Stephenson County, IL
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Board of Stephenson County 6-11-1996 by Ord. No. 96-06-216 (Ch. 15 1/2 of the 1977 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Solid waste — See Ch. 346.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 355.
Zoning — See Ch. 400.

§ 324-1 Definitions.

A. 
As used in this chapter, the following words and terms shall have the meanings set forth herein:
ACT
The Illinois Environmental Protection Act, as amended from time to time (415 ILCS 5/1).
APPLICANT
Any person, firm or partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind proposing to obtain site location approval and IEPA permits for a new regional pollution control facility in unincorporated Stephenson County, and includes the fee owner of such site, the proposed operator, and any other party with an interest in the site, such as a lessee, contract purchaser or land trust beneficiary.
ARTICLES or ARTICLES OF RULES AND PROCEDURES
The Articles of Rules and Procedures — Regional Pollution Control Facility Committee — Stephenson County, Illinois, established by the Stephenson County Regional Pollution Control Facility Committee pursuant to § 324-8 of this chapter.
BOARD
The Illinois Pollution Control Board.
COMMITTEE
The Regional Pollution Control Facility Committee.
COUNTY
Stephenson County, Illinois.
COUNTY BOARD
The Stephenson County Board.
HAZARDOUS WASTE DISPOSAL SITE
A site at which hazardous waste is disposed. "Hazardous waste" is waste as defined in the Act.
IEPA
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
RPCF
A regional pollution control facility as defined in the Act. "RPCF" includes a new regional pollution control facility as defined by the Act.
B. 
All other terms used in this chapter and defined in the Act shall have the same definitions and meanings as found in the Act [including, but not limited to those terms defined in Section 3, thereof (415 ILCS 5/3)].

§ 324-2 County approval required.

No site location approval for the development or construction of a new RPCF in Stephenson County may be granted by the County Board unless an application is filed for approval of such site and is submitted for consideration to said County Board.

§ 324-3 Committee; membership, meetings, hearings; hearing officer.

[Amended 1-14-1997 by Ord. No. 97-01-220]
A. 
An RPCF Committee shall be established by the Stephenson County Board and shall consist of five members, including the Chairman of the County Board, the Stephenson County Solid Waste Coordinator, the Stephenson County Zoning Administrator, and the Stephenson County Health Department Administrator. The remaining member shall be appointed by the County Board Chairman, subject to majority approval of the County Board, and shall serve for a two-year term.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. IV).
B. 
The Chairman of the RPCF Committee shall be the Chairman of the County Board. One member of the Committee shall be designated Vice Chairman, by majority approval of the Committee. All members shall have full voting privileges. The Chairman of the County Board and the appointed member of the Committee shall receive a per-diem the same as established for the Stephenson County Board. Full-time employees of Stephenson County who serve on the RPCF Committee shall receive no per-diem for RPCF Committee meetings.
C. 
The term of a Committee member, which would otherwise expire subsequent to the filing of an application for site location approval, shall be automatically extended until final action on the application is taken by the County Board except where that Committee member becomes legally ineligible to serve on the County Board.
D. 
All meetings and hearings of the Committee shall be at the call of the Committee Chairman or, in his or her absence, the Vice Chairman, at such times as may be required. However, in the absence of any Committee members at a public hearing, the hearing officer may schedule continued hearings without further notice.
E. 
The Committee shall elect by a majority vote a hearing officer to serve during any public hearing concerning an application for site location approval. The hearing officer shall serve at the pleasure of the Committee. Compensation for the services of the hearing officer shall be agreed upon between the hearing officer and the County before a hearing. The duties of the hearing officer shall be provided for herein and in the articles.

§ 324-4 Application for siting approval.

