2017 Illinois Compiled Statutes
415 ILCS 55/ - Illinois Groundwater Protection Act.

(415 ILCS 55/1) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 7451)
Sec. 1. This Act shall be known as and may be cited as the "Illinois Groundwater Protection Act".
(Source: P.A. 85-863.)

(415 ILCS 55/2) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 7452)
Sec. 2. (a) The General Assembly finds that:
(i) a large portion of Illinois' citizens rely on groundwater for personal consumption, and industries use a significant amount of groundwater;
(ii) contamination of Illinois groundwater will adversely impact the health and welfare of its citizens and adversely impact the economic viability of the State;
(iii) contamination of Illinois' groundwater is occurring;
(iv) protection of groundwater is a necessity for future economic development in this State.
(b) Therefore, it is the policy of the State of Illinois to restore, protect, and enhance the groundwaters of the State, as a natural and public resource. The State 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. It is further recognized as consistent with this policy that the groundwater resources of the State be utilized for beneficial and legitimate purposes; that waste and degradation of the resources be prevented; and that the underground water resource be managed to allow for maximum benefit of the people of the State of Illinois.
(Source: P.A. 85-863.)

(415 ILCS 55/3) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 7453)
Sec. 3. As used in this Act, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(a) "Agency" means the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
(b) "Aquifer" means saturated (with groundwater) soils and geologic materials which are sufficiently permeable to readily yield economically useful quantities of water to wells, springs, or streams under ordinary hydraulic gradients.
(c) "Board" means the Illinois Pollution Control Board.
(d) "Committee" means the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Groundwater as hereinafter created.
(e) "Council" means the Groundwater Advisory Council.
(f) "Department" means the Department of Natural Resources.
(g) "Groundwater" means underground water which occurs within the saturated zone and geologic materials where the fluid pressure in the pore space is equal to or greater than atmospheric pressure.
(h) "Potable" means generally fit for human consumption in accordance with accepted water supply principles and practices.
(i) "Regulated recharge area" means a compact geographic area, as determined by the Board, the geology of which renders a potable resource groundwater particularly susceptible to contamination.
(j) "Resource groundwater" means groundwater that is presently being or in the future capable of being put to beneficial use by reason of being of suitable quality.
(k) "Underground water" means all water beneath the land surface.
(Source: P.A. 89-445, eff. 2-7-96.)

(415 ILCS 55/4) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 7454)
Sec. 4. (a) There shall be established within State government an interagency committee which shall be known as the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Groundwater. The Committee shall be composed of the Director, or his designee, of the following agencies:
(1) The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, who

shall chair the Committee.

(2) The Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
(3) The Illinois Department of Public Health.
(4) The Office of Mines and Minerals within the

Department of Natural Resources.

(5) The Office of the State Fire Marshal.
(6) The Division of Water Resources of the Department

of Natural Resources.

(7) The Illinois Department of Agriculture.
(8) The Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
(9) The Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety.
(10) The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic


(b) The Committee shall meet not less than twice each calendar year and shall:
(1) Review and coordinate the State's policy on

groundwater protection.

(2) Review and evaluate State laws, regulations and

procedures that relate to groundwater protection.

(3) Review and evaluate the status of the State's

efforts to improve the quality of the groundwater and of the State enforcement efforts for protection of the groundwater and make recommendations on improving the State efforts to protect the groundwater.

(4) Recommend procedures for better coordination

among State groundwater programs and with local programs related to groundwater protection.

(5) Review and recommend procedures to coordinate the

State's response to specific incidents of groundwater pollution and coordinate dissemination of information between agencies responsible for the State's response.

(6) Make recommendations for and prioritize the

State's groundwater research needs.

(7) Review, coordinate and evaluate groundwater data

collection and analysis.

(8) Beginning on January 1, 1990, report biennially

to the Governor and the General Assembly on groundwater quality, quantity, and the State's enforcement efforts.

