Environmental Protection Act (Act) (415 ILCS 5/1 et seq.),
any person can file a complaint with the Illinois Pollution Control Board (Board)
against an alleged polluter. The Board is Illinois' environmental court for
pollution cases. The Board therefore hears and decides environmental enforcement
actions, but does not prosecute them or investigate alleged pollution.
On this web page are sample complaint forms and related information on how to file a
complaint. There are two types of complaints that a citizen can file with the Board
against an alleged polluter: (1) an informal complaint; and (2) a formal complaint.
An informal complaint is a request by a citizen for the
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
(IEPA) to conduct an informal investigation of alleged pollution. The Board forwards
the informal complaint to IEPA.
A formal complaint filed by a citizen (complainant) starts an enforcement action
against an alleged polluter (respondent). If the Board accepts the formal complaint
for hearing, the complainant has the burden to prove that the respondent committed
the alleged violations. Requesting an informal investigation is not a prerequisite
to filing a formal complaint.
The explanatory materials provided with the sample complaint forms are for general
informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or substitute for
provisions of any statute, rule, or regulation.
You may also wish to consult the Act and the Board's
procedural rules. The Board's environmental regulations on air pollution, land
pollution, water pollution, and other types of pollution are found in
Title 35 of the Illinois Administrative Code. Additionally, the Clerk's Office,
at (312) 814-3620, can provide you with a copy of specific regulations that might apply
to your situation.