URBANA — Peoples Gas will have to take some additional steps in connection with a 2016 natural-gas leak near Fisher, according to an amended order approved Friday by a Champaign County judge.
The amended order filed Friday by state Attorney General Kwame Raoul updates what Peoples Gas needs to do to ensure the cleanup of the Mahomet Aquifer — a drinking-water source to about 850,000 people — and to protect impacted homeowners, according to Raoul’s office.
The leak occurred at the company’s underground natural-gas storage facility near Fisher, with some gas migrating into the Mahomet Aquifer.
“My office is committed to ensuring that residents have access to safe drinking water while the company addresses the longer-term cleanup,” Raoul said. “This amended order requires Peoples Gas to take additional steps to protect residents from the harmful effects of natural gas, which includes continuing to offer bottled water to impacted homes and completing its testing of the wells used to transfer natural gas.”
As was the case with the order entered in October 2017, the amended one continues to require Peoples Gas to install and maintain gas detectors in homes impacted by the leak from the underground storage facility, Raoul’s office said.
The amended order also requires the utility to continue to offer and maintain gas-water separators to safeguard homes, and to arrange and pay for lodging for residents if a detector alerts to the presence of gas.
The updated order further directs Peoples Gas to complete a comprehensive inspection of all 153 of the facility’s wells and address any concerns immediately.
Plus, the utility must provide the state with written procedures for operations, maintenance and emergencies, along with any water- and gas-testing results, structural-integrity tests and facility leak-survey materials.
Peoples Gas must also develop and implement a groundwater-management zone that will be used to monitor and mitigate the gas released into the Mahomet Aquifer.
The amended order Friday will remain in place while the original 2017 lawsuit continues.