Durbin: EPA Designation Entitles Mahomet Aquifer To Special Protection
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) celebrated news today that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated the Mahomet Aquifer as a sole source aquifer. Durbin filed a comment with the EPA last year in support of the proposal designating the Mahomet Aquifer as a sole source of drinking water for the residents of central Illinois and entitled to special protections. A copy of Senator Durbin’s letter to the EPA is available here.
“More than half of the population in central Illinois relies on the Mahomet Aquifer as a primary source of drinking water. It is a unique, precious resource and special care should be taken to ensure its protection,” Durbin said. “I commend the EPA for taking this step to protect the Mahomet Aquifer from any threat to the aquifer’s health and safety.”
The EPA designation announced today will help protect the Mahomet Aquifer by allowing the EPA to review all federally funded projects in the area to ensure that they would not contaminate the aquifer. Protecting the aquifer from contamination will safeguard the drinking water supply for area residents and ensure a clean and safe drinking water source for generations to come.
In 2008, Durbin and then-Senator Barack Obama wrote to the EPA to express their concerns about a proposed industrial waste facility at Clinton Landfill, and the disposal of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) above the Mahomet Aquifer.
In 2012, Durbin again raised concerns with the EPA regarding the Clinton Landfill. At the time, Durbin and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) urged the agency to consider a Soul Source Aquifer application for the Mahomet Valley Aquifer and continue to evaluate the proposed waste facility at Clinton Landfill. That letter is available here. In response to Durbin’s request, the EPA ordered a U.S. Geological Survey study of the aquifer and the possible impact of permitting an industrial waste facility at Clinton Landfill. The results of that survey have not yet been released.
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