Microblog 6: Water is life


Joseph Kiger, a night-school teacher in Parkersburg, called Bilott to ask for help. About nine months earlier, he received a peculiar note from the Lubeck water district. It arrived on Halloween day, enclosed in the monthly water bill. The note explained that an unregulated chemical named PFOA had been detected in the drinking water in ’low concentrations,’ but that it was not a health risk.

That was 2005. This is from a 2016 New York Times feature on the lawsuits against DuPont for knowingly dumping toxic PFAS, the carcinogenic “forever chemicals” now known to be in a lot of people’s drinking water but only very recently and selectively regulated (thanks to the cozy relationship between chemical corporations and their regulators).

From Halloween to All Saints: yesterday all the customers of Middlesex Water Company learned that PFOA had been detected in our drinking water, but, says MWC in an informational slideshow, there is “NO IMMEDIATE HEALTH RISK!”

Nonetheless Middlesex Water sued 3M back in July for the cost of building the treatment facility to filter PFAS from our water. Glad they were ahead of the game there, and if they win, it will certainly be nice for them. The rest of us are supposed to wait until 2023, when the facility will be operational, in theory.

As I sit alone in my home office, there is also no immediate health risk from COVID infection or climate change. This is fine.