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City of Mattoon v. Epa

MAY 9, 1973.

THE CITY OF MATTOON, PETITIONER,

v.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



APPEAL from the Pollution Control Board.

MR. JUSTICE SIMKINS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The Petitioner-Appellant, City of Mattoon, seeks review of an order of the Illinois Pollution Control Board entered in response to a petition for variance filed by the City. The City's petition sought a variance from certain regulations promulgated by the Board known as SWB-14 and TR 20-22. The contents of regulation SWB-14 were furnished in a supplemental record. However, the contents of "TR 20-22" were neither made a part of the petition for variance nor were they set forth in the record in any fashion.

The City filed its petition for variance on January 23, 1971. The record reveals that regulation SWB-14 was enacted by the Illinois Sanitary Water Board, the predecessor of the Pollution Control Board, and set forth various standards for water quality and effluent discharge throughout the State. Municipalities were required to comply with SWB-14 by July, 1972, and to furnish plans and specifications for the implementation of SWB-14 with the Board by January 1970. Although the record is not clear on this point, TR 20-22 was apparently issued by the Board after the enactment of SWB-14 and established standards for the municipalities to meet that were more stringent than SWB-14.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) responded to the City's variance petition by filing certain recommendations with the Board. Essentially, the position of the EPA was that the petition should be denied, the City penalized for failing to file various plans and that certain other orders be entered against the City.

A hearing on the City's petition was held on March 17, 1971, and evidence was presented by the City, the EPA and various citizens. The decision of the Pollution Control Board was announced on April 14, 1971. After summarizing portions of the evidence elicited at the variance hearing the Board severely criticized the City for failing to meet the requirements of SWB-14 regarding the submission of plans and specifications and entered the following order:

"1. The City of Mattoon is hereby ordered to submit to the Environmental Protection Agency, on or before September 1, 1971, final plans and specifications for the facilities required to bring its sewage collection and treatment facilities into compliance with Rules and Regulations SWB-14.

2. The City of Mattoon is hereby ordered to complete the construction of the facilities specified in paragraph 1 of this order no later than July 1, 1972.

3. The City of Mattoon shall post with the Environmental Protection Agency, on or before May 14, 1971, a bond or other security in a form to be determined by the Agency, in the amount of $10,000.00, such sum to be forfeited to the State of Illinois in the event that the City does not comply with the provision of this order, as found by the Pollution Control Board in a supplementary proceeding.

4. The City of Mattoon shall, on or before July 15, 1971, issue without referendum such revenue bonds and/or general obligation bonds as may be necessary to finance the design and construction of facilities specified in paragraph 1 of this order.

5. The City of Mattoon shall complete the construction of the primary sedimentation tanks for reduction of bypasses by September 1, 1971.

6. The City of Mattoon shall not permit the connection of any new sewers or other sources of waste to its facilities, or any increase in the strength or concentration of wastes discharged to its facilities, until it demonstrates to the Agency that it is in full compliance with the requirements of SWB-14 with respect to overloads, bypasses, and the provision of advanced waste treatment.

7. The City of Mattoon shall pay to the State of Illinois, on or before May 14, 1971, a sum of $1000 as a penalty for violation of the water pollution regulations specifying dates for the submission of plans and the letting of contracts for construction of sewage treatment facilities."

The City has perfected this appeal from the above Order. During oral argument the parties advised the Court that the sewer ban specified in paragraph six had been lifted by the EPA. Accordingly, this portion of the Order is moot.

Paragraph seven of the Board's Order imposed a fine on the City for its failure to comply with Board regulations requiring the submission, by a specified date, of plans and specifications for the construction of facilities necessary to meet the requirements of SWB-14. Initially, we note that the fine was imposed in the context of a variance proceeding. This ...


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