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SPRINGFIELD – A bill sponsored by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) to secure protections for the Mahomet Aquifer, the primary water source for Central Illinois residents, was signed into law last week.

Senate Bill 2027 directs the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to prioritize landfills overlying the Mahomet Aquifer for inspection.

“We all depend on environmental regulations to protect public health, and I’m grateful to the Mahomet Aquifer Task Force for helping me make sure we are playing an active role in protecting the Mahomet Aquifer,” Bennett said. “I know this tremendous group will remain vigilant and continue working to ensure that 500,000 people know the water coming out of their faucets is clean and safe to drink.”

The bill requires the IEPA to use existing information available from the state and federal agencies to identify unknown, unregulated, or under-regulated waste disposal sites that sit above the aquifer and may pose a threat to surface water or groundwater resources.

The new law also seeks to establish a pilot program at the Pekin Metro Landfill to identify potential and current threats to the water quality of the Aquifer from the landfill.

The proposed legislation comes from the recommendations of the Mahomet Aquifer Protection Task Force, a bipartisan coalition of central Illinois lawmakers from both chambers of the General Assembly, including Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) and Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet). The task force, chaired by Champaign Mayor Deborah Feinen, also includes scientists from the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, Illinois State Geological Survey, the Illinois Water Survey and the IEPA.

It takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.

 
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