Hollywood film shines light on water quality, PFOA

The National Association of Water Companies, which represents regulated water and wastewater companies in the United States, praised a Hollywood film for raising awareness about the importance of water quality and the dangers of PFAS/PFOA contamination in drinking water.

The film, “Dark Waters,” now in theaters, tells the story of an attorney who brought a lawsuit against the DuPont chemical company for polluting the water supply of a West Virginia community.

The incident dates back to the early 2000’s near Parkersburg, West Virginia, located about 2 miles from a DuPont manufacturing plant. After an investigation, it was found that area residents’ blood levels registered far above EPA’s limits for C8, or PFOA, a chemical found in DuPont’s product Teflon, used worldwide on nonstick cookware.

According to reports, the company ended up facing 3,500 lawsuits filed in Federal Court by Mid-Ohio Valley residents in a 185-square-mile area around Parkersburg, claiming DuPont’s release of C8 into the air, ground and water was responsible for their illnesses.

“The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) and its members welcome the attention Dark
Waters will have on raising awareness about chemicals in our water,” said NAWC president and CEO Robert Powelson.

Recently, NAWC has been an advocate for the Environmental Protection Agency to complete the process of determining a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for PFAS. NAWC also believes that polluters, not ratepayers, should pay for treatment and clean-up costs related to PFAS contamination.

“We welcome the attention Dark Waters is bringing to water quality issues that affect millions of
Americans every day,” Powelson added.

“Dark Waters” stars Mark Ruffalo as Robert Bilott, the Cincinnati-based corporate defense attorney who brought legal action against DuPont, along with Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins and Bill Pullman in supporting roles.

Ruffalo last week testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which held a PFAS hearing on drinking water entitled “Toxic Forever Chemicals: A Call for Immediate Federal Action on PFAS.”

The National Association of Water Companies represents regulated water and wastewater
companies, as well as ones engaging in partnerships with municipal utilities. NAWC members provide
73 million Americans with safe and reliable water service every day and have a record of
compliance with federal and state health and environmental regulations. NAWC estimates that its ten largest members alone collectively invested $3 billion in 2018 in their water and wastewater systems. For more information about NAWC, please visit NAWC.org or follow on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

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