The Illinois EPA recognizes the essential and pervasive role of groundwater in the social and economic well-being of the people of Illinois, and its vital importance to the general health, safety and welfare. State policy holds that groundwater resources should be utilized for beneficial and legitimate purposes, that waste and degradation of the resources should be prevented, and that underground water resources should be managed to allow for maximum benefit of the people of Illinois.
In support of these goals the IEPA conducts a groundwater protection program with a mission of restoring, protecting and enhancing the state's groundwater as a natural and public resource. The program derives much of its program authority from the Illinois Groundwater Protection Act (IGPA) that emphasizes a prevention-oriented process.
The IGPA is a comprehensive law that relies on a state and local partnership, and was the first approved in Region 5 by U.S. EPA under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Though the IGPA is directed toward protection of groundwater as a natural and public resource, special provisions target drinking water wells.
Illinois' groundwater policy sets the framework for management of groundwater as a vital resource. The program focuses upon uses of the resource and establishes statewide protection measures directed toward potable water wells. In addition, local governments and citizens are provided an opportunity to perform an important role for groundwater protection in Illinois.