Sierra Club v. IL Pollution Control Bd.

Production of steel in electric arc furnaces generates toxic waste. The company, which has had an EPA permit since 1989 to store and treat hazardous waste at its facility near Peoria, developed a new process to stabilize this hazardous residue, or electric arc furnace dust, by converting it into material that is not hazardous. It filed a "delisting" petition for an adjusted standard with the Pollution Control Board, which was granted in 2009, with conditions. Delisting removes a material from regulation as hazardous.The appellate court found that opposition groups had standing, but affirmed the Board on the merits. The Illinois Supreme Court dismissed without reaching the merits. Opponents did not fall within any other statutory category which would permit them to appeal and, therefore, had to show that they were contesting a "rule or regulation," under section 29(a) of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, to establish standing. The adjusted standard granted in this case is not, in itself, a rule or regulation. It is an individualized exception to a regulation. It is an adjudicatory determination which is quasi-judicial in nature, unlike a rule or regulation, which is legislative in nature.