Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Midland's water contaminated

Erin Brockovich is on it:

"I never thought I'd see another Hinkley, California," Brockovich told CBS News from Midland, Texas, “but I’m afraid I might be wrong."

Hexavalent chromium, Brockovich said, is now being found in significant amounts in the water of over 40 homes in Midland.

"The only difference between here and Hinkley," Brockovich said, "is that I saw higher levels here than I saw in Hinkley."

Midland resident Kay Saythre knew something was wrong, and asked Brockovich to investigate.

"We didn’t really understand why the water was yellow when we filled the pool," Saythre said.

She also conducted a town hall meeting there last night:

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing — green water,” Brockovich, now president of Brockovich Research and Consulting, told a crowd of concerned homeowners and neighbors at the Midland County Horseshoe Arena.

The water looked like Gatorade coming out of the tap at one home near the most hard-hit area of County Road 112. The levels of hexavalent chromium in the wells is the highest she’s ever seen.

Drilling company Schlumberger is the suspected culprit.

Bob Bowcock, Brockovich’s chief environmental investigator, said in his research he has learned the state tested some wells in the area in February 2006 and found the levels to be at 2,600 parts per billion (ppb), well above the 100 ppb safety threshold. However, an error was made and not one of the homeowners was notified of the problem.

Now three years later, some of those levels measure at 5,000 ppb and higher.

“What people are pulling out of their water today, I wouldn’t give to my dogs. Or rats I wanted to kill in my attic,” he said.

There's a website set up for the area's residents.

No comments: