CEH Files Complaint Against Four Metal Plating Facilities Discharging Dangerous Levels of PFAS Chemicals into the Environment in LA County
Contact: Emily DiFrisco, firstname.lastname@example.org
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) filed a complaint against four metal plating facilities in Los Angeles County after discovering that these companies are discharging significant amounts of toxic PFAS chemicals, also called “forever chemicals,” into groundwater, with some at more than 100 times the proposed limit set by the U.S. EPA. CEH is partnering with local water advocates to fight for the health of people working and living near the facilities and across the state.
PFAS chemicals are associated with the development of cancers, diseases in multiple organ systems, and immune deficiencies. Even exposure at very low levels can increase the chance of adverse health outcomes in people.
Martha Camacho Rodriguez, a resident of Downey, California and water advocate, has known about the related local PFAS contamination of specific water wells in Southeast LA for over four years. “I’m a consumer and I know that if I go to the grocery store and buy something that’s not ok, I can take it back and get a refund. When something is unhealthy or dirty, there are consequences — but here we aren’t seeing any consequences,” said Camacho Rodriguez, who is a former high school teacher in Compton and the founder of nonprofit Social Eco Education (SEE).
CEH sent legal notices to these facilities in June, giving the companies 60 days to respond, after which legal action would be initiated.
“We’re all impacted by contaminated groundwater. We rely on this precious resource to grow food, to quench our thirst, to keep our rivers full, and to keep green spaces, such as parks and forests, thriving. Corporations’ business operations have the potential of causing greater harm or good than the actions of one individual. As such, we are taking legal action to halt this unchecked PFAS pollution and protect our groundwater,” said Karina Gomez, Senior Manager of Community Engagement at CEH.
Under Proposition 65, California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, facilities cannot discharge hazardous chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive harm, into known sources of drinking water. CEH seeks to require these facilities to eliminate the source of PFOA and PFOS releases and clean up their operations. Given the ubiquity of PFAS in the environment, identifying these industrial sources of PFAS pollution will begin the long process of remediation and clean-up.
Facilities included in complaint:
- Bowman Plating (Compton)
- Alloy Processing (Precision Castparts) (Compton)
- Moog Specialized Systems (Torrance)
- Coast Plating (California Mfg. Technology Consulting, Valence Surface Technologies LLC) (Gardena)
The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) is a 27-year-old organization leading the nationwide effort to protect people from toxic chemicals by working with communities, consumers, workers, government, and the private sector to demand and support business practices that are safe for public health and the environment.