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The city of Glendale has taken the lead in studying the remediation of chromium 6, said Pankaj Parekh, a senior water administrator in the Department of Water Power.
Her investigation and a resulting legal settlement against PG was the topic of the 2000 hit movie Brockovich. public health officials could not be reached for comment Friday.
an amazing (high) number. Ten years ago, that number would have never been so high, said Brockovich, who believes that across America ordinary citizens are taking time to educate themselves and become involved in environmental policy.
The California health department job is to protect the people, said Daron Banks, a Hinkley community leader who acknowledges the effects of polluted water has killed the Hinkley community, which is rapidly withering as residents of the High Desert town leave.
low number, 0.02 parts per billion, does not take into consideration technology to measure an amount so low and the cost of reducing chromium 6 to such a small number, both items the California Department of Public Health is charged with factoring in when they set an MCL.
But the agency Fact Sheet says public health goal is not an enforceable drinking water standard, that it is not a boundary between and levels of a chemical.
Federal water regulators set up a phase in period for a number of years when they adopt a new maximin contaminate level. For California, there is no phase in period, Benoit said in a telephone interview.
a plume of Cap Adidas Blue chromium 6 in Hinkley put there by Pacific Gas Electric company operations.
Glendale, Burbank and parts of the Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley exist above a massive pollution plume that includes chromium 6 and other toxins.
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San Bernardino County officials are investigating the possibility of submitting comments on the proposed chromium 6 standard this week.
The district has wells with chromium 6 at levels slightly above 20 parts per billion or about double the proposed MCL, said Riverside County Supervisor John J. Benoit.
Friday is the last day to file comments.
After reviewing what Glendale has learned this week , the supervisors are likely to file comments prior to Friday deadline, Leaf said.
Others, including activist Erin Brockovich and some Hinkley residents, think it not low enough and compromises the safety of many California residents.
feel like we (California residents) got sold out, he said about the proposed MCL. State officials hope to announce the enforceable MCL in July.
More than 1,200 comments have been filed with the California Department of Public Health, ahead of an October 11 deadline for public comment.
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In August, after the state released its draft maximum contaminant level, Los Angeles County supervisors asked the city of Glendale to its review of potential cost reduction strategies relating to the removal of chromium 6 levels in that city groundwater, said Fred Leaf, a health policy specialist for Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.
But Brockovich and others note that the health department is required to set MCL at a level as close as is technically and economically feasible to the contaminant public health goal and that the state has the law by setting the proposed MCL 500 times higher than the public health goal.
the very minimum, we need to get some relief on the time we have to phase in the new standard, Benoit said.
Brockovich became famous for her work as a legal clerk, investigating Nike Hat White
County actions put it on our radar, one county supervisor chief of staff said.
6 water standard draws ire
But the maximum contaminant level, or MCL, needs to be lower than what California is now proposing, she said.
Some, including the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, think a historic proposed California limit for cancer causing chromium 6 in drinking water is set too low and so will cost too much to implement.
Brockovich maintains the state is acting illegally if it does not bring the proposed MCL of 10 parts per billion closer to what state scientists from outside the California Department of Public Health determined was the ideally safe level chromium 6 would be in drinking water, which was 0.02 parts per billion.
For Riverside County 1,000 square mile Coachella Valley Water District, the proposed standard will result in as much as another $50 per month added its 108,000 home and business connections, said spokeswoman Heather Engel.
come, said Brockovich in an interview last week.
And on another front, are not convinced about the validity of the science that the California Department of Public Health used to determine that nothing above 10 parts per billion would be safe to drink, Benoit said.
Benoit said that not only would some Riverside County residents receive a significant boost in their monthly water bills, but water districts would be made vulnerable to lawsuits.
The San Fernando Valley plume, which includes chromium 6, is about 11 miles long and about 5 miles across at its widest point, Parekh said.
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