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Chrysler Realty Corp. v. Thomas Indus., Inc.

ELR Citation: 30 ELR 20656
Nos. No. 00 C 0085, 97 F. Supp. 2d 877/(N.D. Ill., 05/30/2000)

The court holds that a landowner did not have a private right-of-action under the Illinois Environmental Protection Act (IEPA) to bring contribution claims against previous property owners for the cleanup of an underground storage tank. The court first holds that it is clear from the statutory scheme that the IEPA contains no express private right-of-action to bring the claims that the landowner asserts. The court next holds that the landowner could not prove an implied right-of-action under the IEPA. An Illinois appellate court, the only court in the state to address the issue, held that there is no implied private right-of-action under the IEPA. Further, although it refused to review the appellate decision directly on point, the Illinois Supreme Court has stated that it will only imply a private right-of-action where the statute would be ineffective as a practical matter, unless an action were implied. The existing legislative scheme under the IEPA, which provides for enforcement by the state as well as citizen suits before the state pollution control board, more than adequately serves the purpose of the statute. Thus, the IEPA is not ineffective absent an implied right-of-action.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Thomas J. McFadden
McFadden & Dillon
120 S. La Salle St., Chicago IL 60603
(312) 201-8300

Counsel for Defendant
Steven S. Scholes
McDermott, Will & Emery
227 W. Monroe St., Chicago IL 60606
(312) 372-2000