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Harris-Hub Co. v. Illinois Pollution Control Bd.

Citation: 7 ELR 20712
No. No. 76-42, 365 N.E.2d 1071/10 ERC 1365/50 Ill. App. 3d 608, (Ill. App. Ct., 07/07/1977)

The court reverses an administrative assessment of a $500 civil penalty under the Illinois Environmental Protection Act against a manufacturer who was in compliance with applicable emission standards but had failed to obtain an operating permit from the state Environmental Protection Agency. Imposition of penalties under the Act is not to be invoked for punishment but in situations in which it will aid enforcement of the statute. The court finds that imposition of the fine in this case for the technical violation of failing to obtain a permit unaccompanied by any violation of pollution control standards would not materially aid in the enforcement of the Act. Furthermore, good faith is a mitigating factor which must be taken into account in assessing fines under the Act, and the record shows that the manufacturer in this case believed in good faith that it was not required to obtain a permit. The court also concludes that it was inappropriate for the state agency to fail to follow its own established procedure by omitting to send the manufacturer an official legal notice of the violation alleged prior to assessing the fine.

Counsel for Petitioner
Roger B. Harris
Althheimer & Gray
One IBM Plaza, Chicago IL 60611
(312) 467-9600

Counsel for Respondents
Jeffrey S. Herden, Legal Department
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
309 W. Washington St., Chicago IL 60606
(312) 793-3875

LINN, Justice, DIERINGER, P.J., and ROMITI, J., concur.