Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB2068
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Full Text of SB2068  103rd General Assembly




State of Illinois
2023 and 2024


Introduced 2/9/2023, by Sen. Celina Villanueva


70 ILCS 2605/7a  from Ch. 42, par. 326a

    Amends the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Act. Provides that the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago may implement an electronic reporting system that will allow notices, orders, and other documents to be sent directly by email to persons or entities registered with the sanitary district and, in the discretion of the District, to allow those persons or entities registered with the District to view, modify, or submit documents using the electronic reporting system. Allows for email service of documents usually required to be served by U.S. first-class mail, U.S. certified mail, or personal service for persons or entities registered with the electronic reporting system. Provides that the District shall adopt rules, as approved by ordinance, to ensure service of process by email is properly effectuated upon the registered persons and entities. Effective immediately.

LRB103 29852 AWJ 56261 b





SB2068LRB103 29852 AWJ 56261 b

1    AN ACT concerning local government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Act
5is amended by changing Section 7a as follows:
6    (70 ILCS 2605/7a)  (from Ch. 42, par. 326a)
7    Sec. 7a. Discharge into sewers of a sanitary district.
8    (a) The terms used in this Section are defined as follows:
9    "Board of Commissioners" means the Board of Commissioners
10of the sanitary district.
11    "Sewage" means water-carried human wastes or a combination
12of water-carried wastes from residences, buildings,
13businesses, industrial establishments, institutions, or other
14places together with any ground, surface, storm, or other
15water that may be present.
16    "Industrial Wastes" means all solids, liquids, or gaseous
17wastes resulting from any commercial, industrial,
18manufacturing, agricultural, trade, or business operation or
19process, or from the development, recovery, or processing of
20natural resources.
21    "Other Wastes" means decayed wood, sawdust, shavings,
22bark, lime, refuse, ashes, garbage, offal, oil, tar,
23chemicals, and all other substances except sewage and



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1industrial wastes.
2    "Person" means any individual, firm, association, joint
3venture, sole proprietorship, company, partnership, estate
4copartnership, corporation, joint stock company, trust, school
5district, unit of local government, or private corporation
6organized or existing under the laws of this or any other state
7or country.
8    "Executive Director" means the executive director of the
9sanitary district.
10    (b) It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge
11sewage, industrial waste, or other wastes into the sewerage
12system of a sanitary district or into any sewer connected
13therewith, except upon the terms and conditions that the
14sanitary district might reasonably impose by way of ordinance,
15permit, or otherwise.
16    Any sanitary district, in addition to all other powers
17vested in it and in the interest of public health and safety,
18or as authorized by subsections (b) and (c) of Section 46 of
19the Environmental Protection Act, is hereby empowered to pass
20all ordinances, rules, or regulations necessary to implement
21this Section, including but not limited to, the imposition of
22charges based on factors that influence the cost of treatment,
23including strength and volume, and including the right of
24access during reasonable hours to the premises of a person for
25enforcement of adopted ordinances, rules, or regulations.
26    (c) Whenever the sanitary district acting through the



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1executive director determines that sewage, industrial wastes,
2or other wastes are being discharged into the sewerage system
3and when, in the opinion of the executive director the
4discharge is in violation of an ordinance, rules, or
5regulations adopted by the Board of Commissioners under this
6Section governing industrial wastes or other wastes, the
7executive director shall order the offending party to cease
8and desist. The order shall be served on the offending party by
9U.S. first-class mail, U.S. certified mail, or personally, or
10by email as provided in subsection (m) on the owner, officer,
11registered agent, or individual designated by permit.
12    In the event the offending party fails or refuses to
13discontinue the discharge within 90 days after service
14notification of the cease and desist order, the executive
15director may order the offending party to show cause before
16the Board of Commissioners of the sanitary district why the
17discharge should not be discontinued. A notice shall be served
18on the offending party directing him, her, or it the offending
19party to show cause before the Board of Commissioners why an
20order should not be entered directing the discontinuance of
21the discharge. The notice shall specify the time and place
22where a hearing will be held and shall be served on the
23offending party by U.S. first-class mail, U.S. certified mail,
24personally, or by email as provided in subsection (m), by
25registered or certified mail at least 10 days before the
26hearing; and in the case of a unit of local government or a