A. 
Submission requirements.
(1) 
In order to request siting approval for a new RPCF in Stephenson County, an applicant must submit an application with the County Clerk, with a minimum of 10 copies of the application and additional copies as required by the Solid Waste Coordinator, and the substance of the applicant's proposal showing sufficient details describing the proposed facility to demonstrate compliance with the Act and Board regulations, including all site plans, engineering including calculations, exhibits and maps, and all documents, if any, to be submitted to the IEPA as of the date of filing the application, except trade secrets as determined under Section 7.1 of the Act (415 ILCS 5/7.1). At a minimum, the application shall comply with the articles of rules and procedures. The form of said application may be obtained from the office of the County Solid Waste Coordinator or from the Stephenson County Clerk.
(2) 
In addition to the foregoing, the applicant shall deposit with the County Clerk at the time of submittal of the application for site approval of a new RPCF a filing fee deposit as set from time to time by the County Board. If the applicant elects to file an amended application for site location approval for any RPCF in accordance with this chapter, such filing shall be accompanied by payment of a supplemental fee as set from time to time by the County Board.[1]
(a) 
The applicable filing fee is intended to defray the reasonable and necessary costs of processing the application, including, but not limited to, costs of site inspection, clerical expenses, copying costs, space rental, hearing officer compensation, court reporter expenses, transcription costs, public notice expenses, staff review time, Committee per-diem, if any, State's Attorneys and County consultants (such as qualified professional engineers, planners, appraisers, environmental counsel, etc., including tests, exhibits, and testimony, if any, provided by said consultants), and other relevant costs incident to the consideration of an application, the costs incidental to preparing the record for appeal, and the cost of representing the County on appeal in case of an appeal of a County Board decision (the "County costs").
(b) 
If there are funds remaining in the filing fee deposit after payment of the County costs, such amount shall be refunded to the applicant upon the final resolution of the application process (including appeals to the Illinois Pollution Control Board, appellate court, Illinois Supreme Court, federal courts, and administrative review in the courts, if any). Should the County incur any additional costs in excess of the applicable filing fee deposit, the applicant shall bear any and all such additional costs and shall promptly pay over such additional amount to the County upon request or demand. The County Board may, by two-thirds vote, waive or reduce such fee if the applicant is another governmental unit.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. IV).
(3) 
The application must be complete, with answers provided for each question on the application form. The application must contain consecutively numbered pages and it must be accompanied by all site plans, exhibits, maps and documents required by this chapter and by the articles of rules and procedures. The application will be received and placed on file at the County Board meeting immediately following the receipt of the application and the applicable filing fee deposit by the County Clerk. The date that the application is received by the County Board shall be considered the official filing date for all time purposes. The application is not effective unless the application is in strict compliance with this chapter, the articles of rules and procedures and with the Act. If, upon review of the application within 14 calendar days of its filing, it is determined by the County to be incomplete and not in strict conformance with the aforesaid, the application is deemed not filed and the filing fee (less County costs and expenses) shall be returned to the applicant. At any time prior to completion by the applicant of the presentation of the applicant's factual evidence and an opportunity for cross-questioning by the County Board, County representatives and any participants, the applicant may file not more than one amended application upon payment of additional fees pursuant to Section 39.2(k) of the Act and Subsection A(2) above; provided, however, that the time limitation for final action set forth in Section 39.2(e) of the Act and § 324-7B of this chapter shall be extended for an additional period of 90 calendar days.
B. 
Records.
(1) 
Upon receipt of a proper and complete application, and payment of the applicable filing fee deposit, the County Clerk shall date stamp all the copies and immediately deliver one copy to each of the RPCF Committee members, one copy to the State's Attorney's office, one copy to each municipality located within 1 1/2 miles of the proposed facility site, and retain one copy in the County Clerk's office.
(2) 
In order to develop a record sufficient to form the basis of an appeal of the County Board's decision, the Stephenson County Waste Management Department and the Stephenson County State's Attorney's office may retain consultants on behalf of the County. The consultants and the County agencies shall then commence a study of the application. The applicant shall cooperate fully with the consultants and the technical staff of the County in their review of the application, including providing access to the site for study or testing, including but not limited to geophysical testing.
C. 
A copy of the application and all related documents or other materials on file with the County Board shall be made available for public inspection in the office of the County Solid Waste Coordinator and the County Clerk. Members of the public shall be allowed to obtain a copy of said application or any part thereof upon payment of the actual cost of reproduction as outlined in the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140/1).
D. 
It is the applicant's duty to comply with all notice requirements set forth in the Act. The applicant shall:
(1) 
No later than 14 calendar days prior to submittal of an application for site location approval with the County Clerk, cause written notice of such application to be served either in person or by registered mail, return receipt requested, on the owners of all property within the subject area not solely owned by the applicant, and on the owners of all property within 250 feet in each direction of the lot line of the subject property, said owners being such persons or entities which appear from the authentic tax records of the County; provided that the number of all feet occupied by public roads, streets, alleys and other public ways shall be excluded in computing the two-hundred-fifty-foot requirement; provided, further, that in no event shall this requirement exceed 400 feet, including public streets, alleys and other public ways.
(2) 
The applicant shall serve such notice upon each member of the General Assembly from the legislative district in which the proposed facility is to be located, and this notice shall also be published in a newspaper of general circulation in Stephenson County.
(3) 
The applicant shall state in such notice the name and address of the applicant, the location of the proposed site, the nature and size of the development, the nature of the activity proposed, the probable life of the proposed activity, the date when the request for site approval will be submitted to the County Clerk, a description of the right of persons to comment on such request as hereafter provided, and any other information as may be required by the articles of rules and procedures and the Act.
(4) 
The applicant shall include in the application proof of compliance with all prefiling notice requirements.

