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Groundwater Protection Planning Regions

The Illinois EPA was required to establish a regional groundwater protection planning program. Since 1991 the Illinois EPA, in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), has designated four priority groundwater protection planning regions. These regional designations took into account the location of recharge areas that were identified and mapped by DNR. Further, the Director of Illinois EPA establishes a regional planning committee for each priority groundwater protection planning region. Each regional planning committee is responsible for the following:

  • Identification of and advocacy for region-specific groundwater protection matters;
  • Monitoring and reporting the progress made within the region regarding implementation of protection for groundwaters;
  • Maintaining a registry of instances where the Agency has issued an advisory of groundwater contamination hazard within the region;
  • Facilitating informational and educational activities relating to groundwater protection within the region; and
  • Recommending to the Agency whether there is a need for regional protection pursuant to regulated recharge area.

Integration of Wellhead Protection Programs has been, and will continue to be, implemented for CWS wells in Priority Groundwater Protection Planning Regions. There are indicators that show CWS groundwater protection progress within the Priority Groundwater Protection Planning Regions. In general, the first step of developing a CWS groundwater protection program involves determining the recharge area for CWS wells in unconfined aquifers utilizing existing aquifer property data. In Illinois, the recharge area is based on a five-year time of travel delineation. The second step involves determining the potential sources, potential routes, and the land use zoning within these recharge areas. The third step involves establishing a local team of stakeholders to develop a groundwater protection strategy, and most importantly, taking the necessary measures to implement these activities to protect groundwater resources. The last step is the development of a local emergency-planning document that addresses: natural disasters, chemical contamination and physical disruptions that threaten the supply and distribution network of the public water supply.

Select a region from the list or from the map:

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