CEH Takes Legal Action Against Five Metal Plating Facilities Discharging High Levels of PFAS Chemicals into the Environment in LA County
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Emily DiFrisco (firstname.lastname@example.org)
LOS ANGELES, CA – Nonprofit organization the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) sent legal notices to five metal plating facilities in Los Angeles County today after discovering that these companies are discharging toxic PFAS chemicals, also called “forever chemicals,” into groundwater. The facilities include Bowman Plating, Alloy Processing, Universal Metal Plating, Moog Specialized Systems, and Coast Plating.
One water advocate is Martha Camacho Rodriguez, a resident of Downey, California, former high school teacher in Compton, and Founder of nonprofit Social Eco Education (SEE), who 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,” says Camacho Rodriguez.
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.
“Indigenous communities and communities of color have for centuries brought attention to the importance of our collective waters and how they contribute to healthy and thriving ecosystems and people,” said Kaya Allan Sugerman, Director of Illegal Toxic Threats at CEH. “Grassroots leaders responding to PFAS drinking water contamination – from North Carolina, to California, to Hawaiʻi – remind us that ‘Water is life.’ State and federal agencies must treat these toxic chemical exposure issues like our lives depend upon it, because they do.”
This news comes just weeks after legal notices were sent to three facilities in the Bay Area and Vacaville, where PFAS are being discharged into the groundwater beneath the facilities at levels exceeding the EPA’s proposed drinking water limit by over 100 times. In California, all groundwater is classified as a potential source of drinking water by the State Water Board.
“Information for information’s sake does nothing to protect our precious water resources. While the California water board’s study on where PFAS is coming from is to be lauded, their lack of resources and staff means they are not enforcing state law and preventing pollution. It’s time to take the PFAS crisis much more seriously and hold companies that release these toxic chemicals accountable,” said Andria Ventura, Legislative and Policy Director at Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund.
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 PFAS and clean up their operations.
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.