§ 324-5 Filing of written comments concerning application.

A. 
Any person may file written comments with the County Clerk or the County Solid Waste Coordinator concerning the appropriateness of the proposed site for its intended purpose. The County Board shall consider any comment received or postmarked from the date of submittal of the application through and until 30 calendar days after the date of the last public hearing in making its final determination. Said written comments shall be mailed or delivered to the Stephenson County Clerk, 15 N. Galena Avenue, Freeport, Illinois 61032, or to the Stephenson County Solid Waste Coordinator, 1650 S. Walnut Avenue, Freeport, Illinois 61032. Said written comments shall clearly designate reference to the RPCF application to which they refer to ensure their consideration by the County Board. Upon receipt, the County Clerk or the County Solid Waste Coordinator shall date stamp the comments and refer them to the County Board.
B. 
The above-mentioned written comments shall become part of the record of the proceedings.

§ 324-6 Hearings on applications.

A. 
At least one public hearing shall be held by the Committee no sooner than 90 calendar days but no later than 120 calendar days from and after the filing of the application for RPCF site location approval.
B. 
The applicant shall cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in Stephenson County a notice of such public hearing not later than 14 calendar days prior to said hearing. The applicant shall also serve written notice of such hearing by certified mail, return receipt requested, on all members of the Illinois General Assembly from the district in which the proposed site is located, to the governing authority of every municipality contiguous to the proposed site and to the IEPA. The applicant shall file with the County Clerk copies of each notice, with proof of service of such notice, prior to the commencement of said public hearing.
C. 
The Chairman of the Committee shall notify the applicant in writing of the date and location of the public hearing before the Committee at least 21 calendar days prior to such hearing. Said notification shall be served either in person or by registered mail, return receipt requested.
D. 
The public hearing shall develop a record sufficient to form the basis of any appeal.
(1) 
During the course of the public hearing before the Committee, the Committee shall receive testimony from the applicant and witnesses whom the applicant may call in support of the application, any County witnesses, any objectors, and any other witnesses having relevant information, and shall recommend approval only if the proposed facility meets the following criteria (or such amended criteria as may be set forth from time to time in the Act):
(a) 
That the facility is necessary to accommodate the waste needs of the area that it is intended to serve; and
(b) 
That the facility is so designed, located, and proposed to be operated that the public health, safety and welfare will be protected; and
(c) 
That the facility is located so as to minimize incompatibility with the character of the surrounding area and to minimize the effect on the value of the surrounding property; and
(d) 
That the facility is located outside the boundary of the one-hundred-year floodplain, or that the site is floodproofed; and
(e) 
That the plan of operations for the facility is designed to minimize the danger to the surrounding area from fire, spills, or other operational accidents; and
(f) 
That traffic patterns to or from the facility are so designed to minimize the impact on existing traffic flows; and
(g) 
That if the facility will be treating, storing or disposing of hazardous waste, an emergency response plan exists for the facility which includes notification, containment and evacuation procedures to be used in case of an accidental release; and
(h) 
That if the County Board has adopted a solid waste management plan, consistent with the planning requirements of the Local Solid Waste Disposal Act (415 ILCS 10/1) or the Solid Waste Planning and Recycling Act (415 ILCS 15/1), the facility is consistent with that plan; and
(i) 
That if the facility will be located within a regulated recharge area, any applicable requirements specified by the Board for such areas have been met.
(2) 
The Committee and the County Board may also consider as evidence the previous operating experience and past record of convictions or admissions of violations of the applicant (and any subsidiary or parent corporation of the applicant) in the field of solid waste management when considering criteria in Subsection D(1)(b) and (e).
E. 
A transcript shall be kept of all proceedings before the Committee. The hearing officer shall preside at the public hearing and shall make any decisions concerning the admission of evidence and the manner in which the hearing is conducted, subject to this chapter and the articles of rules and procedures. However, the hearing officer shall make all rulings and decisions in accordance with fundamental fairness. No ruling of the hearing officer concerning admissibility of evidence or procedural issues at the public hearing shall be appealable to the County Board. Issues of jurisdiction shall be finally determined by the County Board.
F. 
The applicant for site location approval shall have the burden of proof and the burden of going forward with evidence. The testimonial evidence introduced by the applicant may not exceed the scope of the application. Such oral testimony may only explain and clarify the application, not expand or amend the application.
G. 
All persons desiring to be participants in the hearing, including members of the public, must submit written notification of said intent to the County Solid Waste Coordinator before the first day of the public hearing or register with the hearing officer on the first day of the hearing. Any person so participating at such public hearing shall have the right to present testimony and witnesses. Any such person shall have the right to be represented by an attorney at said public hearing. Opportunity for any persons participating at said public hearing to cross-examine any witness may be reasonably limited in time and duration by the hearing officer, to assure completion of the hearings in accordance with the deadlines of the Act. The hearing officer may propound questions to any witness or to the applicant to clarify the record established by the participants at the hearing or to bring out relevant information. The County shall be deemed a participant and a party to all proceedings.
H. 
The applicant and the County's counsel shall be allowed to cross-examine witnesses by right, subject to such reasonable limitation as may be set by the hearing officer. Cross-examination by the County shall not be limited to matters contained in the application. Parties participating and who are represented by attorneys may be allowed to cross-examine at the discretion of the hearing officer. Other persons participating shall be allowed to submit questions to the hearing officer, who shall exercise discretion in the manner in which such questions are to be posed to witnesses. Sufficient examination of witnesses is to be allowed so as to provide for fundamental fairness.
I. 
All witnesses shall testify under oath. Testimony may include the use of prepared statements and exhibits. If testimony is by prepared statement, copies of such prepared statements shall be made available at the hearings (or, if prior to the first hearing date, at the office of the County Solid Waste Coordinator) at least one day in advance of such testimony being given. All witnesses shall be subject to reasonable examination as follows: direct, cross-examination, redirect, and recross.
J. 
Public comment. The hearing officer may exercise discretion to allow public comment at each hearing or may set a time for public comment.
K. 
The decision of the Committee on the application shall be in writing, specifying the reason(s) for the decision, in accordance with Subsection D above. The deliberations of the Committee are and shall be subject to the Illinois Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120 et seq.). The Committee shall submit its report to the County Board as soon as practicable.
L. 
The siting approval procedures and criteria provided for in this chapter for new RPCFs shall be the exclusive siting procedures and rules and approval procedures. Local zoning or other local land use requirements shall not be applicable to such siting decisions.

