TCP is a chemical compound that was used as an industrial cleaning solvent and in pesticides. This harsh chemical, known as 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, has been known to seep into the soil and contaminate groundwater in several California cities.
Although the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not labeled TCP a contaminant, the state of California has said that this product can pose severe health effects to those who come in contact with it. Lab animals exposed to this harmful substance have developed cancer. Prolonged exposure can cause kidney failure, irritate the skin and eyes, and disrupt muscle coordination.
Over the years TCP has been used as a solvent, degreaser, paint and varnish remover and a pesticide. From the 1940s to the 1980s Dow Chemical and Shell developed brands of fumigants that claimed they could control underground worm infestations. Farmers and gardeners used the product extensively, inserting the toxin into the ground for several decades. What Dow and Shell failed to disclose was that the TCP provided no benefit to underground pests. Instead the chemical seeped into the soil and threatened to contaminate groundwater that hundreds of thousands of nearby residents consumed on a daily basis.
Dow and Shell both knew about the hazards associated with TCP, but failed to remove the chemical from the pesticides because it would have increased manufacturing costs.
We deal with the effects of their inactions today.
TCP has contaminated underground water supplies throughout California and perhaps in other parts of the nation. Meanwhile, the pernicious groundwater contaminant moves freely throughout the soil, entering waterways and other water resources.
California has set a public health goal, or PHG, for TCP in drinking water of 0.7 parts per trillion – one of the most stringent PHGs California has ever set. The PHG is the level of drinking water contamination which adverse health effects are not expected to occur from a lifetime of exposure.
Water providers monitor these standards and notify the state of California and its customers when the provider exceeds the maximum contaminant level.
Baron and Budd represents numerous private and municipal water providers throughout California for TCP contamination. Baron and Budd successfully negotiated settlements for two municipalities. The settlements in those cases provided our clients with the necessary funds to install treatment to remove TCP from their water supply. Such settlements ensure communities will have a safe source of drinking water free of TCP, while forcing those responsible for to pay for the contamination.