San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Monday, September 26, 2016

When In Doubt, Sue A Profit Seeking Corporation

The front page headline story in my Saturday Denver Post told the sad story of the lady manager of a farm in Fountain, Colorado who is unable to harvest her produce this year because of the presence of PFCs in her crops.  The headline read, "Farm turned wasteland" and had the following things to say about the plight of this poor woman:
"It's harvest time, but this year, there's no pumpkin giveaway at Venetucci Farm, which for decades has delighted families in the Pikes Peak region and produced fruits and vegetables for schools and others.  Instead, researchers are conducting studies and drawing blood from cows in search for signs of contamination.  Reeling from the toxic chemicals that have tainted groundwater south of Colorado Springs, the iconic Venetucci operation was forced to shut down sales before the harvest, which farm co-manager Susan Gordon figures cost it $100,000 in lost sales.  Gordon and her family are making plans to have their own blood tested because for a decade they have been drinking water contaminated by perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs.  They know there is no remedy if it turns out they absorbed cancer-causing PFCs."
Just how bad is the PFC contamination at the farm?  According to the story, "This week the latest government well test data shows PFCs have contaminated groundwater throughout the Fountain Creek watershed, nearly as far south as Pueblo, at levels up to five times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency health advisory limit of 70 parts per trillion."  That sounds pretty bad, doesn't it?  How could such a thing take place with a government regulated and controlled water source?
A part of the answer to that question has to do with the fact that the 70 parts per trillion standard was just established in May of this year.  The article says, "PFCs have been included on lists of chemicals that EPA scientists are considering for possible regulation in the future.  Federal water quality experts for years have known about PFCs, but it wasn't until May that the EPA issued the 70 ppt health advisory limit, lowered from a previous limit of 400ppt."  Well there it is.  The current level of PFC contamination in the Fountain water supply of 350 ppt was within the federal water standards limit of 400 ppt prior to May of this year.  It was only after that limit was dramatically reduced from 400 ppt to 70 ppt that the water quality in the Fountain Creek watershed became an issue.  One day the water was good, the next day it was toxic, according to government scientists. 
So who is responsible for the PFC contamination?  Although the article says no definitive answer to that question has yet been determined, the two primary suspects are the Air Force and the City of Colorado Springs.  Apparently the Air Force routinely uses a product called "aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) at military airfields to suppress fuel fires and explosions.  AFFF is the prime suspect in the presence of PFCs in Fountain Creek.  The Air Force has declared that "any Air Force use of the AFFFs at military airfields has been done in full compliance with the law."  The second possible culprit in the case is the City of Colorado Springs fire department, which apparently uses AFFF in its training exercises.  The location of the training exercises allows the AFFF used there to drain into Fountain Creek, according to the article.
The article also points out that "it's not illegal to make and use PFCs, and, although the EPA in May issued the health advisory, those who use PFCs are not regulated."  So we have a situation in which a particular chemical is legal to produce, market and sell.  Two primary users of this particular chemical, both of them government entities, are likely responsible for contaminating the water source for the City of Fountain.  Prior to May the water in Fountain was technically not contaminated but the change in quality standards by the EPA changed the status of the water from good to contaminated.  Once the water was officially contaminated the people who have been using that water experienced serious repercussions.  Two of those repercussions were that Susan Gordon could no longer sell the produce from her farm and Susan Gordon is now afraid of getting sick due to the presence of PFCs in her body as a result of drinking the now technically contaminated water.
I think I have done a decent job of summing up the situation in Fountain from the perspective of one person who lives there.
Can you guess what some of the folks who live in Fountain have decided to do about their predicament?  I bet you can.  Remember we live in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  Remember that most of the people who live in this envy filled land despise profit seeking corporations for no more reason than they earn profits.  Remember that most of the people who live in this idolatrous land worship the god of civil government and believe that only good things come from it.  Also remember that most people, following their natural sinful inclinations, like to use the immoral laws of this country to get something for nothing when they can.  So what have the good people of Fountain done?
According to the story, "Fellow residents of Fountain, Security and Colorado Springs filed two lawsuits in the U.S. District Court this week against 3M Corporation and various manufacturers that produced and sold firefighting foams they claim has leached the cancer causing chemicals in the Fountain Creek watershed.  The lawsuits seek a class action certification on behalf of affected residents and a declaration that the defendants acted with gross negligence and careless disregard for the safety of those who use water from the contaminated watershed."
So there you have it!  3M Corporation is a profit seeking corporation, and therefore quite evil.  3M Corporation produces a product that is legal to produce, legal to market, legal to sell and legal to use.  Two government entities purchased their product and used it according to standards established by the EPA, another government entity.  Then, the EPA changed the standards regulating how the product should be used and the two government entities were suddenly in non-compliance with the new regulation.  Everyone downstream from the source of the newly declared hazardous water contamination is negatively affected by that decision and they decide the moral thing to do is sue the company that made the PFCs.  The only way the action taken by the citizens makes any sense is if we grant that socialism is true, envy is good, idolatry of civil government is proper and all profit seeking corporations are, by definition, evil.  The moral of the story is simple......when in doubt, sue a profit seeking corporation.  Government agencies, government entities and government regulations are immaculate. 

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