New Legislation Calls For Transparency If Mahomet Aquifer Contaminated
The Illinois state senator representing much of the area covered by the Mahomet Aquifer says he’s got ideas for a task force looking at ways to protect the Mahomet Aquifer from future accidental contamination.
Republican Chapin Rose of Mahomet has announced several bills, stemming from a December 2016 leak into the Mahomet Aquifer at the People’s Gas well in Champaign County. Residents and government officials didn’t know of the leak for several months.
Rose wants the new Mahomet Aquifer Task Force formed by Gov. Bruce Rauner to study his bills as they create their own plans for protecting the aquifer and the people that use it.
"My hope is that these will be looked at by the aquifer task force and then vetted so we can get a better work product at the end of the day," Rose said.
Rose added if the task force cannot come up with adequate proposals, he will move his own legislation forward for action this year.
One of Rose's bills calls for natural gas companies to inspect their gas wells for safety each year.
Another proposal would force businesses to notify environment, emergency, health, county and local officials whenever there’s an accident that contaminates the aquifer.
"So everyone knows what’s happening when it happens and we’re not taking nine or 10 months to figure out what happened later," Rose concluded.