California Finally Begins Regulating Cancer-Causing Chemical Found in Drinking Water

Sasha Khokha prepares to test the water in her Fresno home for the presence of 1,2,3-TCP. (Lisa Morehouse/KQED)

Update, July 18, 2017:

More than 25 years after the state determined that 1,2,3-TCP causes cancer, the State Water Resources Control Board voted to approve a standard for the chemical in drinking water. They set the limit at 5 parts per trillion, a level supported by clean water and pesticide reform advocates. The state will now start water systems to test all of their wells every month starting in January.

Board chair Felicia Marcus called the vote, “a very important day for public health.”

“It’s a very serious public health threat,” agreed board Vice-Chair Steven Moore. “California officially determined that this is a carcinogen. And when you look at the science and the experiments and all that was done to show it, it is disquieting how serious and insidious this chemical is.”

Update, June 20, 2017:

The state water board has proposed a standard for 1,2,3-TCP and held a hearing to receive public comment. The state is proposing that the maximum contamination for 1,2,3-TCP in drinking water be set at 5 parts per trillion. The nonprofit Community Water Center, which advocates for safe, clean drinking water in the San Joaquin Valley, testified in support of the proposed standard.

State water officials have not yet formally implemented the standard, but they have issued an updated map showing contaminated wells.

The Fresno City Council has authorized a study to find out how to remove 12,3-TCP from the city’s water supply.

Update, January 2, 2017:

In January, The State Water Resources Control Board is expected to roll out the draft of a first-ever enforceable standard for 1,2,3-TCP in California drinking water.

In December, the city of Clovis, in Fresno County, won a $22 million court judgment against Shell Oil Co., for TCP Read More …

Source:: Science

California Finally Begins Regulating Cancer-Causing Chemical Found in Drinking Water 24 July,2017Sasha Khokha


Sasha Khokha

Sasha Khokha is the host of The California Report  weekly magazine program, which takes listeners on sound-rich radio excursions around the Golden State.

As The California Report’s Central Valley Bureau Chief for nearly a dozen years, Sasha brought the lives and concerns of rural Californians to listeners around the state. Sasha’s reporting helped exposed the hidden price immigrant women janitors and farmworkers may pay to keep their jobs: sexual assault at work — and helped change California law with regard to sexual harassment of farmworkers.  She’s won a national PRNDI award for investigative reporting, as well as multiple prizes from the Radio Television News Directors Association and the Society for Professional Journalists.

She began her radio career in waterproof overalls, filing stories about the salmon fishery at Raven Radio in Sitka, AK. She has produced and reported for several documentary films. Calcutta Calling, about children adopted from India to Swedish-Lutheran Minnesota, was nominated for an Emmy Award.

Sasha is  a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and Brown University, and is the mother of two young children.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor