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updated: 5/14/2014 7:41 AM

Durbin urges EPA to protect central Ill. aquifer

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Associated Press

CHAMPAIGN -- U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to declare a central Illinois aquifer an important drinking water source and protect it from potential pollution.

Durbin submitted comments to the agency on Tuesday, as the first of two public hearings involving a plant to store toxic waste at the Clinton Landfill, located above the Mahomet aquifer. It supplies drinking water to more than half a million people.

Opponents of the landfill plan want the EPA to declare the aquifer a principal source of drinking water. That would allow the EPA to review any project planned for land above the aquifer that receives federal funds.

Durbin says "special care" must be taken to ensure safe drinking water.

Tuesday's hearing was in Champaign and Wednesday's is in Morton.

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