FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Sacramento, CA, July 18, 2017) — Today the State Water Resources Control Board voted to create a new legal limit, or maximum contaminant level (MCL), on 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (TCP), a man-made, carcinogenic drinking water contaminant found across the state. The standard was set at the legal detection limit, the lowest level at which TCP can be detected in drinking water based on current technology, which is five parts per trillion (ppt).

Most TCP contamination stems from the extensive application of pesticides containing TCP that were manufactured by Shell Oil and Dow Chemical Company prior to the 1990s. Despite the companies’ knowledge of the health risks, they failed to remove the ingredient from their products or notify farmers and communities of the known health risks.

“This new health-protective regulation for 1,2,3-TCP is a victory for all the Californians who spoke out and fought for today’s result, seeking to secure for themselves and their families what most of us have the luxury of taking for granted — the basic human right to safe drinking water,” said Jonathan Nelson, Policy Director for Community Water Center, which is headquartered in Visalia, California. “We look forward to building on this momentum to continue addressing California’s broader drinking water crisis.”

“Five parts per trillion is the most health-protective standard possible,” said Clean Water Action Toxics Program Manager Andria Ventura. “Setting the standard at this level shows that California will lead in protecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who currently drink water contaminated by TCP, and who have had to live with the anxiety caused by this contamination ever since Dow and Shell neglected to remove the chemical from their products, to protect their profits. Now comes the work on holding the responsible parties accountable as water agencies work to comply with this rule.”