during reasonable hours to the premises of a
19    person for  enforcement  of  adopted  ordinances,  rules,  or
20    regulations.
21        (c)  Whenever  the  sanitary  district acting through the
22    general superintendent  determines  that  sewage,  industrial
23    wastes,  or  other  wastes  are  being  discharged  into  the
24    sewerage  system  and  when,  in  the  opinion of the general
25    superintendent the discharge is in violation of an ordinance,
26    rules, or regulations adopted by the Board  of  Commissioners
27    under  this  Section  governing  industrial  wastes  or other
28    wastes, the general superintendent shall order the  offending
29    party  to  cease  and  desist.   The order shall be served by
30    certified  mail  or  personally  on   the   owner,   officer,
31    registered agent, or individual designated by permit.
32        In  the  event  the  offending  party fails or refuses to
33    discontinue the discharge within 90 days  after  notification
34    of  the  cease  and  desist order, the general superintendent
                            -3-                LRB9101161PTpk
 1    may order the offending party to show cause before the  Board
 2    of  Commissioners  of the sanitary district why the discharge
 3    should not be discontinued.  A notice shall be served on  the
 4    offending  party  directing  him,  her,  or  it to show cause
 5    before the Board of Commissioners why an order should not  be
 6    entered  directing  the discontinuance of the discharge.  The
 7    notice shall specify the time and place where a hearing  will
 8    be  held  and  shall be served personally or by registered or
 9    certified mail at least 10 days before the  hearing;  and  in
10    the  case  of a unit of local government or a corporation the
11    service shall be upon an officer  or  agent  thereof.   After
12    reviewing  the evidence, the Board of Commissioners may issue
13    an  order  to  the  party  responsible  for  the   discharge,
14    directing   that  within  a  specified  period  of  time  the
15    discharge be discontinued.  The Board  of  Commissioners  may
16    also  order  the party responsible for the discharge to pay a
17    civil  penalty  in  an  amount  specified  by  the  Board  of
18    Commissioners that is not less than $100 nor more than $2,000
19    per day for each day of discharge of effluent in violation of
20    this Act  as  provided  in  subsection  (d).   The  Board  of
21    Commissioners  may  also  order the party responsible for the
22    violation to pay court reporter  costs  and  hearing  officer
23    fees in a total amount not exceeding $3,000.
24        (d)  The   Board   of   Commissioners   shall   establish
25    procedures  for  assessing civil penalties and issuing orders
26    under subsection (c) as follows:
27             (1)  In making its orders  and  determinations,  the
28        Board  of Commissioners shall take into consideration all
29        the facts and circumstances  bearing  on  the  activities
30        involved  and  the assessment of civil penalties as shown
31        by the record produced at the hearing.
32             (2)  The Board of Commissioners  shall  establish  a
33        panel  of  independent  hearing  officers  to conduct all
34        hearings  on  the  assessment  of  civil  penalties   and
                            -4-                LRB9101161PTpk
 1        issuance  of  orders  under  subsection (c).  The hearing
 2        officers shall be attorneys licensed to practice  law  in
 3        this State.
 4             (3)  The  Board  of  Commissioners  shall promulgate
 5        procedural   rules   governing   the   proceedings,   the
 6        assessment  of  civil  penalties,  and  the  issuance  of
 7        orders.
 8             (4)  All  hearings  shall  be  on  the  record,  and
 9        testimony  taken  must  be  under   oath   and   recorded
10        stenographically.   Transcripts  so recorded must be made
11        available to any member of the public or any party to the
12        hearing  upon  payment   of   the   usual   charges   for
13        transcripts.   At  the  hearing,  the hearing officer may
14        issue, in the name of the Board of Commissioners, notices
15        of hearing requesting the  attendance  and  testimony  of
16        witnesses  and the production of evidence relevant to any
17        matter involved in the hearing and may examine witnesses.
18             (5)  The hearing officer shall conduct  a  full  and
19        impartial  hearing on the record, with an opportunity for
20        the presentation of evidence and cross-examination of the
21        witnesses.  The hearing officer shall issue  findings  of
22        fact,  conclusions  of  law, a recommended civil penalty,
23        and an order based solely on  the  record.   The  hearing
24        officer  may  also  recommend, as part of the order, that
25        the discharge of industrial waste be discontinued  within
26        a specified time.
