Some local lawmakers have filed five new bills in Springfield aimed at protecting the Mahomet Aquifer. It is the primary source of water for many central Illinois communities.
‘’The Mahomet Aquifer is one of the most important and vulnerable natural resources in the state, supplying drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people,’’ said State Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet. ‘’It’s incredibly important that we protect this resource for our families and our future generations,’’ added Rose.
State Representative Mike Marron of Fithian is another sponsor of the bills. ‘’Vermilion and Champaign Counties rely on the Mahomet Aquifer, one of the area’s most critical natural resources,’’ said Marron. ‘’This legislation is a good step at doing what is necessary to protect this resource,’’ he added.
One of the Senate bills would create a permanent body, the Mahomet Aquifer Council, to serve as a watchdog and to provide oversight for the Mahomet Aquifer.
Another bill would provide $1-million dollars in funding for equipment for the University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institute so that it can continue to research and study the aquifer.
Another bill would provide $2.3 million dollars for ongoing studies by the U of I Prairie Research Institute.
Senate Bill 2074 would allow the State Treasurer to accept restitution money from Peoples Gas, if a court finds the company liable for a recent leak of natural gas into the acquifer.
‘’Thousands of families throughout central Illinois depend on the Mahomet Aquifer for drinking water,’’ said Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign. ‘’Developing a comprehensive package of legislation to help maintain the quality of groundwater is necessary to protect the long-term health and safety of these residents,’’ added Bennett.
[The photo is of State Senator Scott Bennett (on left) and Representative Mike Marron.]