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Law requires gas-leak notification for water protection

 

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a law requiring owners of gas storage fields to notify local officials if a natural gas leak threatens drinking water supplies.

The Republican signed the law Thursday designed to protect the Mahomet Aquifer in east-central Illinois. It is the area's primary water source. It provides drinking water for more than 500,000 residents.

The measure sponsored by Mahomet Republican Sen. Chapin Rose also requires annual storage-field inspections by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

It responds to a 2016 leak in Champaign County. Local officials and residents were not informed that the leak had contaminated private wells.

Rose developed the plan with the Illinois Environmental Council. Democratic Rep. Carol Ammons of Urbana was the primary House sponsor.

P.J. Harrigan

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