Senator Rose secures $3.8 million for first step toward clean water to homes affected by People's Gas Contamination of the Mahomet Aquifer! These dollars are meant to "jump start" the extension of water lines to homes that were affected by the Peoples Gas natural gas leak, according to State Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet).
"The Attorney General’s office has had 2 1/2 years to compel the polluters at Peoples Gas to clean up their mess and get these people clean water. Not only has the current Attorney General failed to force Peoples Gas to extend fresh clean water to these homes, he actively opposed the homeowners attempts to let the judge in the Attorney General's suit know how they felt about the job he is doing! Somebody had to do something to get clean water for these people - this is a situation where we are able to get our tax money to come back into our community with a project like this - a project that is desperately needed," said Rose.
"But let me be clear, I am really ticked off that the taxpayers are picking up this tab. This isn't their mess to clean up,” added Rose. “The Attorney General needs to get off his duff and compel People's to clean up their mess. My mom always told me, 'if you break it, you fix it'. Well Peoples Gas broke it and they should pay to fix it!"
In 2016, residents in the Mahomet area noticed issues with their water, including noxious smells and in at least one case, tap water that could be lit on fire. Eventually, Peoples Gas admitted that there had been a leak at a well at Manlove Field, a storage area where the company holds Natural Gas near the Mahomet Aquifer. The leak caused a large bubble of Natural Gas that has been moving through the aquifer. Rose, along with other local and state officials worked to get programs moving forward to track the plume of contamination, study the issue, as well as sponsoring and passing tough new regulations on the natural gas industry in in order to protect the aquifer.
Eventually, the Illinois Attorney General's office got involved as well, filing suit in 2017, but has so far refused to hold Peoples Gas responsible for the cost of running clean, safe water lines to affected homes.
Senator Rose was able to get $3.8 million dollars in state funding secured for the first phase of a project to extend Sangamon Valley Water Authority lines to provide the clean water source for families with contaminated water.
"The AG should compel People's Gas to reimburse the taxpayers for this cost and also to fund Phase 2 of the project when ready for construction - so that we can finally bring clean, fresh water to each and every home impacted by People's Gas' negligence," said Rose.