Regulatory Alert

 
 
CURRENT PROPOSED STATE OF ILLINOIS RULES AFFECTING SMALL BUSINESS

If any of the following proposed regulations impact your business, let us know!   Click here to submit comments on how the proposed rulemakings will impact your business or industry.   

Following are  proposed rules of possible interest to small businesses published in the Illinois Register.  During the comment period, individuals have an opportunity to express their support or opposition to the rule.  To submit comments or to learn more about the proposed rules, contact Katy Khayyat at the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Business Information Center via e-mail at Katy.Khayyat@Illinois.gov  or call 800.252.2923 or 217.558.0190. 

To get more information on Illinois Rules and Regulations, how to file a complaint about a burdensome or excessive state rule, go to www.ilsmallbiz.biz/regflex
 

The Illinois Housing Development Authority proposed an amendment which will impact affordable housing developers:

The Illinois Housing Development Authority proposed an amendment to Homeownership Mortgage Loan Program (47 IAC 300; 43 Ill. Reg. 5178) updating certain requirements for eligible borrowers.  The rulemaking amends the definition of “household income” to include only the income of persons living in the home who are liable or secondarily liable for payment of the mortgage.  (Currently, any person age 18 or older who lives in the home is included in the income calculation). 

Bottom Line:  This amendment to the part will better match practices of other HFAs nationwide and typical Agency/Investor guidelines, as well as provide fewer restrictions to offering families and individuals the Illinois Housing Development Authority Homeownership Mortgage Loan Programs. The proposed changes to the Part are to accomplish the following: (i) improve the overall organization of the Part; (ii) remove inconsistencies and redundancy; and (iii) update the definition of Household Income to include only the income of those who are eligible borrowers and are liable or secondarily liable on the Note. This update will remove the requirement that income calculation must include anyone over 18 who resides in the property in order to prevent the unintended exclusion and penalization of many unconventional household types, including but not limited to, families with live-in relatives who are in need of care and would greatly benefit from the Authority's financial assistance.

This rule is open for public comment until 6/24/19.  Questions/requests for copies/ comments through 6/24/19: Karri E. Kartes, IHDA, 111 East Wacker Drive, Suite 1000, Chicago, IL 60601. Telephone: (312) 836-5200 TDD: (866) 324-4431. You may click here to submit comments to the Department of Commerce, Office of Regulatory Flexibility.

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The Department of Natural Resources proposed amendments which will impact small businesses that perform pest control services: 

The Department of Natural Resources proposed amendments to the Part titled Nuisance Wildlife Control Permits (17 IAC 525; 43 Ill Reg 5355) allowing year-round removal, under certain conditions, of bat colonies that have lodged in residential or business buildings. Currently, nuisance wildlife control permitees may permanently evict bat colonies from buildings only between March 15 and May 15 (after
hibernation and during mating season, but before pups are born) or from Aug. 5 through Oct. 30 (when pups born in early summer are generally old enough to fly) when outdoor temperatures exceed 50
degrees F. at dusk. The rulemaking requires that bat eviction during these periods be performed only when outdoor temperatures are forecast to exceed 50 degrees at dusk for at least 2 consecutive nights.
During the remainder of the year (Oct. 31 through March 14, when bats are hibernating, and May 16
through Aug. 4, when pups are born and are not yet capable of flying) the rulemaking allows bat colony eviction if the following conditions are met: bats have been found inside the living quarters of a residence, in a place of business, or within a building where people congregate; the permittee has contacted DNR to
request authority to evict the bats; a definitive identification of species has been made and proper  permits, if applicable, issued; DNR staff has determined whether the bats are causing a human health   and safety hazard (DNR may work jointly with a local health department to make this determination); and property owners and residents are advised of the secondary health hazards that may result when adult bats are evicted and flightless pups are trapped and die inside the building. The rulemaking also allows capture of live bats without a permit for transport to a local health department, animal control office,
or veterinarian when the presence of bats is deemed a health or safety hazard by a local health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health, or if there is reason to suspect that domestic animals may have been exposed to rabies (currently, when there is reason to suspect a human may have been exposed to rabies, e.g., if a person is bitten or scratched by a bat). Finally, the rulemaking updates the application for a nuisance wildlife control permit to include the applicant’s e-mail address and remove the Social Security number.

