Rose announces enhanced monitoring of aquifer

Working with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) has announced a commitment by the IEPA to perform enhanced monitoring that will further protect the Mahomet Aquifer, the source of drinking water for 500,000 people in Central Illinois.

“The Mahomet Aquifer is an invaluable resource for hundreds of thousands of people,” Rose said. “Last year saw a lot of success on the state and federal fronts in terms of safeguarding our water supply – but we can always do more.”

On March 10, Rose secured important new commitments from the IEPA including:

– The IEPA will conduct additional groundwater samples from monitoring wells located near or at the Clinton Landfill, Indian Creek Landfill, and ADS/McClean County Landfill (these landfills sit atop the Mahomet Aquifer)

– Samples will be collected at least four times a year for three years (2016-2018).  

– The Agency will compare its sample results to each landfill’s own sampling results and publish the information on the IEPA’s website.  

– The IEPA will take appropriate action to address any discrepancies among samples.

– The IEPA will integrate the groundwater monitoring data collected from these landfills with the State Groundwater Monitoring Network and will publish data integrated with the State Groundwater Monitoring Network on the National Groundwater Monitoring Network website.

“Illinois is pleased to work with Senator Rose to demonstrate the benefits of cooperation for a common goal,” said Illinois EPA Director Lisa Bonnett.  “Performing enhanced monitoring and sharing of the data will ensure the long-term protection and health of this important sole source aquifer.”

“I want to thank the IEPA for proactively making this issue a top priority,” Rose said. “I particularly want to acknowledge the fact that under this administration, the IEPA has really worked with our local communities and our local legislative delegation on these longstanding issues.”

Rose also announced that at his request, the IEPA will also create a statewide directory of landfills, active and inactive, which will be posted on the agency’s website.

For years, the Mahomet Aquifer was under threat of having toxic PCBs placed above it in the Clinton landfill. In 2014, IEPA modified the landfill’s permit by blocking the use of a chemical waste unit for the disposal of federally regulated manufactured gas plant and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) waste. And in 2015, an agreement was reached between the operator of the landfill and a coalition of local governments to keep all PCBs out of the landfill.

To add further protections to that agreement, last year, Sen. Rose drafted an amendment to House Bill 1326 that subjects remediation waste to rigorous scientific testing to ensure toxic levels of manufactured gas plant (MGP) wastes are not deposited in the Clinton Landfill, which was ultimately signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner last fall.

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