By Anne Di Grazia
July 26, 2016
It was once classified as a "safe" pesticide by Central Valley farmers and an "okay" cleaning product. But 1-2-3 TCP is far from safe. It is an colorless, odorless, cancer-causing chemical that has leaked into our groundwater.
Isabel Martinez and Jerry Tinoco live in Arvin and claim the water is contaminated.
"You know our people is dying that's not fair that's not fair at all," Martinez said.
"We have 1-2-3 TCP and Arsenic in the water, we don't have safe drinking water in Arvin," Tinoco said.
During the state water board presentation they learned 471 public water system wells across the state are tainted with 1-2-3 TCP. According to officials, 117 of those wells are here in Kern, the highest number in the state.
State Water Board spokesperson, Andrew DiLuccia, said those are private wells they are public wells that serve 15 or more connections.
To ensure clean drinking water the board is looking to develop a maximum contaminant level schedule to hold providers accountable, making sure they are testing water and monitoring constantly. Informing the public of 1-2-3 TCP contamination and treating appropriately.
"It will have a legal enforcement which we don't have right now in order to get water systems back in compliance," DiLuccia said.
A long term plan that won't start until 2018 but will give the community hope.
"It's a big step for them to come down to the valley, to the belly of the beast, and educate the residents, the people who are affected directly," Tinoco said.
The board said it will use public input to establish it's final maximum contaminant level recommendation. If you missed today's meeting and want more information click here.