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Among the dozens of new laws that took effect this week is one designed to protect the Mahomet Aquifer. Here’s more on Senate Bill 2027 from staff writer BEN ZIGTERMAN.

WHAT CHANGES?

The law sponsored by state Sens. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign, and Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, and state Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Urbana, among others, directs the Illinois EPA to inspect landfills that overlie the aquifer.

It directs the agency to use existing information from state and federal agencies to determine which landfills pose a threat to the aquifer, which extends from Sangamon County to Iroquois County and runs through Havana, Pekin, Clinton, Monticello, Champaign-Urbana, Rantoul and Watseka.

WHO BENEFITS?

Half a million or so of you. That’s the hope, anyway.

As Bennett notes, the Mahomet Aquifer is “the most important water source in East Central Illinois,” and with the new law, “now we can be assured that 500,000 people know the water coming out of their faucets is clean and safe to drink.”

WHY NOW?

The new law stems from a 70-page report compiled by the Mahomet Aquifer Task Force, chaired by Champaign Mayor Deb Feinen and formed two years ago to “identify gaps in existing aquifer protection regulations and efforts.”

News-Gazette

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