GUEST COMMENTARY: It’s time to fix the impacts of TCP
The regulation of a potent cancer-causing chemical is about to kick into high gear, with Dow and Shell on the hook to account for decades of damage they’ve done to California communities, particularly low-income communities and communities of color in the state’s Central Valley.
The California State Water Quality Control Board is about to set a legal drinking water limit for the chemical, called 1,2,3 Trichloropropane (TCP), which Dow and Shell knowingly sold in contaminated pesticides for decades.
Dow and Shell could have taken 1,2,3 TCP out of their pesticides but it would have harmed their profits.
The Water Board has proposed setting the TCP drinking water standard at 5 parts per trillion, the level at which the chemical can be detected in drinking water. This would protect communities in 17 counties from this powerful carcinogen.
Clean Water Action, our allies at the Community Water Center, as well as impacted water systems and community members to get this limit established since early 2016. Our focus is to protect our impacted communities and to ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable for the water treatment costs.
We have already had some success. The Water Board’s drinking water program has done comprehensive technical and economic analyses needed to set a drinking water standard. They have just released a draft of the standard for public comment, and they expect to finalize it over the summer.
Our supporters have already sent hundreds of messages to the Water Board, asking them to put public health above corporate greed, and set the drinking water standard at 5 parts per trillion.
Let’s get this done.
—Andria Ventura is the toxics program manager at Clean Water Action. Folks wishing to take action on this issue can do so here