Bottom Line:  The changes contained in this rule relate to when and how permittees can take bats in Illinois. This rule is open for public comment until 7/1/19.  Questions/requests for copies/ comments through 7/1/19 may be directed to John Heidinger, DNR, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702, 217.557.6379 or email John.Heidinger@Illinois.gov. The Department of Commerce would also like to know how this rule will impact your business.  You may click here to submit comments to the Department of Commerce, Office of Regulatory Flexibility.

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The Department of Natural Resources proposed amendments which will impact small businesses that are hunting outfitters and falconers: 

DNR also proposed amendments to the following 15 Parts: Cock Pheasant, Hungarian Partridge,  Bobwhite Quail, and Rabbit Hunting (17 IAC 530; 43 Ill Reg 5364); Raccoon, Opossum, Striped Skunk, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Coyote, Bobcat and Woodchuck (Groundhog) Hunting (17 IAC 550; 43 Ill Reg 5393); Muskrat, Mink, Raccoon, Opossum, Striped Skunk, Weasel, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Coyote, Badger, River  Otter, Beaver, Bobcat and Woodchuck (Groundhog) Trapping (17 IAC 570; 43 Ill Reg 5411); Duck, Goose and Coot Hunting (17 IAC 590; 43 Ill Reg 5427); White- Tailed Deer Hunting By Use of Firearms (17 IAC 650; 43 Ill Reg 5481); White-Tailed Deer Hunting By Use of Muzzleloading Rifles (17 IAC 660; 43 Ill Reg 5489); White-Tailed Deer Hunting By Use of Bow and Arrow (17 IAC 670; 43 Ill Reg 5500); Youth
Hunting (17 IAC 685; 43 Ill Reg 5522); Squirrel Hunting (17 IAC 690; 43 Ill Reg 5531); The Taking of Wild  Turkeys – Spring Season (17 IAC 710; 43 Ill Reg 5544); The Taking of Wild Turkeys – Fall Gun Season (17 IAC 715; 43 Ill Reg 5568); The Taking of Wild Turkeys – Fall Archery Season (17 IAC 720; 43 Ill Reg  5575); Dove Hunting (17 IAC 730; 43 Ill Reg 5588); Crow, Woodcock, Snipe, Rail and Teal Hunting (17  IAC 740; 43 Ill Reg 5607); and Falconry and the Captive Propagation of Raptors (17 IAC 1590; 43 Ill Reg  5622).  Amendments to Parts 530 through 740 implement DNR’s annual updates to hunting and trapping rules, which include opening or closing of State-managed sites to hunting, changes in hunting days or hours, and changes in procedures for obtaining hunting or trapping licenses or reporting the number of animals harvested. The Part 685 rulemaking also allows a non-hunting adult age 21 or older (currently, a parent, guardian or grandparent) who holds a valid Illinois hunting license to accompany the holder of an Apprentice Hunter or Youth hunter license during youth deer hunting season, and also authorizes the use of pink as well as solid blaze orange hunting attire. Finally, amendments to Part 1590 update online contact information for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and allow falconry hunting of foxes and gray squirrels from Aug. 1 through March 31 (currently, Jan. 31). 

Bottom Line:  The changes contained in these amendments will impact the upcoming hunt seasons.  This rule is open for public comment until 7/1/19.  Questions/requests for copies/ comments through 7/1/19 may be directed to John Heidinger, DNR, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702, 217.557.6379 or email John.Heidinger@Illinois.gov. The Department of Commerce would also like to know how this rule will impact your business.  You may click here to submit comments to the Department of Commerce, Office of Regulatory Flexibility.


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The Department of Natural Resources proposed amendments which will impact holders of DNR permits for underground natural gas wells and storage facilities, and businesses located near underground natural gas storage facilities:   