(c) The Chairman of the Committee shall propose a groundwater protection regulatory agenda for consideration by the Committee and the Council. The principal purpose of the agenda shall be to systematically consider the groundwater protection aspects of relevant federal and State regulatory programs and to identify any areas where improvements may be warranted. To the extent feasible, the agenda may also serve to facilitate a more uniform and coordinated approach toward protection of groundwaters in Illinois. Upon adoption of the final agenda by the Committee, the Chairman of the Committee shall assign a lead agency and any support agencies to prepare a regulatory assessment report for each item on the agenda. Each regulatory assessment report shall specify the nature of the groundwater protection provisions being implemented and shall evaluate the results achieved therefrom. Special attention shall be given to any preventive measures being utilized for protection of groundwaters. The reports shall be completed in a timely manner. After review and consideration by the Committee, the reports shall become the basis for recommending further legislative or regulatory action.
(d) No later than January 1, 1992, the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Groundwater shall provide a comprehensive status report to the Governor and the General Assembly concerning implementation of this Act.
(e) The Committee shall consider findings and recommendations that are provided by the Council, and respond in writing regarding such matters. The Chairman of the Committee shall designate a liaison person to serve as a facilitator of communications with the Council.
(Source: P.A. 94-793, eff. 5-19-06.)

(415 ILCS 55/5) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 7455)
Sec. 5. (a) There shall be established a Groundwater Advisory Council. The Council shall be composed of 9 public members appointed by the Governor, including 2 persons representing environmental interests, 2 persons representing industrial and commercial interests, one person representing agricultural interests, one person representing local government interests, one person representing a regional planning agency, one person representing public water supplies, and one person representing the water well driller industry. From among these members, a chairperson shall be selected by majority vote and shall preside for a one-year term. The terms of memberships in the Council shall be for 3 years. The Council shall:
(1) review, evaluate and make recommendations regarding State laws, regulations and procedures that relate to groundwater protection;
(2) review, evaluate and make recommendations regarding the State's efforts to implement this Act and to generally protect the groundwater of the State;
(3) make recommendations relating to the State's needs for groundwater research; and
(4) review, evaluate and make recommendations regarding groundwater data collection and analyses.
(b) Members of the Groundwater Advisory Council shall be reimbursed for ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, except such reimbursement shall be limited to expenses associated with no more than 3 meetings per calendar year. The Agency shall provide the Council with such supporting services as are reasonable for the performance of its duties.
(Source: P.A. 85-863.)

(415 ILCS 55/6) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 7456)
Sec. 6. (a) The Department with the cooperation of the Agency, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Agriculture and others as needed, shall develop, coordinate and conduct an education program for groundwater protection. The program shall include, but not be limited to, education for the general public, business, agriculture, government, and private water supply owners, users and operators.
(b) The education program shall address at least the following topics: hydrogeologic principles, groundwater protection issues, State groundwater policy, potential contamination sources, potential water quality problems, well protection measures, and the need for periodic well tests.
(c) The Department shall cooperate with local governments and regional planning agencies and committees to coordinate local and regional education programs and workshops, and to expedite the exchange of technical information.
(Source: P.A. 85-863.)

(415 ILCS 55/7) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 7457)
Sec. 7. (a) The Department, with the advice of the Committee and the Council, shall develop a coordinated groundwater data collection and automation program. The collected and automated data shall include but need not be limited to groundwater monitoring results, well logs, pollution source permits and water quality assessments. The Department shall act as the repository for such data and shall automate this data in a manner that is accessible and usable by all State agencies.
(b) The Department, in consultation with the Agency, the Committee and the Council, shall develop and administer an ongoing program of basic and applied research relating to groundwater. Information generated from this program will be made available to local governments seeking technical assistance from the Department. The research program shall include but need not be limited to:
(1) Long-term statewide groundwater quality

monitoring. A statewide monitoring well network shall be composed of public water supply wells sampled by the Agency, non-community wells sampled by the Department of Public Health, and a representative sampling of other existing private wells and newly constructed, dedicated monitoring wells. The monitoring program shall be operated for the following purposes: to evaluate, over time, the appropriateness and effectiveness of groundwater quality protection measures; to determine regional trends in groundwater quality which may affect public health and welfare; and to help identify the need for corrective action. The Department shall periodically publish the results of groundwater quality monitoring activities.

(2) Statewide groundwater assessment. The Department

shall conduct assessments to enhance the State's data base concerning groundwater resources. The assessments shall include location of groundwater resources, mapping of aquifers, identification of appropriate recharge areas, and evaluation of baseline groundwater quality. The Department shall complete the statewide mapping of appropriate recharge areas within 18 months after the enactment of this Act at a level of detail suitable for guiding the Agency in establishing priority groundwater protection planning regions.

(3) Evaluation of pesticide impacts upon groundwater.

Such evaluation shall include the general location and extent of any contamination of groundwaters resulting from pesticide use, determination of any practices which may contribute to contamination of groundwaters, and recommendations regarding measures which may help prevent degradation of groundwater quality by pesticides. Priority shall be given to those areas of the State where pesticides are utilized most intensively. The Department shall prepare an initial report by January 1, 1990.

