Location of the Mahomet Aquifer in Central Illinois

IEPA Directed by Gov. Quinn to Protect Mahomet Aquifer

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn has directed the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to take further action to protect the Mahomet Aquifer from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). As a result, today the IEPA is seeking information from the DeWitt County Board in order to authorize the State to block PCB dumping in Clinton.

“The Mahomet Aquifer supplies more than 100 million gallons of water daily to 15 Illinois counties and it needs to be protected,” Governor Quinn said. “Blocking PCB waste is the right thing to do for our environment and for hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents.”

Illinois law allows the IEPA to modify a landfill permit upon the discovery that a decision was made using false or misleading information. 

This morning the IEPA sent a letter to the Dewitt County Board seeking to confirm that federally regulated concentrations of PCB waste at the Clinton Landfill were never in fact authorized locally. This request is being made after considering information from concerned citizens and local officials that call into question the extent of the DeWitt County Board’s 2002 siting approval. 

In the transcript of a public hearing on the landfill permit from 2002, representatives of the Peoria Disposal Company testified to the DeWitt County Board that the Clinton Landfill would not accept PCBs at federally regulated concentrations. Following that public hearing, the DeWitt County Board approved the location for the landfill, and the county board’s action was the basis for IEPA approval of subsequent permitting requests from the company. 

“The Illinois EPA’s regulatory decisions must include all information and facts and must be completed in a process that is transparent and that allows for community involvement and input,” IEPA Director Lisa Bonnett said. “The landfill permit decision may not have included full disclosure of facts relating to the 2002 location decision.”

In May, the Governor sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency urging the administration to deny Peoria Disposal Company’s request for federal authorization to dispose of toxic waste in the Clinton Landfill. 

The Mahomet Aquifer is a system of river basins and surface waters that supplies water to portions of Cass, Champaign, DeWitt, Ford, Iroquois, Logan, Macon, Mason, McLean, Menard, Peoria, Piatt, Tazewell, Vermilion and Woodford Counties.

(Press Release from Gov. Pat Quinn 7/22/14)