The Department of Natural Resources proposed amendments to the Part titled The Illinois Oil and Gas Act (62 IAC 240; 43 Ill Reg 6113) implementing Public Act 100- 1172. A nearly identical emergency rule (43 Ill Reg 4650) was adopted effective 4/4/19 for a maximum of 150 days and a public hearing on the proposed rule has been scheduled. The proposed rulemaking defines a “natural gas incident” as any release of gas from an underground storage facility that results in loss of at least 3 million cubic feet of gas, or that releases at least 500,000 cubic feet of gas and occurs within ¼ mile of an inhabited dwelling; results in death or personal injury requiring hospitalization; causes property damage in excess of $10,000; or causes emergency shutdown of an underground natural gas storage facility. Such incidents must be reported to DNR within 24 hours and all residents or businesses within 1 ½ miles of the incident must be notified as soon as practically possible. Any gas release of more than 500,000 cubic feet must be reported by the 10th day of the following month and records of these releases must be kept for the life of the facility. Operators of underground gas storage facilities must include in the maps they submit annually to DNR every gas storage field under their control, with the top and bottom depths of the applicable lease or storage rights agreement and any known geological faults in the storage area. Gas storage operators must include in their applications for a well drilling permit an e-mail address to which notices of probable
violations may be delivered. A permit will be denied to any applicant that has failed to abate a previous violation of the Act, is delinquent in payment of annual well fees, or if State funds have been expended to plug one or more abandoned wells owned by the applicant and have not been reimbursed from the DNR
Plugging and Restoration Fund.  A permit will also be denied if any officer, director, agent, or other person with an ownership interest of more than 5% in the applicant entity had a similar stake in another entity that met those criteria. Gas operators must file inspection and maintenance plans for underground storage facilities on an annual basis; DNR will determine if the plan is adequate and require revisions if the plan is not adequate (a determination that a plan is not adequate may be contested at an administrative hearing). DNR may request action by the Attorney General against an entity whose violations create a “substantial and imminent danger” to public health or safety, threaten to contaminate
surface or ground water supplies, or have a history of improper disposal, releases or discharges within the previous 2 years. DNR may also order immediate cessation of operations if an operator’s actions threaten public health and safety, create an immediate threat of significant environmental harm or damage to property, or if the operator has failed to meet other requirements (e.g., payment of annual well fees). DNR shall conduct annual inspections of all gas storage fields lying within the footprint of an aquifer that serves as the sole or primary source of drinking water in an area and will assess an annual inspection fee upon affected permit holders. Fees collected will be deposited into DNR’s Underground Resources Conservation Enforcement Fund. Permittees may contest the amount of their annual fees by
submitting a written objection within 30 days after receiving their assessment. Fees not paid within 90 days after assessment are considered delinquent; permittees with delinquent fees will be barred from operating or transferring wells until all fees and penalties are paid. Other provisions address determination of civil penalties; compromise agreements that reduce or eliminate civil penalties; enforcement hearings; cessation orders and temporary relief hearings; and waivers.

NOTE:  DNR will hold a public hearing on the above-mentioned rulemaking on Wednesday, June 19, from 3-9 p.m. at the DNR Headquarters, One Natural Resources Way (State Fairgrounds).  Organizations planning to offer testimony are requested to select one person to testify on their behalf.  

Bottom Line:  This part is being amended to implement the Illinois Underground Gas Storage Safety Act [415 ILCS 6110] pursuant to PA 100-1172, related to the underground storage of natural gas, to ensure that the rule is consistent with current Department policies, to increase protections to the people and environment of Illinois, and to account for changes in industry practices and activities. This rule is open for public comment until 7/8/19.  Questions/requests for copies/ comments through 7/8/19 may be directed to John Fischer, Legal Counsel, DNR, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702, 217.524.2163 or email John.Fischer@Illinois.gov. The Department of Commerce would also like to know how this rule will impact your business.  You may click here to submit comments to the Department of Commerce, Office of Regulatory Flexibility.

 

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The Secretary of State proposed an amendment which will impact small businesses that are seeking procurement contracts with the Secretary of State:   

The SECRETARY OF STATE proposed an amendment to Secretary of State Standard Procurement (44 IAC 2000; 43 Ill Reg 6158) raising its small purchase thresholds (below which competitive bidding is not
required) to $80,000 for construction projects, supplies and all services other than professional and artistic services. (Currently, the thresholds are $30,000 for construction and $40,000 for supplies and
services.)

Bottom Line:  The Secretary of State desires to increase its small purchases threshold from $40,000 to $80,000 for supplies or services, other than professional and artistic and from $30,000 to $80,000 for
construction. This rule is open for public comment until 7/8/19.  Questions/requests for copies/ comments through 7/8/19 may be directed to Amy Williams, Legal Advisor, 298 Howlett Building, Springfield, IL 62756, 217.785.3094, or email AWilliams3@ilsos.net. The Department of Commerce would also like to know how this rule will impact your business.  You may click here to submit comments to the Department of Commerce, Office of Regulatory Flexibility.