(4) Other basic and applied research. The Department

may conduct research in at least the following areas: groundwater hydrology and hydraulics, movement of contaminants through geologic materials, aquifer restoration, and remediation technologies.

(c) The Department is authorized to accept and expend, subject to appropriation by the General Assembly, any and all grants, matching funds, appropriations from whatever source, or other items of value from the federal or state governments or from any institution, person, partnership, joint venture, or corporation, public or private, for the purposes of fulfilling its obligations under this Act.
(d) Southern Illinois University is authorized to conduct basic and applied research relating to chemical contamination of groundwater. It may assist the Department in conducting research on any of the subjects included in subsection (b) of this Section, and may accept and expend grants and other support from the Department or other sources for that purpose.
(Source: P.A. 87-479.)

(415 ILCS 55/8) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 7458)
Sec. 8. (a) The Agency, after consultation with the Committee and the Council, shall propose regulations establishing comprehensive water quality standards which are specifically for the protection of groundwater. In preparing such regulations, the Agency shall address, to the extent feasible, those contaminants which have been found in the groundwaters of the State and which are known to cause, or are suspected of causing, cancer, birth defects, or any other adverse effect on human health according to nationally accepted guidelines. Such regulations shall be submitted to the Board by July 1, 1989.
(b) Within 2 years after the date upon which the Agency files the proposed regulations, the Board shall promulgate the water quality standards for groundwater. In promulgating these regulations, the Board shall, in addition to the factors set forth in Title VII of the Environmental Protection Act, consider the following:
(1) recognition that groundwaters differ in many

important respects from surface waters, including water quality, rate of movement, direction of flow, accessibility, susceptibility to pollution, and use;

(2) classification of groundwaters on an appropriate

basis, such as their utility as a resource or susceptibility to contamination;

(3) preference for numerical water quality standards,

where possible, over narrative standards, especially where specific contaminants have been commonly detected in groundwaters or where federal drinking water levels or advisories are available;

(4) application of nondegradation provisions for

appropriate groundwaters, including notification limitations to trigger preventive response activities;

(5) relevant experiences from other states where

groundwater protection programs have been implemented; and

(6) existing methods of detecting and quantifying

contaminants with reasonable analytical certainty.

(c) To provide a process to expedite promulgation of groundwater quality standards, the provisions of this Section shall be exempt from the requirements of subsection (b) of Section 27 of the Environmental Protection Act; and shall be exempt from the provisions of Sections 4 and 5 of "An Act in relation to natural resources, research, data collection and environmental studies", approved July 1, 1978, as amended.
(d) The Department of Natural Resources, with the cooperation of the Committee and the Agency, shall conduct a study of the economic impact of the regulations developed pursuant to this Section. The study shall include, but need not be limited to, consideration of the criteria established in subsection (a) of Section 4 of "An Act in relation to natural resources, research, data collection and environmental studies", approved July 1, 1978, as amended. This study shall be conducted concurrently with the development of the regulations developed pursuant to this Section. Work on this study shall commence as soon as is administratively practicable after the Agency begins development of the regulations. The study shall be submitted to the Board no later than 60 days after the proposed regulations are filed with the Board.
The Department shall consult with the Economic Technical Advisory Committee during the development of the regulations and the economic impact study required in this Section and shall consider the comments of the Committee in the study.
(e) The Board may combine public hearings on the economic impact study conducted by the Department with any hearings required under Board rules.
(Source: P.A. 89-445, eff. 2-7-96; 90-655, eff. 7-30-98.)

(415 ILCS 55/9) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 7459)
Sec. 9. (a) As used in this Section, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(1) "Community water system" means a public water

system which serves at least 15 service connections used by residents or regularly serves at least 25 residents for at least 60 days per year.

(2) "Contaminant" means any physical, chemical,

biological, or radiological substance or matter in water.

(3) "Department" means the Illinois Department of

Public Health.

(4) "Non-community water system" means a public water

system which is not a community water system, and has at least 15 service connections used by nonresidents, or regularly serves 25 or more nonresident individuals daily for at least 60 days per year.

(4.5) "Non-transient, non-community water system"

means a non-community water system that regularly serves the same 25 or more persons at least 6 months per year.

(5) "Private water system" means any supply which

provides water for drinking, culinary, and sanitary purposes and serves an owner-occupied single family dwelling.