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1corporation the service shall be upon an officer or agent
2thereof. After reviewing the evidence, the Board of
3Commissioners may issue an order to the party responsible for
4the discharge, directing that within a specified period of
5time the discharge be discontinued. The Board of Commissioners
6may also order the party responsible for the discharge to pay a
7civil penalty in an amount specified by the Board of
8Commissioners that is not less than $1,000 nor more than
9$2,000 per day for each day of discharge of effluent in
10violation of this Act as provided in subsection (d). The Board
11of Commissioners may also order the party responsible for the
12violation to pay court reporter costs and hearing officer fees
13in a total amount not exceeding $3,000.
14    (d) The Board of Commissioners shall establish procedures
15for assessing civil penalties and issuing orders under
16subsection (c) as follows:
17        (1) In making its orders and determinations, the Board
18    of Commissioners shall take into consideration all the
19    facts and circumstances bearing on the activities involved
20    and the assessment of civil penalties as shown by the
21    record produced at the hearing.
22        (2) The Board of Commissioners shall establish a panel
23    of independent hearing officers to conduct all hearings on
24    the assessment of civil penalties and issuance of orders
25    under subsection (c). The hearing officers shall be
26    attorneys licensed to practice law in this State.



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1        (3) The Board of Commissioners shall promulgate
2    procedural rules governing the proceedings, the assessment
3    of civil penalties, and the issuance of orders.
4        (4) All hearings shall be on the record, and testimony
5    taken must be under oath and recorded stenographically.
6    Transcripts so recorded must be made available to any
7    member of the public or any party to the hearing upon
8    payment of the usual charges for transcripts. At the
9    hearing, the hearing officer may issue, in the name of the
10    Board of Commissioners, notices of hearing requesting the
11    attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production
12    of evidence relevant to any matter involved in the hearing
13    and may examine witnesses.
14        (5) The hearing officer shall conduct a full and
15    impartial hearing on the record, with an opportunity for
16    the presentation of evidence and cross-examination of the
17    witnesses. The hearing officer shall issue findings of
18    fact, conclusions of law, a recommended civil penalty, and
19    an order based solely on the record. The hearing officer
20    may also recommend, as part of the order, that the
21    discharge of industrial waste be discontinued within a
22    specified time.
23        (6) The findings of fact, conclusions of law,
24    recommended civil penalty, and order shall be transmitted
25    to the Board of Commissioners along with a complete record
26    of the hearing.



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1        (7) The Board of Commissioners shall either approve or
2    disapprove the findings of fact, conclusions of law,
3    recommended civil penalty, and order. If the findings of
4    fact, conclusions of law, recommended civil penalty, or
5    order are rejected, the Board of Commissioners shall
6    remand the matter to the hearing officer for further
7    proceedings. If the order is accepted by the Board of
8    Commissioners, it shall constitute the final order of the
9    Board of Commissioners.
10        (8) (Blank).
11        (9) The civil penalty specified by the Board of
12    Commissioners shall be paid within 35 days after the party
13    on whom it is imposed receives a written copy of the order
14    of the Board of Commissioners, unless the person or
15    persons to whom the order is issued seeks judicial review.
16        (10) If the respondent seeks judicial review of the
17    order assessing civil penalties, the respondent shall,
18    within 35 days after the date of the final order, pay the
19    amount of the civil penalties into an escrow account
20    maintained by the district for that purpose or file a bond
21    guaranteeing payment of the civil penalties if the civil
22    penalties are upheld on review.
23        (11) Civil penalties not paid by the times specified
24    above shall be delinquent and subject to a lien recorded
25    against the property of the person ordered to pay the
26    penalty. The foregoing provisions for asserting liens



