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A pipe is one of the few signs that houses once stood on the property where Pacific Gas & Electric bought and razed them after the company was found to have polluted the ground water with cancer-causing hexavalent chromium for 30 years. The community's pollution struggle inspired the movie 'Erin Brockovich.'
Southern California Congressman Adam Schiff is renewing a call for limits on the notorious cancer-causing heavy metal hexavalent chromium that contaminates water.
Hexavalent chromium exists naturally, but industrial contamination has spread it so much that 13 million Californians in most of the state's counties risk some exposure.
The Environmental Protection Agency of California issued the first public health goal in the United States for hexavalent chromium last year. The level it suggests is 2,500 times smaller than the present standard.
The federal EPA recently said it plans to drill more wells in the San Fernando Valley so it can monitor groundwater used in Burbank and Glendale. The area's congressman, Democrat Schiff, is renewing pressure on state officials to make the lower goal for hexavalent chromium an enforceable limit.
Lowering the goal could be anywhere from a two- to four-year process.
Schiff argues that the rule was supposed to be in place eight years ago, so California health regulators need to pick up the pace.