SPRINGFIELD- To address the need to protect the Mahomet Aquifer, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) passed legislation to bring all community and state stakeholders to the table.
“It’s our job to protect this valuable resource for our children and generations to come,” Bennett said. “The best way to find an equitable solution is to get everyone to the table to discuss how we can maintain clean drinking water in central Illinois.”
Senate Bill 325 creates the Mahomet Aquifer Protection Task Force, which will address the issue of finding a compromise to protect the clean drinking water of the Mahomet Aquifer.
The Mahomet Aquifer serves as the primary water supply for 15 counties across central Illinois including Champaign and Vermilion counties.
The Mahomet Aquifer Protection Task Force will include legislators as well as community, environmental and waste management representatives appointed by the governor. They will be required to report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly and governor by July 1, 2017.
“My hope is by bringing everyone together we will be able to find a long-lasting solution to this problem,” Bennett said. “We have seen the impact contaminated drinking water had on Flint, Michigan. We need to work sooner than later to address this issue.”
The bipartisan measure passed the Senate without any opposition and now heads to the House for consideration.
SPRINGFIELD- Generations of Central Illinois residents can now look forward to cleaner drinking water.
State Senator Scott Bennett’s (D-Champaign) initiative to protect residents across Central Illinois from contaminated drinking water was signed into law today. “The Mahomet Aquifer serves as a lifeline for our region. It’s our duty to protect this important resource for the sake of our children and generations to come,” said Bennett. “This proposal will further the mission of the Mahomet Aquifer Protection Alliance by instituting guidelines to protect our underground water source.”
The Aquifer serves as the primary water supply for 14 counties across Central Illinois including Champaign and Vermilion counties.
The Mahomet Aquifer Protection Alliance is a group of Central Illinois citizens who are committed to keeping the Aquifer free of contamination. Local communities across central Illinois have banded together to fight the disposal of dangerous toxins at the Clinton Landfill, which sits atop the Aquifer.
As a result of their efforts, last year the Mahomet Aquifer was designated as a Sole Source Aquifer, which provides federal protection.
“This legislation will move us one step closer to achieving our goal. However, we do recognize there may still be more work to do to ensure there is safe drinking water for central Illinois residents for generations to come,” said Bennett.
House Bill 1326 was signed into law on Friday, August 14 and goes into effect on January 1, 2016.