McLean County Board turns down oil drilling permit request

BLOOMINGTON - During a meeting Monday night, the McLean County Board turned down a Pennsylvania oil company's request to drill due to concerns that the Mahomet aquifer could be polluted.

Board members voted 15-3 to turn down a permit request from Minard Run Oil Company.  The oil company sought to drill near the town of Downs, located about 15 miles southeast of Bloomington.

According to McLean County board member George Gordon, some evidence was provided that shows the proposed drilling location wouldn't be close enough to the Mahomet aquifer to pollute it.  However, no information was provided on underground tributaries, which might feed into the aquifer.  Another board member, Paul Segobiano, says fears of the aquifer being polluted by the drilling activity were unfounded.

The Mahomet aquifer is located underneath much of central Illinois, and is a water source for several communities.
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