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Right-to-Know

The 2009 Right-to-Know law requires that the owner/operator of the community water supply notify all users of the supply when water is contaminated or there is a threat of contamination. This is addition to the current Illinois law, which requires the Illinois EPA to notify water supply owners and operators of contamination. The bill also establishes a monetary penalty and makes providing false information to environmental enforcement officials a felony under state law.

The 2006 Right-to-Know law requires Illinois EPA to notify citizens when contamination in soil or groundwater that poses a threat of exposure to the public is found.  The Right-to-Know notifications will include information about the contaminant, a description of the potential adverse health effects, and a recommendation that water wells be tested. The method of notification may include one or more of the following:  personal notification, such as letters mailed to individual well owners, public meetings, signs, or notices in local newspapers. The Right-to-Know fact sheet contains additional information about the law and the notifications.

The 2002 Illinois’ Right-to-Know law (Please see 415 ILCS 55/9.1 regarding Notification of actual or potential contamination.) requires the Illinois Department of Public Health to alert private well users to groundwater contamination that may threaten their wells. The notices occur when groundwater contamination is detected in public water supply wells at levels determined by Illinois EPA to be a threat to private well users in the vicinity. This would not necessarily constitute a threat to the public water supply.

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