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Chicago, City of v. Illinois Pollution Control Bd.

Citation: 8 ELR 20470
No. No. 76-1430, 373 N.E.2d 512/57 Ill. App. 3d 517, (Ill. App. Ct., 02/06/1978)

The court reverses a $10,000 civil penalty imposed on the city for operating a solid waste incinerator without a state permit. The city has known since 1970 that the incinerator was not in compliance with state air pollution standards.The Illinois Pollution Control Board filed a complaint in 1973, and after hearings and a settlement, it imposed the maximum penalty for the violation. The court agrees with petitioner that imposition of the penalty was arbitrary and capricious because the city cooperated fully with the Board by making studies and making a sincere effort to eliminate or reduce stack emissions. Moreover, the Board's order failed to consider the economic and technological difficulties faced by the city. Finally, the Board's primary purpose in imposing such a large penalty was punitive, an improper objective for civil penalties, and the severity of the penalty was not related to the seriousness of the infraction.

Counsel for Petitioner
William R. Quinlan, Corporation Counsel; Daniel Pascale, Edmund Hatfield, Ass't Corporation Counsels
121 N. LaSalle, Chicago IL 60601
(312) 744-6942

Counsel for Respondents
William J. Scott, Attorney General; Anne K. Markey, Ass't Attorney General
Environmental Control Division
188 W. Randolph, Room 2300, Chicago IL 60601
(312) 793-3563

GOLDBERG, P.J. and O'CONNOR, J., concur.