Erin Brockovich says MPW is “Stonewalling” Her Requests for Research and Data
MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (ALEX HEATON, WTAT-TV) — Mount Pleasant Waterworks (MPW) now says they have once again tested their water over public concern. They are following public demands and sending it to be retested by a third party.
Environmental activist Erin Brockovich’s team of water quality experts are now sharing their thoughts with us after a string of rare cancer cases in the area. “There is nothing like them [the parents]. Their children have been harmed, they have been asking questions, and they have a right to do that,” she said.
Brockovich is famous for discovering contaminated water in a small California town in the 1990’s. More 100 cases of cancer, caused by chromium 6, was discovered in the Hinkley groundwater.
Now, she is focused in what is running through the pipes 3,000 miles away.
“It always begins with the people who live in the area that are noticing something unusual, and this circumstance would be those children with brain tumors,” Brockovich said.
Brockovich has kept a close eye since Brandy Richardson and Marie Price first shared their stories with us. Actively sharing her thoughts on Facebook and demanding answers from Mount Pleasant Waterworks to several specific questions.
The company tested the water in three Mount Pleasant neighborhoods – Park West, Dunes West, and RiverTowne – earlier this week. The results are not back yet. But they are insisting the water is safe to drink. Brockovich, though, is not satisfied just yet.
“It isn’t about sitting here blaming,” she said. “That doesn’t solve anything. Something is going on. We’re asking questions. We’re going to find out and if there’s a problem there, let’s get busy fixing it.”
Her water quality expert, Robert Babcock, is involved as well. He provided us with emails asking MPW for data on whether 23 certain contaminants are found in the water.
Babcock says Mayor Linda Page has been very cooperative, but Brockovich says they feel stonewalled by the water company. They are not stopping there.
“You’ve got about 8-to-10 not large but smaller manufacturing processes around that we are taking a look at. We are starting to pull in your local river keepers and anything that they know,” she said.
Anything to be a voice for these moms.
“They are brave enough to be outspoken, not only just for themselves and their family but their neighbor and their community, and they want to make sure it’s safe for all, so I’m their biggest fan,” Brockovich said.
Erin Brockovich says people have been contacting her non-stop ever since this story broke from the Lowcountry to the entire country. She says most of them used to live in the area. One person said a loved one suffered from a rare disease afterward and wonders if there is a connection.
Right now there is no evidence that the cases are connected. DHEC told us the cases do not constitute a cancer cluster, but it’s why Brockovich launched a site called Community HealthBook, which tracks cases by location.
“When people go to the map they are like ‘wait a minute, I did not know that there’s a problem here and I live down in Florida, and I can report back’,” she said. “Because people are migratory, they move away so you know what there may be 20 more kids out there that have the same brain tumor, but we don’t know because we don’t have a place to report.”
Brockovich urges people to log on and report issues. Right now there are only four cancer cluster reports tagged in the Charleston area.
The federal government is required by law to document and track cancer clusters.