27             (6)  The  findings  of  fact,  conclusions  of  law,
28        recommended civil penalty, and order shall be transmitted
29        to  the  Board  of  Commissioners  along  with a complete
30        record of the hearing.
31             (7)  The Board of Commissioners shall either approve
32        or disapprove the findings of fact, conclusions  of  law,
33        recommended civil penalty, and order.  If the findings of
34        fact,  conclusions  of law, recommended civil penalty, or
                            -5-                LRB9101161PTpk
 1        order are rejected,  the  Board  of  Commissioners  shall
 2        remand  the  matter  to  the  hearing officer for further
 3        proceedings. If the order is accepted  by  the  Board  of
 4        Commissioners, it shall constitute the final order of the
 5        Board of Commissioners.
 6             (8)  The  Administrative  Review  Law, and the rules
 7        adopted under that Law, shall govern all proceedings  for
 8        the  judicial  review  of  final  orders  of the Board of
 9        Commissioners issued under this subsection.
10             (9)  The civil penalty specified  by  the  Board  of
11        Commissioners  shall  be  paid  within  35 days after the
12        party on whom it is imposed receives a  written  copy  of
13        the  order  of  the  Board  of  Commissioners, unless the
14        person or persons to  whom  the  order  is  issued  seeks
15        judicial review under paragraph (8).
16             (10)  If the respondent seeks judicial review of the
17        order  assessing  civil  penalties, the respondent shall,
18        within 35 days after the date of the final order, pay the
19        amount of the civil  penalties  into  an  escrow  account
20        maintained  by  the  district  for that purpose or file a
21        bond guaranteeing payment of the civil penalties  if  the
22        civil penalties are upheld on review.
23             (11)  Civil   penalties   not   paid  by  the  times
24        specified above shall be delinquent and subject to a lien
25        recorded against the property of the  person  ordered  to
26        pay  the  penalty. The foregoing provisions for asserting
27        liens against real estate by the sanitary district  shall
28        be  in  addition  to  and  not in derogation of any other
29        remedy or right of recovery, in law or equity,  that  the
30        sanitary district may have with respect to the collection
31        or  recovery  of  penalties  and  charges  imposed by the
32        sanitary district.  Judgment in a civil action brought by
33        the sanitary district to recover or collect  the  charges
34        shall  not  operate  as  a release and waiver of the lien
                            -6-                LRB9101161PTpk
 1        upon the real estate for  the  amount  of  the  judgment.
 2        Only  satisfaction  of  the  judgment  or the filing of a
 3        release or satisfaction of lien shall release the lien.
 4        (e)  The general superintendent may  order  a  person  to
 5    cease the discharge of industrial waste upon a finding by the
 6    general  superintendent  that the final order of the Board of
 7    Commissioners entered after a hearing to show cause has  been
 8    violated.   The general superintendent shall serve the person
 9    with a copy of his or her order either by certified  mail  or
10    personally  by  serving the owner, officer, registered agent,
11    or individual designated by permit. The order of the  general
12    superintendent  shall  also  schedule  an  expedited  hearing
13    before   a   hearing  officer  designated  by  the  Board  of
14    Commissioners for the  purpose  of  determining  whether  the
15    company  has  violated  the  final  order  of  the  Board  of
16    Commissioners.   The Board of Commissioners shall adopt rules
17    of procedure governing expedited hearings.  In no event shall
18    the hearing be conducted less than 7 days  after  receipt  by
19    the person of the general superintendent's order.
20        At  the  conclusion of the expedited hearing, the hearing
21    officer shall prepare a report with his or her  findings  and
22    recommendations   and   transmit   it   to   the   Board   of
23    Commissioners.    If   the   Board  of  Commissioners,  after
24    reviewing the findings and recommendations,  and  the  record
25    produced  at  the  hearings,  determines  that the person has
26    violated the Board of Commissioner's final order,  the  Board
27    of  Commissioners  may  authorize  the plugging of the sewer.
28    The general superintendent shall give not less than  10  days
29    written  notice  of  the Board of Commissioner's order to the
30    owner, officer, registered agent, or individual designated by
31    permit, as well as the owner of record of the real estate and
32    other parties known to be affected, that the  sewer  will  be
33    plugged. The Administrative Review Law, and the rules adopted
34    under that Law, shall govern all proceedings for the judicial
                            -7-                LRB9101161PTpk
 1    review  of  final orders of the Board of Commissioners issued
 2    under this subsection.
 3        The foregoing provision for plugging a sewer shall be  in
 4    addition to and not in derogation of any other remedy, in law
 5    or in equity, that the district may have to prevent violation
 6    of its ordinances and orders of its Board of Commissioners.
 7        (f)  A  violation  of  the  final  order  of the Board of
 8    Commissioners shall be considered a nuisance.  If any  person
 9    discharges  sewage,  industrial  wastes, or other wastes into
10    any waters contrary to  the  final  order  of  the  Board  of
11    Commissioners,  the  sanitary  district  acting  through  the
12    general superintendent has the power to commence an action or
13    proceeding  in  the  circuit  court  in and for the county in
14    which the sanitary district is located  for  the  purpose  of
15    having   the   discharge   stopped   either  by  mandamus  or
16    injunction, or to remedy the violation in any manner provided
17    for in this Section.
18        The court shall specify a time,  not  exceeding  20  days
19    after  the service of the copy of the complaint, in which the
20    party complained of must plead to the complaint, and  in  the
21    meantime, the party may be restrained.  In case of default or
22    after  pleading, the court shall immediately inquire into the
23    facts and circumstances of the case and enter an  appropriate
24    judgment  in  respect  to the matters complained of.  Appeals
25    may be taken as in other civil cases.
26        (g)  The sanitary district, acting  through  the  general
27    superintendent,  has  the  power  to  commence  an  action or
28    proceeding for mandamus or injunction in  the  circuit  court
29    ordering  a  person  to  cease  its  discharge,  when, in the
30    opinion of the general superintendent, the person's discharge
31    presents an imminent danger to the public health, welfare, or
32    safety, presents  or  may  present  an  endangerment  to  the
33    environment,  or threatens to interfere with the operation of
34    the sewerage system or a water reclamation  plant  under  the
                            -8-                LRB9101161PTpk
 1    jurisdiction  of  the sanitary district.  The initiation of a
 2    show cause hearing is not a prerequisite to the  commencement
 3    by  the  sanitary  district  of  an  action or proceeding for
 4    mandamus or injunction in the circuit court.  The court shall
 5    specify a time, not exceeding 20 days after the service of  a
 6    copy  of  the petition, in which the party complained of must
 7    answer the petition, and in the meantime, the  party  may  be
 8    restrained.   In  case  of default in answer or after answer,
 9    the court  shall  immediately  inquire  into  the  facts  and
10    circumstances  of  the case and enter an appropriate judgment
11    order in respect to the matters complained of.  An appeal may
12    be taken from the final judgment in the same manner and  with
13    the  same  effect  as  appeals are taken from judgment of the
14    circuit court in other actions for mandamus or injunction.
15        (h)  Whenever the sanitary district commences  an  action
16    under  subsection (f) of this Section, the court shall assess
17    a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000
18    for each day the person violates a Board order.  Whenever the
19    sanitary district commences an action under subsection (g) of
20    this Section, the court shall assess a civil penalty  of  not
21    less  than  $1,000  nor  more  than  $10,000 for each day the
22    person violates the ordinance.  Each day's continuance of the
23    violation is a separate offense.  The penalties  provided  in
24    this  Section  plus  interest  at  the  rate set forth in the
25    Interest Act on unpaid penalties, costs, and fees, imposed by
26    the  Board  of  Commissioners  under  subsection   (d),   the
27    reasonable costs to the sanitary district of removal or other
28    remedial  action  caused  by  discharges in violation of this
29    Act, reasonable  attorney's  fees,  court  costs,  and  other
30    expenses  of  litigation  together with costs for inspection,
31    sampling,  analysis,  and  administration  related   to   the
32    enforcement   action   against   the   offending   party  are
33    recoverable by the sanitary district in a civil action.
34        (i)  The Board of Commissioners may  establish  fees  for
                            -9-                LRB9101161PTpk
 1    late filing of reports with the sanitary district required by
 2    an  ordinance  governing  discharges.   The sanitary district
 3    shall provide by certified mail a written notice of  the  fee
 4    assessment  that  states  the  person  has  30 days after the
 5    receipt of the  notice  to  request  a  conference  with  the
 6    general  superintendent's  designee to discuss or dispute the
 7    appropriateness of the assessed fee.  Unless a person objects
 8    to paying  the  fee  for  filing  a  report  late  by  timely
 9    requesting  in  writing  a  conference with a designee of the
10    general superintendent, that person waives his or  her  right
11    to  a  conference and the sanitary district may impose a lien
12    recorded against the property of the person for the amount of
13    the unpaid fee.
14        If a person requests a conference and the matter  is  not
15    resolved at the conference, the person subject to the fee may
16    request an administrative hearing before an impartial hearing
17    officer  appointed  under  subsection  (d)  to  determine the
18    person's liability for and the amount of the fee.
19        If the hearing officer finds that the  late  filing  fees
20    are  owed  to  the  sanitary  district, the sanitary district
21    shall notify the responsible person or persons of the hearing
22    officer's decision.  If payment is not made  within  30  days
23    after  the notice, the sanitary district may impose a lien on
24    the property of the person or persons.
25        Any liens filed under this subsection shall apply only to
26    the property to which the late filing fees  are  related.   A
27    claim  for  lien shall be filed in the office of the recorder
28    of the county in which the property is located.   The  filing
29    of  a  claim  for  lien  by the district does not prevent the
30    sanitary district from pursuing other  means  for  collecting
31    late filing fees.  If a claim for lien is filed, the sanitary
32    district shall notify the person whose property is subject to
33    the  lien, and the person may challenge the lien by filing an
34    action in the circuit  court.   The  action  shall  be  filed
                            -10-               LRB9101161PTpk
 1    within  90  days  after the person receives the notice of the
 2    filing of the claim for lien.  The court shall hear  evidence
 3    concerning  the  underlying  reasons  for the lien only if an
 4    administrative  hearing  has  not  been   held   under   this
 5    subsection.
 6        (j)  If  the  provisions of any paragraph of this Section
 7    are  declared  unconstitutional  or  invalid  by  the   final
 8    decision   of   any  court  of  competent  jurisdiction,  the
 9    provisions of the remaining paragraphs continue in effect.
10        (k)  Nothing in this Section eliminates any of the powers
11    now granted to municipalities having a population of  500,000
12    or more as to design, preparation of plans, and construction,
13    maintenance, and operation of sewers and sewerage systems, or
14    for   the  control  and  elimination  or  prevention  of  the
15    pollution of their  waters  or  waterways,  in  the  Illinois
16    Municipal Code or any other Act of the State of Illinois.
17        (l)  A   sanitary  district  is  authorized  through  its
18    ordinances to recover from persons the  cost  of  controlling
19    and  monitoring  the  discharge of industrial wastes into the
20    sewers of the sanitary district and the  cost  for  enforcing
21    ordinances  concerning  that  discharge.   For the purpose of
22    recovering its  costs,  a  sanitary  district  may  establish
23    classes  of  persons  regulated  by its ordinances, establish
24    annual fees for the cost of administering the requirements of
25    its  ordinances  controlling  the  discharge  of   industrial
26    wastes,   and  establish  specific  charges  for  enforcement
27    activities resulting from noncompliance with its  ordinances.
28    The  costs  to  be  recovered  from any person shall be liens
29    against the property of the  person  when  the  costs  become
30    delinquent  as  provided  in  the  ordinances of the sanitary
31    district.  The provision for  asserting  liens  shall  be  in
32    addition  to and not in derogation of any other means, in law
33    or equity,  that  the  sanitary  district  may  have  in  the
34    collection of costs imposed by the sanitary district.
                            -11-               LRB9101161PTpk
 1    (Source: P.A. 90-354, eff. 8-8-97.)

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