(6) "Public water system" means a system for the

provision to the public of water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyances, if the system has at least 15 service connections or regularly serves an average of at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days per year. A public water system is either a community water system (CWS) or a non-community water system (non-CWS). The term "public water system" includes any collection, treatment, storage or distribution facilities under control of the operator of such system and used primarily in connection with such system and any collection or pretreatment storage facilities not under such control which are used primarily in connection with such system.

(7) "Semi-private water system" means a water supply

which is not a public water system, yet which serves a segment of the public other than an owner-occupied single family dwelling.

(8) "Supplier of water" means any person who owns or

operates a water system.

(b) No non-community water system may be constructed, altered, or extended until plans, specifications, and other information relative to such system are submitted to and reviewed by the Department for conformance with the rules promulgated under this Section, and until a permit for such activity is issued by the Department. As part of the permit application, all new non-transient, non-community water systems must demonstrate technical, financial, and managerial capacity consistent with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
(c) All private and semi-private water systems shall be constructed in accordance with the rules promulgated by the Department under this Section.
(d) The Department shall promulgate rules for the construction and operation of all non-community and semi-private water systems. Such rules shall include but need not be limited to: the establishment of maximum contaminant levels no more stringent than federally established standards where such standards exist; the maintenance of records; the establishment of requirements for the submission and frequency of submission of water samples by suppliers of water to determine the water quality; and the capacity demonstration requirements to ensure compliance with technical, financial, and managerial capacity provisions of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
(e) Borings, water monitoring wells, and wells subject to this Act shall, at a minimum, be abandoned and plugged in accordance with the requirements of Sections 16 and 19 of the Illinois Oil and Gas Act, and such rules as are promulgated thereunder. Nothing herein shall preclude the Department from adopting plugging and abandonment requirements which are more stringent than the rules of the Department of Natural Resources where necessary to protect the public health.
(f) The Department shall inspect all non-community water systems for the purpose of determining compliance with the provisions of this Section and the regulations promulgated hereunder.
(g) The Department may inspect semi-private and private water systems for the purpose of determining compliance with the provisions of this Section and the regulations promulgated hereunder.
(h) The supplier of water shall be given written notice of all violations of this Section or the rules promulgated hereunder and all such violations shall be corrected in a manner and time specified by the Department.
(i) The Department may conduct inspections to investigate the construction or water quality of non-community or semi-private water systems, or the construction of private water systems. Upon request of the owner or user, the Department may also conduct investigations of the water quality of private water systems.
(j) The supplier of water for a private, semi-private, or non-community water system shall allow the Department and its authorized agents access to such premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of inspection.
(k) The Department may designate full-time county or multiple-county health departments as its agents to facilitate the implementation of this Section.
(l) The Department shall promulgate and publish rules necessary for the enforcement of this Section.
(m) Whenever a non-community or semi-private water system fails to comply with an applicable maximum contaminant level at the point of use, the supplier of water shall give public notification by the conspicuous posting of notice of such failure as long as the failure continues. The notice shall be written in a manner reasonably designed to fully inform users of the system that a drinking water regulation has been violated, and shall disclose all material facts. All non-transient, non-community water systems must demonstrate technical, financial, and managerial capacity consistent with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
(n) The provisions of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act, are hereby expressly adopted and shall apply to all administrative rules and procedures of the Department of Public Health under this Section, except that in case of conflict between the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act and this Section the provisions of this Section shall control; and except that Section 5-35 of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act relating to procedures for rulemaking shall not apply to the adoption of any rule required by federal law in connection with which the Department is precluded by law from exercising any discretion.
(o) All final administrative decisions of the Department issued pursuant to this Section shall be subject to judicial review pursuant to the provisions of the Administrative Review Law and the rules adopted pursuant thereto. The term "administrative decision" is defined as in Section 3-101 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(p) The Director, after notice and opportunity for hearing to the applicant, may deny, suspend, or revoke a permit in any case in which he or she finds that there has been a substantial failure to comply with the provisions of this Section or the standards, rules and regulations established by virtue thereof.
Such notice shall be effected by certified mail or by personal service setting forth the particular reasons for the proposed action and fixing a date, not less than 15 days from the date of such mailing or service, at which time the applicant shall be given an opportunity to request hearing.
