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M.I.G. Invs., Inc. v. EPA

ELR Citation: 18 ELR 21382
Nos. No. 64946, 523 N.E.2d 1/27 ERC 1792/122 Ill. 2d 392, (Ill., 04/25/1988)

The court holds a landfill operator's challenge to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's (IEPA's) decision to deny a vertical expansion permit was timely and that a vertical expansion of an existing landfill requires local governmental approval. The court holds that a landfill operator's petition to contest IEPA's decision to deny a vertical expansion of the facility was filed in a timely manner. Although the petition was received by the Pollution Control board one day after the 35-day filing period, a petition is considered filed in a timely manner as long as it was mailed prior to the filing expiration date. Furthermore, the statute's petition provision is considered permissive and not mandatory, since it states that an applicant "may" file within 35 days. The court then holds that under the Illinois Environmental Protection Act a vertical expansion beyond the boundaries of an existing permitted landfill facility constitutes a "new regional pollution control facility" which requires local governmental approval. Construing "boundaries" liberally to mean both vertical and lateral expansions effectuates the Act's purposes to restore, protect, and enhance environmental quality, and provides local governments the opportunity to assess local impacts of alterations of previously permitted facilities. Furthermore, it would be unreasonable to say a horizontal expansion would significantly affect a surrounding community while a vertical expansion would not.

Counsel for Petitioners-Appellees
Thomas J. Immel
Immel, Zelle, Ogren, McClain, Germeraad & Costello
1118 S. Sixth St., Springfield IL 62703
(217) 789-1414

Counsel for Respondents-Appellants
Neil F. Hartigan, Attorney General; H. Alfred Ryan, Gerald T. Karr, Ass't Attorneys General
500 S. Second, Springfield IL 62701
(217) 782-1090