What you can do if your water is contaminated

Many years ago I had a client who woke up to find out his well water was contaminated by gasoline. He lived only two blocks from a gas station, which was the obvious source. He was certain that his government—federal state or local— would come to his rescue.

So he went to his township, only to find they had no jurisdiction over the problem.
Next he called the USEPA, only to be told that Congress had exempted gasoline and other petroleum products from regulation under the Superfund law. Finally he went to the PADEP, but because the gas station refused to accept responsibility, he had to arrange for his own bottled water and shower in other people’s homes. He came to me and eventually we obtained a substantial judgment against the gas station . But nothing could really make up for the nightmare he and his family lived for months and years.
Just as war is too important to be left to generals, your drinking water is too important to be left to the government and the industries it’s supposed to regulate. An active, engaged and outspoken citizenry is essential.

In Toms River N.J., the childhood cancer cluster would still be unknown , and its cause unexplored, were it not for the tenacity of Linda Gillick, Kim Pascarella and the rest of the Citizens Action Committee. In Flint, MI, a city of 100,000 might still be drinking contaminated water were it not for the militancy of people like Leann Walters and Melissa Mays who refused to accept the false reassurances of their government and demanded answers to their questions . And in a little town near Pease AFB NH, a group of extraordinary women relentlessly pushed against the inertia of the federal bureaucracy to make a difference not just for themselves, but for millions of people whose water is contaminated with PFAS.

As a result of their efforts, members of the community had their blood tested , the Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry drew a road map for studying the health effects of PFAS on people who drink them and, last but not least, New Hampshire’s Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was able to get an Act of Congress passed that appropriates up to $10 million for a nationwide study of health effects of PFAS contamination at military sites.
Their story is chronicled in the PowerPoint, which they have graciously shared with me. It provides all affected communities with a prototype for action

If you only have a few moments, the most important Slide is #13 and the most important word is “push”. A special thanks to Andrea Amico for her continuing leadership in this effort.