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Wilsonville, Village of v. SCA Servs., Inc.

Citation: 10 ELR 20195
No. No. 15080, 396 N.E.2d 552/13 ERC 1809/77 Ill. App. 3d 61, (Ill. App. Ct., 09/21/1979)

The appellate court affirms a lower court's issuance of an injunction prohibiting continued operation of a licensed landfill for the disposal of hazardous chemical wastes and ordering the operator to remove the wastes buried there and restore the site. The trial court had jurisdiction to hear plaintiffs' claims that the landfill constituted a common law nuisance and violated the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and was not required to defer to the state administrative pollution control agencies under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction. The appellate court rules that the trial court could properly determine on the basis of the evidence presented that the site emitted odors and dust, which damaged the well-being of nearby residents, and that the transportation of toxic wastes through the adjacent village presented some hazard to its inhabitants. Although there was conflicting evidence as to the geologic characteristics of the site, the trial court could also properly conclude that the hazardous substances are likely to migrate from the site through ground or surface waters to produce toxic air emissions at some future time. The lower court could reasonably have viewed the harm threatened by such migration or emissions as so serious that injunctive relief should be granted even though occurrence of this sort of injury was uncertain or likely to happen only in the remote future. Similarly, the extremely serious nature of the possible harm justified the trial court's refusal to balance the strong public need for the landfill, as indicated by certain testimony and the views expressed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as amicus curiae, against the threatened harm is its formulation of relief. The court also upholds the trial court's denial of defendants' motions for change of venue.

Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellees
Paul C. Verticchio
100 E. Chestnut St., Gillespie IL 62033
(217) 839-3513

Kenneth R. Boyle, State's Attorney
Carlinville IL 62626
(217) 854-6101

William J. Scott, Attorney General; Ann L. Carr, A. L. Zimmer, Ass't Attorneys General
500 S. 2d St., Springfield IL 62701
(217) 782-1090

Counsel for Defendant-Appellants
Fred C. Prillaman
Mohan, Alewelt & Prillaman
Suite 400, 525 W. Jefferson St., Springfield IL 62702
(217) 528-2517

Stuart Dobbs
Denby, Dobbs & Meno
S.E. Corner of Square, Carlinville IL 62626
(217) 854-3289

William C. Brashares, Melvin J. Duvall, Jr.
Cladouhos & Brashares
1750 New York Ave. NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 833-1101

Counsel for Amicus Curiae U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Dorothy A. Darrah
Water & Solid Waste Division
Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC 20460
(202) 426-4497

Mary Bryant Kodani, Ass't Regional Counsel
Environmental Protection Agency, Region V
230 S. Randolph St., Chicago IL 60604
(312) 353-2000

MILLS and TRAPP, JJ., concur.