Do Circuit Courts Have Jurisdiction Over Environmental Pollution Cases ?
In People v. NL Industries, 152 Ill. 2d 82, 604 N.E.2d 349, 178 Ill. Dec. 93 (1992), the supreme court held that since the Illinois Environmental Protection Act contained no language explicitly excluding the circuit courts from hearing cases seeking cost recovery, punitive damages, civil penalties, and attorney fees pursuant to the Environmental Act, the circuit courts had concurrent jurisdiction with the Pollution Control Board to address such matters. People v. NL Industries, 152 Ill. 2d at 97.
The NL Industries court held that the circuit court retained its general original jurisdiction since the defendant could not show that the legislature intended, by enacting the Environmental Act, to deprive the circuit courts of jurisdiction to entertain such matters. People v. NL Industries, 152 Ill. 2d at 96.