I can admit it. I was complacent. I didn’t think that things like this could happen in this day and age. But I’m aware of it now, and I’m so angry that I can hardly see straight. And I’m not complacent anymore.
I began my career in the environmental field in 1997 and received my first hazardous waste training in 1998. That’s the same year that Rob Bilott started down his path to discovery of PFOA – an industrial nightmare from DuPont that was being almost laughably mismanaged. I was given information about a whole suite of chemicals that existed in the world, books full of information, classes about organic compounds and how contaminants move through the ground. I was told that the maximum limits regulated by the EPA were overly conservative and arbitrary. I thought that the days of chemicals being just dumped in the ground were relics, belonging to an older time, before the creation of the EPA in the late-1970s.
Now I know all that was wrong. Those things were happening throughout the entire course of my career. I rolled my eyes a little when I heard that there were new chemicals that needed to be regulated. I thought someone was trying to chase down another thing to regulate that didn’t really need regulated. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
So now I’ve thought about reaching out to Rob Bilott and offering whatever help I could to help him in his fight against unregulated chemicals. Maybe I’d apologize for living in Cincinnati when he was going through the worst of his fight and having no idea what was really going on. But I realize that I don’t need to ask if there’s something I can do. My career and my training have all led me to the point where I can take action of my own and work to make a real difference.
Thank you Rob for all your work. I’ve got your back and I’ll be taking my own steps to tackle this problem.
For those unaware, please check out Rob’s book – Exposure, as well as the movie based on his efforts, Dark Waters. They are worth your time.