The hearing shall be conducted by the Director or by an individual designated in writing by the Director as Hearing Officer to conduct the hearing. On the basis of any such hearing, or upon default of the applicant, the Director shall make a determination specifying his or her findings and conclusions. A copy of such determination shall be sent by certified mail or served personally upon the applicant.
(q) The procedure governing hearings authorized by this Section shall be in accordance with rules promulgated by the Department. A full and complete record shall be kept of all proceedings, including the notice of hearing, complaint and all other documents in the nature of pleadings, written motions filed in the proceedings, and the report and orders of the Director and Hearing Officer. All testimony shall be reported but need not be transcribed unless review of the decision is sought pursuant to the Administrative Review Law. Copies of the transcript may be obtained by any interested party on payment of the cost of preparing such copies. The Director or Hearing Officer shall, upon his or her own motion or on the written request of any party to the proceeding, issue subpoenas requiring the attendance and the giving of testimony by witnesses, and subpoenas duces tecum requiring the production of books, papers, records or memoranda. All subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum issued under the terms of this Section may be served by any person of legal age. The fees of witnesses for attendance and travel shall be the same as the fees of witnesses before the circuit courts of this State, such fees to be paid when the witness is excused from further attendance. When the witness is subpoenaed at the instance of the Director or Hearing Officer, such fees shall be paid in the same manner as other expenses of the Department, and when the witness is subpoenaed at the instance of any other party to any such proceeding, the Department may require that the cost of service of the subpoena or subpoena duces tecum and the fee of the witness be borne by the party at whose instance the witness is summoned. In such case, the Department, in its discretion, may require a deposit to cover the cost of such service and witness fees. A subpoena or subpoena duces tecum so issued shall be served in the same manner as a subpoena issued by a circuit court.
(r) Any circuit court of this State, upon the application of the Director or upon the application of any other party to the proceeding, may, in its discretion, compel the attendance of witnesses, the production of books, papers, records or memoranda and the giving of testimony before the Director or Hearing Officer conducting an investigation or holding a hearing authorized by this Section, by an attachment for contempt or otherwise, in the same manner as production of evidence may be compelled before the court.
(s) The Director or Hearing Officer, or any party in an investigation or hearing before the Department, may cause the depositions of witnesses within the State to be taken in the manner prescribed by law for like depositions in civil actions in courts of this State, and to that end compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, records, or memoranda.
(t) Any person who violates this Section or any rule or regulation adopted by the Department, or who violates any determination or order of the Department under this Section, shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and shall be fined a sum not less than $100. Each day's violation constitutes a separate offense. The State's Attorney of the county in which the violation occurs, or the Attorney General of the State of Illinois, may bring such actions in the name of the People of the State of Illinois; or may in addition to other remedies provided in this Section, bring action for an injunction to restrain such violation, or to enjoin the operation of any establishment.
(u) The State of Illinois, and all of its agencies, institutions, offices and subdivisions shall comply with all requirements, prohibitions and other provisions of this Section and regulations adopted thereunder.
(v) No agency of the State shall authorize, permit or license the construction or operation of any potential route, potential primary source, or potential secondary source, as those terms are defined in the Environmental Protection Act, in violation of any provision of this Section or the regulations adopted hereunder.
(w) This Section shall not apply to any water supply which is connected to a community water supply which is regulated under the Environmental Protection Act, except as provided in Section 9.1.
(Source: P.A. 92-369, eff. 8-15-01; 92-652, eff. 7-11-02.)

(415 ILCS 55/9.1)
Sec. 9.1. Notification of actual or potential contamination.
(a) Whenever the Agency identifies any volatile organic compound in excess of the Board's Groundwater Quality Standards or the Safe Drinking Water Act maximum contaminant level while performing its obligations under Section 7 of this Act, Section 13.1 of the Environmental Protection Act, or the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, the Agency shall notify the Department, unless notification has already been provided, and the unit of local government affected.
(b) Within 60 days of receipt of notice provided for in subsection (a) of this Section, the Department, or the Department in coordination with the delegated county health department, shall provide notice to the public identifying the contaminants of concern. The notice shall be provided by means of electronic or print media and must be designed to inform the owner of any private water system, semi-private water system, or non-community public water system within an area potentially affected by the identified contamination of the need for the system owner to test the system for possible contamination. The notice shall appear in the media for 3 consecutive weeks.
(c) A unit of local government shall take any action that it deems appropriate, such as informing any homeowner who potentially could be adversely affected, within a reasonable time after notification by the Agency under subsection (a) of this Section.
(Source: P.A. 92-652, eff. 7-11-02.)

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