Erin Brockovich: More answers needed regarding Mount Pleasant water
Consumer advocate and environmental activist Erin Brockovich is now officially asking questions about the Mount Pleasant water supply.
She confirmed to ABC News 4 she and Robert Bowcock, the water quality expert she has worked with for years, have sent emails demanding the Mount Pleasant water supply be checked for 23 contaminants over the past six years.
Brockovich, who became famous for more than 100 cancer cases caused by contaminated water in a small California town in the 1990s, is now focused on what is running through the pipes 3,000 miles away in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.
She said Mount Pleasant Waterworks (MPW) appears to be “stonewalling” her requests for research and data.
She said she has kept a close eye on Mount Pleasant since Brandy Richardson and Marie Price first shared their stories with us. Richardson’s son Ethen was diagnosed and died from Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, a rare pediatric brain tumor, within a year. Price’s son, Nick, was diagnosed and survived another rare brain tumor. The two mothers lived in bordering neighborhoods and began to wonder why their children, and another just this year, where diagnosed with such rare cancers.
“It always begins with the people who live in the area who are noticing something unusual, and this circumstance would be those children with brain tumors,” Brockovich said.
Earlier this week, MPW tested the water in three neighborhoods -- Park West, Dunes West, and RiverTowne.
In a release on Thursday, the company said the results do not indicate any concern. Still, the company will have a third party conduct more testing. They expect those results back the week of July 17th.
While MPW insists the water is safe to drink, Brockovich isn’t 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. If there's a problem there, Let's get busy fixing it.”
Brockovich said Mayor Linda Page has been very cooperative with them, and Page told ABC News 4 the town and MPW are committed to doing everything they can to get to the bottom of this.
Brockovich also said their research will now focus on several small manufacturing facilities in the area and any waste they might have produced, although she didn’t name which companies.
She said she is committed to doing anything she can to help Price and Richardson.
“If they are brave enough to be outspoken for not just themselves and their family but their neighbor and their community and they want to make sure it's safe for all, I'm their biggest fan,” Brockovich said.
Brockovich said there’s a huge need to track cancer cases is small areas. It’s why she launched Community HealthBook, a website that tracks cases by location. Anyone can use it and see what others are reporting in their area.
“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 with a brain tumor, but we don’t know because we don’t have a place to report.”
Thanks to Trevor’s Law, which was passed last summer, federal government is required by law to document and track cancer clusters. Brockovich said it’s hard to enforce, but a database with real numbers could help. The Community HealthBook is a way to document cases in the hopes it could help researchers in the future.