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1    against real estate by the sanitary district shall be in
2    addition to and not in derogation of any other remedy or
3    right of recovery, in law or equity, that the sanitary
4    district may have with respect to the collection or
5    recovery of penalties and charges imposed by the sanitary
6    district. Judgment in a civil action brought by the
7    sanitary district to recover or collect the charges shall
8    not operate as a release and waiver of the lien upon the
9    real estate for the amount of the judgment. Only
10    satisfaction of the judgment or the filing of a release or
11    satisfaction of lien shall release the lien.
12    (e) The executive director may order a person to cease the
13discharge of industrial waste upon a finding by the executive
14director that the final order of the Board of Commissioners
15entered after a hearing to show cause has been violated. The
16executive director shall serve the person with a copy of his or
17her order shall be served on the offending party either by U.S.
18first-class mail, U.S. certified mail, or personally, or by
19email as provided in subsection (m) serving the owner,
20officer, registered agent, or individual designated by permit.
21The order of the executive director shall also schedule an
22expedited hearing before a hearing officer designated by the
23Board of Commissioners for the purpose of determining whether
24the company has violated the final order of the Board of
25Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners shall adopt rules of
26procedure governing expedited hearings. In no event shall the



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1hearing be conducted less than 7 days after service receipt by
2the person of the executive director's order on the offending
4    At the conclusion of the expedited hearing, the hearing
5officer shall prepare a report with his or her findings and
6recommendations and transmit it to the Board of Commissioners.
7If the Board of Commissioners, after reviewing the findings
8and recommendations, and the record produced at the hearings,
9determines that the person has violated the Board of
10Commissioner's final order, the Board of Commissioners may
11authorize the plugging of the sewer. The executive director
12shall give not less than 10 days written notice of the Board of
13Commissioner's order to the owner, officer, registered agent,
14or individual designated by permit, as well as the owner of
15record of the real estate and other parties known to be
16affected, that the sewer will be plugged.
17    The foregoing provision for plugging a sewer shall be in
18addition to and not in derogation of any other remedy, in law
19or in equity, that the district may have to prevent violation
20of its ordinances and orders of its Board of Commissioners.
21    (f) A violation of the final order of the Board of
22Commissioners shall be considered a nuisance. If any person
23discharges sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes into any
24waters contrary to the final order of the Board of
25Commissioners, the sanitary district acting through the
26executive director has the power to commence an action or



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1proceeding in the circuit court in and for the county in which
2the sanitary district is located for the purpose of having the
3discharge stopped either by mandamus or injunction, or to
4remedy the violation in any manner provided for in this
6    The court shall specify a time, not exceeding 20 days
7after the service of the copy of the complaint, in which the
8party complained of must plead to the complaint, and in the
9meantime, the party may be restrained. In case of default or
10after pleading, the court shall immediately inquire into the
11facts and circumstances of the case and enter an appropriate
12judgment in respect to the matters complained of. Appeals may
13be taken as in other civil cases.
14    (g) The sanitary district, acting through the executive
15director, has the power to commence an action or proceeding
16for mandamus or injunction in the circuit court ordering a
17person to cease its discharge, when, in the opinion of the
18executive director, the person's discharge presents an
19imminent danger to the public health, welfare, or safety,
20presents or may present an endangerment to the environment, or
21threatens to interfere with the operation of the sewerage
22system or a water reclamation plant under the jurisdiction of
23the sanitary district. The initiation of a show cause hearing
24is not a prerequisite to the commencement by the sanitary
25district of an action or proceeding for mandamus or injunction
26in the circuit court. The court shall specify a time, not



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1exceeding 20 days after the service of a copy of the petition,
2in which the party complained of must answer the petition, and
3in the meantime, the party may be restrained. In case of
4default in answer or after answer, the court shall immediately
5inquire into the facts and circumstances of the case and enter
6an appropriate judgment order in respect to the matters
7complained of. An appeal may be taken from the final judgment
8in the same manner and with the same effect as appeals are
9taken from judgment of the circuit court in other actions for
10mandamus or injunction.
11    (h) Whenever the sanitary district commences an action
12under subsection (f) of this Section, the court shall assess a
13civil penalty of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 for
14each day the person violates a Board order. Whenever the
15sanitary district commences an action under subsection (g) of
16this Section, the court shall assess a civil penalty of not
17less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 for each day the person
18violates the ordinance. Each day's continuance of the
19violation is a separate offense. The penalties provided in
20this Section plus interest at the rate set forth in the
21Interest Act on unpaid penalties, costs, and fees, imposed by
22the Board of Commissioners under subsection (d), the
23reasonable costs to the sanitary district of removal or other
24remedial action caused by discharges in violation of this Act,
25reasonable attorney's fees, court costs, and other expenses of
26litigation together with costs for inspection, sampling,



