IN THE WORDS OF JOHN THEISEN, OWNER SANATOGA WATER CONDITIONING: The law firm of Weitz and Luxenberg, and had Erin Brackovich skyped in for a brief time to answer some questions. The firm is considering a class action suit and wanted to inform residents of their options. The parking lot and auditorium were pretty much filled to capacity, and the general mood was one of anger and concern. Residents posed questions to the attorneys present asking why they weren’t notified earlier, when solutions would be available and who was going to be responsible for the blood testing that will be critical in catching any issues caused by the tainted water. They mentioned high instances of cancers, especially childhood ones, in the general area. Besides the health concerns, lower property values, and possibly the total inability to sell your home should you want to relocate are also issues of concern to many.
About one third of those in attendance stated they were on well water, while the rest were on public water. Public water residents were assured that the water utility is now delivering them water that is below the recommended limits, but one resident questioned that if 16 wells have been shut down due to high PFC concentration, then wouldn’t the water in that aquifer eventually make its way into the aquifers serving the other wells anyway? Well owners were urged to contact the firm with any information they have regarding their wells, any testing that has been done, any reports of illness and any other pertinent facts.
Erin Brackovich stated that in the 22 years she has been a consumer advocate, the water supplies in our country have not gotten any better. She noted that officials at the Federal, State and Local levels are understaffed and under budgeted, and that there are roughly 88,000 chemical compounds out there and only about 100 are regulated at this point.
Another resident provided some information regarding the lifetime limit of PFC exposure, and stated that that recommended limit is about half of what the utility is delivering now.
My concern for all involved is that there really hasn’t been a lot of long term studies to determine what, if any amount of these compounds is safe. We can look back at Arsenic recommended and regulated levels 20 years ago that were at 50. So if you were drinking water at 20, you would feel safe because that was less than half of the limit. However, years later after more information was available, the EPA decided a limit of 10 was the safe limit, and some states even adopted a limit of 5! So the poor person who thought they were drinking water below half the limit is now suddenly drinking water at 2 to 4 times the limit!