Public comment on aquifer set Tuesday

Public comment on aquifer set Tuesday

CHAMPAIGN — City officials are urging people to attend and speak at a public hearing on the Mahomet Aquifer on Tuesday night at the Hilton Garden Inn.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the middle of a public-comment period after its preliminary approval of local officials' application to designate the Mahomet Aquifer a "sole-source aquifer." The designation would add a layer of review for some projects that happen in the vicinity of the aquifer, from which more than 500,000 people in central Illinois draw their drinking water.

If approved, any federally funded project would be subject to EPA review to ensure that the above-ground project will not affect the below-ground water source. Projects that are not using federal money would not be subject to the extra review.

Area officials have said the "sole-source" designation is an important step to protect the water source; the Champaign City Council canceled its meeting this week so elected officials could attend the hearing. The application was made as Clinton Landfill seeks approval to store chemical waste at its facility above the aquifer in DeWitt County.

The public hearing begins at 6:30 p.m. with an informational session. Public comment begins at 7:30 p.m.

Those interested may also submit comments in writing to the EPA before June 12.

Be heard

How you can comment on the Mahomet Aquifer:

In person

When: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. informational meeting, 7:30 p.m. public hearing.

Where: Hilton Garden Inn, 1501 S. Neil St., C.

In writing

E-mail: spaulding. william@epa.gov

Mail:

U.S. EPA Region 5 (WG-15J)

Attn: William Spaulding

77 W. Jackson Blvd.

Chicago, IL 60604

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