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1analysis, and administration related to the enforcement action
2against the offending party are recoverable by the sanitary
3district in a civil action.
4    (i) The Board of Commissioners may establish fees for late
5filing of reports with the sanitary district required by an
6ordinance governing discharges. The sanitary district shall
7provide by certified mail a written notice of the fee
8assessment, by U.S. first-class mail, U.S. certified mail,
9personally, or by email as provided in subsection (m), that
10states the person has 30 days after being served with the
11receipt of the notice to request a conference with the
12executive director's designee to discuss or dispute the
13appropriateness of the assessed fee. Unless a person objects
14to paying the fee for filing a report late by timely requesting
15in writing a conference with a designee of the executive
16director, that person waives his or her right to a conference
17and the sanitary district may impose a lien recorded against
18the property of the person for the amount of the unpaid fee.
19    If a person requests a conference and the matter is not
20resolved at the conference, the person subject to the fee may
21request an administrative hearing before an impartial hearing
22officer appointed under subsection (d) to determine the
23person's liability for and the amount of the fee.
24    If the hearing officer finds that the late filing fees are
25owed to the sanitary district, the sanitary district shall
26notify the responsible person or persons of the hearing



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1officer's decision. If payment is not made within 30 days
2after the notice, the sanitary district may impose a lien on
3the property of the person or persons.
4    Any liens filed under this subsection shall apply only to
5the property to which the late filing fees are related. A claim
6for lien shall be filed in the office of the recorder of the
7county in which the property is located. The filing of a claim
8for lien by the district does not prevent the sanitary
9district from pursuing other means for collecting late filing
10fees. If a claim for lien is filed, the sanitary district shall
11notify the person whose property is subject to the lien, and
12the person may challenge the lien by filing an action in the
13circuit court. The action shall be filed within 90 days after
14the person receives the notice of the filing of the claim for
15lien. The court shall hear evidence concerning the underlying
16reasons for the lien only if an administrative hearing has not
17been held under this subsection.
18    (j) If the provisions of any paragraph of this Section are
19declared unconstitutional or invalid by the final decision of
20any court of competent jurisdiction, the provisions of the
21remaining paragraphs continue in effect.
22    (k) Nothing in this Section eliminates any of the powers
23now granted to municipalities having a population of 500,000
24or more as to design, preparation of plans, and construction,
25maintenance, and operation of sewers and sewerage systems, or
26for the control and elimination or prevention of the pollution



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1of their waters or waterways, in the Illinois Municipal Code
2or any other Act of the State of Illinois.
3    (l) The provisions of the Administrative Review Law and
4all amendments and rules adopted pursuant to that Law apply to
5and govern all proceedings for the judicial review of final
6administrative decisions of the Board of Commissioners in the
7enforcement of any ordinance, rule, or regulation adopted
8under this Act.
9    (m) The sanitary district may implement an electronic
10reporting system that will allow notices, orders, and other
11documents to be sent directly by email to persons or entities
12registered with the sanitary district, and, in the discretion
13of the sanitary district, to allow those persons or entities
14registered with the sanitary district to view, modify, or
15submit documents using the electronic reporting system.
16Wherever this Section provides for service of documents by the
17sanitary district by U.S. first-class mail, U.S. certified
18mail, or personal service, the sanitary district may serve by
19email the documents upon the registered persons or entities in
20lieu of service by U.S. first-class mail, U.S. certified mail,
21or personal service. The sanitary district shall adopt rules,
22as approved by ordinance, to ensure service of process by
23email is properly effectuated upon the registered persons and
25(Source: P.A. 96-328, eff. 8-11-09; 97-298, eff. 8-11-11.)
26    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon



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1becoming law.