Aquifer

CHAMPAIGN - A new law on the books will secure protections for the Mahomet Aquifer thanks to State Senator Scott Bennett.

Senator Bennett (D-Champaign) passed Senate Bill 2027, which directs the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to prioritize landfills overlying the Mahomet Aquifer for inspection.

"Considering the Mahomet Aquifer is the most important water source in east-central Illinois, I have worked frequently with the Mahomet Aquifer Task Force to ensure it is protected," Bennett said. "They are a tremendous group to work with and now we can be assured 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 came 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 Representative Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) and Senator 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.

This new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.

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