APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT
511 N.E.2d 269, 159 Ill. App. 3d 389, 110 Ill. Dec. 434 1987.IL.1060
Petition for review of order of Pollution Control Board.
PRESIDING JUSTICE SPITZ delivered the opinion of the court. LUND and KNECHT, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SPITZ
Central Illinois Light Company filed a proposal for a site-specific rulemaking on March 6, 1985, with the Illinois Pollution Control Board (Board) pursuant to section 28 of the Environmental Protection Act (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 111 1/2, par. 1028) and the Board's procedural rules (35 Ill. Adm. Code 102.120 (1985)). The proposal requested the Board to promulgate a regulation, specific to CILCO's Edwards Station facility, which would replace the State limitations on effluent total suspended solids with the limitations adopted as Federal law. In other words, if the requested relief was granted, the average monthly limitation would increase from 15 mg/1 to 30 mg/1, and the maximum daily limitation would increase from 30 mg/1 to 100 mg/1. Pursuant to the Board's rulemaking authority, a hearing on this petition was held on September 11, 1985. On September 11, 1986, the Board adopted its opinion and order denying CILCO's request. CILCO filed a motion for rehearing on October 16, 1986. In response, on November 20, 1986, the Board adopted an order denying rehearing while also clarifying, in part, its earlier opinion. On December 23, 1986, CILCO filed a timely notice of appeal.
At issue in this appeal is the decision by the Board not to adopt the regulations proposed by CILCO to establish site-specific effluent limitations for TSS discharged in the effluent to the Illinois River from the ash-settling basin at the E. D. Edwards Station, which is located five miles south of Peoria along the Illinois River. It burns pulverized coal to generate electricity, leaving ash behind as a by-product. Water from the adjacent Illinois River is mixed with the ash and sluiced into an 83-acre pond located on the grounds of the power plant. CILCO uses the ash pond to settle ash and other suspended solids in the sluicing water prior to any discharge to the Illinois River. The primary by-product disposed of in the pond is ash. The purpose of the pond, which has been in operation since 1960, is to provide for and facilitate the sedimentation of the ash prior to discharge into the Illinois River.
CILCO is allowed to discharge to the Illinois River pursuant to a permit issued under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Program, Permit No. IL0001970. The permit, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency as part of the State of Illinois' administration of the NPDES permit program established under the Clean Water Act of 1977 (33 U.S.C. secs. 1251 through 1376 (1982)), imposed certain conditions upon this discharge, two of which are the State final effluent limitations for TSS. Those two permit conditions limit the total quantity of solid particulate matter suspended in the water, or TSS, reentering the Illinois River through the ash pond's outfall. The TSS limitations contained in the permit are the maximum allowed under the Board's regulations for water pollution. As the table below illustrates, the Board's effluent limitations for TSS, and consequently the permit limits, are more stringent than the TSS effluent limitations developed and adopted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency specifically for the steam electric industry based on the best treatment available. The site-specific rules proposed by CILCO are the same as the Federal limitations for TSS found at part 423 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 C.F.R. secs. 423.10 through 423.17 (1986)).