Printer Friendly Version

Village Vision News

Village votes to send resolution to EPA over Mahomet Aquifer

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Spurred on by concerns expressed to trustees by Forsyth resident Joe Dugger back in May, Village Administrator David Strohl placed Resolution No. 14-01 on the June 2 agenda for discussion and consideration by the board of trustees.

The resolution, according to Strohl, is in response to trustees’ interest in supporting efforts to protect the Mahomet Aquifer, one of the village’s water supplies.

If approved, a copy of this resolution would be submitted to the federal EPA during the public comment period of the Sole Source Aquifer designation process and become part of the official record.

Joseph Hooker, assistant city attorney for the City of Champaign, the lead agency in these efforts, addressed the board on June 2.

There are two governmental coalitions with regard to the Mahomet Aquifer, Hooker explained. With the City of Champaign taking the lead, one coalition is sharing the cost for the petition to the EPA for the designation of the Mahomet Aquifer as a sole source aquifer while the other coalition is sharing the cost of the legal challenges associated with the Clinton Landfill’s chemical waste facility. The landfill has applied for an EPA permit to dispose of polychlorinated biphenyl waste, or PCBs, at its facility.

The concern for citizens and public officials is the potential that these PCBs could find their way into the water supply. Estimates range from 500,000 to upwards of 850,000 people who rely on the aquifer as their main source of safe drinking water.

Hooker thanked the board for its support of the sole source aquifer designation effort by its consideration of the adoption of the resolution. The designation is part of the Clean Drinking Water Act from the late 1970s, and if approved, it would make the Mahomet Aquifer, which Hooker called an irreplaceable resource, the first sole source aquifer in the state. He encouraged the board to vote in favor of the resolution.

In addition, there are intergovernmental agreements that would need to be executed if the village wants to pursue becoming a member of the coalition dealing with the litigation portion. This, however, was not a part of the evening’s agenda. If the village did join the coalition as its 10th member, the village’s cost would be around $319.45 based on costs already incurred, future costs and a 10-percent administrative fee. The amount is calculated by 0.78 percent of the total population of all members, with Champaign, as Hooker noted, paying the most as the city with the largest population.

Trustees discussed the information that was presented, and there was a consensus to consider joining the coalition. Hooker made the comment that there is no guarantee of the coalition’s success, but he stated that it’s a legal battle worth fighting.

Trustee Dave Wendt moved, and Trustee Bob Rasho seconded to appove Resolution No. 14-01. All present voted Yea. The motion was declared carried. 

^ Back to Top ^

Site by HomeSight, LLC