An important second step has been made to help get safe water to homeowners with dangerous, and in some cases flammable, tap water, now that the Governor has signed legislation filed by State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet).
“We have people with unsafe drinking water, including some who can light their tap water on fire, due to the actions of the People’s Gas Company that refuses to take financial responsibility and extend water lines to the homes they poisoned,” said Rose. “This legislation revises the various water district boundary lines in order to allow Sangamon Valley Public Water District to extend water lines to the affected areas of Northwest Champaign County,” he continued.
The Mahomet Aquifer supplies drinking water to half a million homes in Eastern and Central Illinois. A few years ago, natural gas leaked into the aquifer from a People’s Gas storage site, contaminating the well water for many homes located in Champaign County.
Senate Bill 2663, sponsored by Rose, fixes an issue with water service district boundaries with the Sangamon Valley Public Water District and the Village of Mahomet – the impacted homes will now be within Sangamon Valley’s jurisdiction.
This important ‘second step’ in the process comes on the heels of Rose securing critical funding for the 1st phase of water lines extensions.
“The money was passed by the GA last year, and now that the boundary lines have been set, all these homeowners need now is for Governor Pritzker to release the funds to begin the work,” added Rose. “I would also note that it has been almost five years since the People’s Gas leak was first discovered and the company has refused outright to extend water lines to fix their mess and Attorney General Kwame Raoul, who has supposedly been suing them, has done nothing either.”
“Now that the boundaries lines are settled, hopefully Pritzker will be more helpful than ‘do-nothing’ Attorney General Raoul, and release these dollars ASAP. But, this shouldn’t be the taxpayers’ mess to clean up, People’s Gas has a duty to do it and General Raoul has a duty to force them to do it if they refuse,” Rose concluded.
The legislation was signed by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker on Friday, June 25th.