Environmental Justice Grievance Procedure

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Purpose

In compliance with 40 C.F.R., Parts 5 and 7, Section 7.90(a), the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has established a grievance procedure to ensure prompt and fair resolution of complaints alleging violations of Title VI, Section 601 of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and/or the Illinois EPA’s Environmental Justice Policy, in the administration of the Illinois EPA’s programs and activities.

The grievance procedure is intended to address allegations of discrimination on the basis of:

  • Race;
  • Color;
  • National origin;
  • Religion;
  • Disability;
  • Income;
  • Age; or
  • Gender.

The grievance procedure provides a process for filing a timely complaint to the proper authority and describes the process that will be used to investigate and resolve the complaint. However, the procedures do not apply to administrative actions that are being pursued in another forum.

Submission of a Complaint

  1. Filing of Complaint

    A person (or the authorized representative of a person) who believes that he or she or a class of persons has been discriminated against may file a complaint with the Illinois EPA. The complaint should:

    1. be in writing;
    2. be filed within 60 days of an alleged violation (except as otherwise indicated in the following paragraph);
    3. describe with specificity the action(s) by Illinois EPA that allegedly result in discrimination in violation of 40 C.F.R. Parts 5 and 7;
    4. describe with specificity the discrimination that allegedly has occurred or will occur as the result of such action(s); and
    5. identify the parties impacted or potentially impacted by the alleged discrimination.

    The Illinois EPA may request additional information from the complainant, if this information is needed to meet the complaint requirements described above. The Illinois EPA may waive requirement two (2) in its discretion, in order to address allegations of potential discrimination caused by pending actions at the earliest appropriate and feasible juncture; or, for good cause, to address complaints filed more than 60 days after an alleged violation.

    All written complaints shall be addressed to the following address:

    Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
    Environmental Justice Officer
    1021 North Grand Avenue East
    Post Office Box 19276
    Springfield, Illinois 62794
    (217) 524-1284

    Within 10 days of receiving a written complaint, Illinois EPA will provide the complainant with written notice of receipt. At this time, Illinois EPA may request any additional information needed to meet the complaint requirements above. Within 10 days of receiving any additional information, Illinois EPA will provide the complainant with written notice that the complaint is complete.

  2. Determination of Jurisdiction and Investigative Merit

    The Illinois EPA, based on information in the complaint and other information available, will determine if it has jurisdiction to pursue the matter and whether the complaint has sufficient merit to warrant an investigation. A complaint shall be regarded as meriting investigation unless:

    1. It clearly appears on its face to be frivolous or trivial;
    2. Within the time allotted for making the determination of jurisdiction and investigative merit, Illinois EPA voluntarily concedes noncompliance and agrees to take appropriate remedial action or reaches an informal resolution with the complainant;
    3. Within the time allotted for making the determination of jurisdiction and investigative merit, the complainant withdraws the complaint; or
    4. It is not timely and good cause does not exist for waiving the timing requirement under section A.2.

Disposition of Complaints

Within 120 days of accepting a written complaint, Illinois EPA will respond in writing to the complainant with resolution.