§ 324-7 Decisions.

A. 
Once the Committee has made its recommendation and reduced its recommendation to writing, the written recommendation shall be submitted to the full County Board for its decision as to the ultimate approval or disapproval of the proposed site location within 170 calendar days of the filing of the application. Four copies of the record of the public hearing shall also be made available to the full County Board in the County Board office as soon as the transcript becomes available.
B. 
The County Board shall make a decision based on the record from the public hearing and review of the recommendation of the Committee. The decision of the County Board shall be by resolution in writing, specifying the reasons for the decision, such reasons to be in conformity with Section 39.2(a) of the Act. In granting site location approval, the County Board may impose such conditions as may be reasonable and necessary to accomplish the purposes of the Act to the extent that said conditions are not inconsistent with the Act and the regulations promulgated by the Illinois Pollution Control Board. Such decisions shall be available for public inspection at the office of the County Solid Waste Coordinator and the County Clerk and may be copied upon payment of the cost of reproduction. If there is no final action by the County Board within 180 calendar days after the filing of the application for site location approval, the applicant may deem the application approved.
C. 
An applicant may not file an application for site location approval which is substantially the same as a request which was disapproved, pursuant to a finding against the applicant under any criteria in § 324-6D(1)(a) through (i) above, and of Section 39.2(a) of the Act, within two years of the date of denial.

§ 324-8 Articles of rules and procedures.

The Committee shall establish articles of rules and procedures for the application and hearing process governing regional pollution control facilities. These rules and procedures must also be followed by any applicant. Any additional information or requirements mandated by said rules and procedures must be submitted to or followed by said applicant.