In late 2017, we wrote about how Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan had filed the first lawsuit against Peoples Gas over the Mahomet gas leak. That saga has continued as Spiros Law has filed the second lawsuit against Peoples Gas "on behalf of 21 additioanl Mahomet-area residentswho had their drinking water contaminated by a gas leak". Check out the full press release below, and read Dane Torbeck's piece from November 2017 about the situation.

From the press release:

SPIROS LAW FILES SECOND LAWSUIT AGAINST PEOPLES GAS ON BEHALF OF 21 ADDITIONAL MAHOMET-AREA RESIDENTS WHO HAD THEIR DRINKING WATER CONTAMINATED BY A GAS LEAK AS STATE-ORDERED TESTING SHOWS THE CONTAMINATION CONTINUES TO SPREAD

Between the lawsuit filed last year and the one filed today, Spiros Law now represents 38 plaintiffs who allege their drinking water has been contaminated when Peoples Gas leaked a large amount of natural gas into the Mahomet Aquifer

Mahomet, IL – This morning, Spiros Law, P.C., filed a second lawsuit in Champaign County Circuit Court against The Peoples Gas Light and Coke Company (Peoples Gas) on behalf of an additional 21 people affected by a gas leak from Manlove Field, an underground natural gas storage facility operated by Peoples Gas in rural Mahomet. (Click here for a copy of the Complaint)

“We hoped that a large corporate entity like Peoples Gas would come forth and take responsibility for the damage it has caused to the Mahomet Aquifer by now,” said James Spiros, founding partner of Spiros Law. “However, that still is not the case. Peoples Gas doesn’t even provide energy services locally, the gas it stores in Mahomet is shipped to the Chicagoland area. In our opinion, Peoples Gas has shown no concern for the residents of central Illinois like our clients.”

The lawsuit filed today is on behalf of 21 plaintiffs who own nine homes, including two seniors (Herb and Lily Stauffer, both 84), three minor children (12, 10, and 5 years old), a local veterinarian (Todd Lykins), and a retired Centennial High School chemistry teacher (George Stanhope). In June 2018, Spiros Law filed a lawsuit on behalf of 17 other plaintiffs who reside in neighboring homes to the plaintiffs who filed today.

Spiros Law filed the lawsuit today after additional testing, ordered by the State earlier this year, confirmed that the gas contamination has spread to residential water wells that previously did not show signs of contamination during the Illinois EPA’s initial survey conducted in November 2017. This year’s updated testing has also revealed a dramatic increase in the level of gas contamination previously observed in some of the other homes. The additional testing was requested by homeowners who had concerns that their water quality had changed. Peoples Gas has, thus far, not agreed to conduct routine scheduled testing for homeowners in the area of the contamination, even though this was requested by homeowners through Spiros Law over a year ago and even after this latest round showed the contamination spreading.

“It is very concerning that a second round of testing ordered by the State has confirmed that Peoples Gas’ contamination of the Mahomet Aquifer has grown in the number of homes affected and the levels of flammable gas found in certain homes’ drinking water,” said Spiros Law attorney Matthew Duco. “Even more alarming is that Peoples Gas has not agreed to do routine scheduled testing, which we requested over a year ago, even for homes that are surrounded on both sides with gas contamination. Everything we have seen demonstrates that Peoples Gas is simply not interested in proactively investigating the extent of the contamination or how the gas it leaked is migrating through the freshwater aquifer. Homeowners in Mahomet deserve better and, hopefully, through the civil litigation process we will be able to shed some light on Peoples Gas’ actions.”

Peoples Gas transports natural gas from other states and injects the gas 4,000 feet below the surface into a natural formation underlying about 27,500 acres of mostly residential and farmland property in rural Mahomet solely for storage purposes. The leak occurred from one of the 153 gas injection/withdrawal wells at Manlove Field, known as the L. McCord No. 2 well, located on Route 47 just south of County Road 2800 North in rural Mahomet. According to the lawsuit, data collected by the Illinois State Water Survey indicates that there was a blow-out on October 28, 2015, that changed the water levels of the aquifer system by up to 50 feet in some locations. However, Peoples Gas has contended that it did not know about the leak until one of its employees discovered gas bubbling in a puddle of water over a year later on December 6, 2016.

Peoples Gas is a subsidiary of WEC Energy Group Inc. (NYSE: WEC), which reported $7.6 billion in revenue earned last year. This is the second lawsuit Spiros Law has filed against Peoples Gas. Anyone who would like more information or thinks their well water may also be contaminated can call James Spiros or Matthew Duco at 217-443-4343 or visit www.MahometGasLeak.com.

Top photo from Spiros Law