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Ralston Purina Co. v. Pollution Control Bd.

APRIL 3, 1975.

RALSTON PURINA COMPANY, PETITIONER,

v.

THE POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



Petition for review of order of Pollution Control Board.

MR. JUSTICE CRAVEN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied May 1, 1975.

This is an administrative review proceeding initiated in this court pursuant to the provisions of section 41 of the Environmental Protection Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 111 1/2, par. 1041), the Administrative Review Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 110, par. 264 et seq.), and Supreme Court Rule 335 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 110A, par. 335) to review an order of the Pollution Control Board (PCB). Ralston Purina Company (Ralston), petitioner, was fined $7500 for violation of section 9(a) of the Environmental Protection Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 111 1/2, par. 1009(a)), and ordered to file a report with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Pollution Control Board regarding Ralston's compliance with regulations and statutes relating to emissions into the air and air pollution. The PCB retained jurisdiction to enter additional orders as might be found necessary to effectuate compliance.

Upon this administrative review, Ralston contends:

A. That the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act authorizing the imposition of a fine are unconstitutional;

B. That Ralston has not been shown to be guilty of a common-law dust and odor nuisance so as to justify the imposition of a fine;

C. That the fine is excessive;

D. That the PCB abused its discretion in rejecting a proposed stipulation of settlement, which settlement called for no fine to be imposed;

E. That the PCB is not authorized to require Ralston to file a report;

F. That the allegations of the complaint filed before the Board were not sufficiently specific; and

G. That Ralston cannot be found guilty and fined on the basis of the "public testimony," where the identity of witnesses and nature of the testimony were unknown to Ralston prior to the hearing.

• 1 In its reply brief, Ralston acknowledges that the first issue has been decided contrary to its contentions in the recent case of City of Waukegan v. Pollution Control Board, 57 Ill.2d 170, 311 N.E.2d 146, a decision rendered subsequent to the filing of its petition and brief.

We will consider the remaining contentions of the petitioner essentially in the order presented.

The record in this case as summarized in the order of the PCB establishes that Ralston operates a large feed-manufacturing plant near the city of Bloomington, Illinois, in McLean County. Approximately 160 different feeds are manufactured in the facility, which also has a soybean process plant where soybean oil is manufactured or extracted. The Ralston facility is located in an area that is partly industrial, partly residential. After the Ralston facility was established, a public housing development was located nearby. This housing development — Sunnyside ...


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