Illinois Senate debates drilling carbon pipeline above aquifer supplying drinking water

(UI) – Senate Bill 1289, if enacted by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, may allow a carbon pipeline to be drilled above the Mahomet Aquifer, raising concerns about potential drinking water contamination from pipeline ruptures.

State Rep. Ann Williams, who sponsors the bill, asserts that even in worst-case scenarios, the aquifer would not be catastrophically impacted, and normal remediation efforts would be adequate.

The bill includes a two-year moratorium on carbon dioxide pipeline construction or until federal safety standards are revised. State Rep. Dan Caulkins criticized the lack of specific protections for the aquifer and the continued authorization of eminent domain in the bill.

The Illinois Farm Bureau opposes the use of eminent domain for these pipelines and argues that the bill does not ensure fair negotiations with landowners.

During legislative debates, State Sen. Chapin Rose expressed strong opposition, citing past environmental harm from a natural gas leak in his area and the lack of state funding for cleanup. Despite the heated debate, the bill passed both the House and Senate and now awaits the governor's decision.

This story was originally reported by

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