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Grievance Procedure


The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA or IEPA) is committed to creating and maintaining a community that is free from all forms of discrimination, including harassment, differential treatment, failure to accommodate, and retaliation for participation in civil rights protected activity. Illinois EPA has policies that prohibit all forms of discrimination and retaliation and is committed to providing equal access to educational and employment opportunities for all individuals. The Illinois EPA 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 (prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin including language), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (prohibits discrimination based on disability), Title IX of the Educations Amendments of 1975 (prohibits discrimination based on sex in education program or activities) and Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (prohibits discrimination based on age) in the administration of the Illinois EPA’s programs and activities.

The grievance procedure is intended to address allegations of discrimination, in which the individual(s) feel like they have been excluded from Illinois EPA’s benefits, services or programs on the basis of:

  • Age
  • Ancestry
  • Color
  • Disability
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Medical condition
  • National origin
  • Pregnancy
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Race
  • Religion

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.

Non-Discrimination Coordinator

The Non-Discrimination Coordinator for the Illinois EPA is:

Chris Pressnall
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
1021 North Grand Avenue East
Post Office Box 19276
Springfield, Illinois 62794
Office#: (217) 524-1284

The Non-Discrimination Coordinator is the initial point of contact for all grievances. They are responsible for overseeing and guiding the complainant through the grievance process. The Non-Discrimination Coordinator manages files and records of complaints pertaining to the Illinois EPA. In addition, they are responsible for coordinating the correct person(s) from the Illinois EPA to ensure the grievance is processed efficiently and correctly. 

Who Can File a Discrimination Complaint?

Anyone who believes that they or a class of persons have been discriminated against may file a complaint with the Illinois EPA. The person or organization filing the complaint need not be a victim of the alleged discrimination but may complain on behalf of another person or group. A complainant filing on behalf of or pertaining to another person(s) is responsible for securing any necessary written consent from that individual. Complaints shall be in writing and signed by the complainant or the complainant’s representative and shall include contact information for the complainant or their representative.

Submission of a Complaint

A. Filing of Complaint

A person (or the authorized representative of a person) who believes that they or a class of persons has been discriminated agaisnt 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 as much detail as possible 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. In the event of needing language services, appropriate assistance will be provided to individuals. More information on Illinois EPA’s Limited English Proficiency plan can be found here (

Please note that the following are examples of submissions that will NOT be taken into the complaint consideration process:

  • Anonymous submittals
  • Submittals too vague to reasonably determine the allegations of discriminatory conduct
  • Submittals not sufficiently identifying the person(s) harmed or potentially harmed by the alleged discrimination
  • Inquiries seeking advice or information
  • Courtesy copies of court pleadings
  • Newspaper articles
  • Web-based media sources such as YouTube videos, e-mail strings, blogposts, comments strings, or web pages
  • Courtesy copies of internal grievances
  • Voice mail messages, telephone calls, or in-person conversations

Person(s) who believe they or a class of persons have been discriminated against and need more information, help with submitting a complaint, or an accommodation if you require an alternate means of submission may call or email the Non-Discrimination Coordinator, Chris Pressnall (contact information listed above).

Complaints may be submitted by emailing the information to the Non-Discrimination Coordinator or utilizing the fillable Illinois EPA Grievance Form ( Illinois EPA will also accept complaints mailed to the Non-Discrimination Coordinator.

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 create a case file containing all information in relation to the complaint and will provide the complainant with written notice that the complaint is complete.

B. 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: 

a.   It clearly appears on its face to be frivolous or trivial;
b.   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;
c.   Within the time allotted for making the determination of jurisdiction and investigative merit, the complainant withdraws the complaint; or
d.   It is not timely and good cause does not exist for waiving the timing requirement under section A.2.

If the Non-Discrimination Coordinator determines the complaint submittal warrants further investigation, the Non-Discrimination Coordinator shall review the alleged facts to determine the course of the investigation. The investigation may include interviews of Illinois EPA employees, other relevant witnesses, or others named in the complaint. Relevant Illinois EPA employees shall make themselves available as necessary. 

Disposition of Complaints

Within 120 days of accepting a written complaint, Illinois EPA will respond in writing to the complainant with resolution including whether discrimination is found and a description of the investigation process. During the investigation, Illinois EPA will consider information that is credible and convincing.

Illinois EPA intends to periodically review this grievance procedure on an annual basis to ensure prompt and fair resolution of discrimination complaints. In evaluating the effectiveness of the procedure and the need for additional measures, Illinois EPA will assess the feedback from agency staff and the public.  


Illinois EPA is committed to fostering an environment where individuals can invoke these grievance procedures without fear of retaliation or reprisal. Illinois EPA explicitly prohibits retaliation against any individual for any purpose, including for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege guaranteed under any state or federal statutes or regulations because that individual has filed a complaint or has testified, assisted, or participated in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing of any kind or has opposed any practice made unlawful under any state or federal statutes or regulations. Prohibited retaliatory acts include intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any such individual or group. Any concern regarding retaliation should be reported to the Non-Discrimination Coordinator and will be handled promptly and fairly pursuant to Illinois EPA’s Grievance Procedure.