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Rauner Signs Underground Natural Gas Storage Act
Illinois Ag Connection - 01/08/2019

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation providing authority to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to implement federal regulation requirements and enhance safety at underground natural gas storage facilities in Illinois.

Senate Bill 3549 establishes the Illinois Underground Natural Gas Storage Act, which will allow the IDNR and the Illinois Commerce Commission to work with the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to ensure that all underground gas storage facilities in Illinois meet federal minimum safety standards.

"Underground gas storage fields are part of the natural gas delivery infrastructure in Illinois, but leaks at these sites can lead to health and safety hazards," Rauner said. "This new law gives the IDNR the authority to enforce standards and further protect the communities located in and around these facilities."

Senate Bill 3549 - sponsored by Senators Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, Scott Bennett, D-Champaign, and Representative Jerry Costello, D-Smithton - is effective immediately.

"I want to thank Gov. Rauner for signing this critical piece of legislation into law that will further protect the water supply for half a million people in Central Illinois," State Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet said. "This law is another major piece that beefs up the protection of the Mahomet Aquifer, as it gives IDNR - for the first time - primary enforcement authority against storage field operators - putting them on notice that we are serious about the protection of our drinking water. Additionally, without this legislation, the State of Illinois could potentially lose out on federal dollars that could enhance our inspection efforts and oversight. There is always more work to be done to protect our aquifer, but I thank Gov. Rauner, who has consistently signed every protection bill sent to him during his time in office, for today's action."

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