I founded Integrated Resource Management, LLC in 1997 after serving as a Water Utility Manager in Azusa, CA (1991-97) and Huntington Park, CA (1987-91). Prior to that I worked for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (1982-87) and, as a U.S. Army Civil Affairs Team Leader, designed and constructed water treatment and distribution systems for various federal branches of government in Southeast Asia and South America. I have been appointed to serve on several Watermaster Boards by California Supreme Courts since 1990. I am a licensed California Grade V Water Treatment Operator and maintain various other water industry licenses. I routinely provide expert witness work to legal firms in the specific area of water resource management. For over twenty years I have worked closely with Erin Brockovich as her lead environmental investigator and water expert. Most recently you may have seen my name in articles regarding our national water crisis and specifically Flint, MI. Here are a couple links to such articles: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/erin-brockovich-sounded-the-alarm-on-flint-a-year-ago-why-didnt-anyone-listen-20160201 http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2015/02/erin_brockovich_advisor_headin.html




Comments: 88 • Responses: 42  • Date: 

MattBaster6 karma

Is the damage to Flint, MI 100% reversible, or un-doable?

BobBowcock6 karma

The damage to the infrastructure in many areas will be permanent, requiring the pipes and fittings to be replaced with new construction. What causes me a great deal of concern is the consumers have not been given proper direction or assistance to replace their damaged plumbing in their homes and businesses. We have all seen the red, brown, and black water in the distribution systems... this sludge has settled in every hot water heater in town. The sludge is also full of heavy metals which feed bacteria... which will also cause recontamination... again and again until serviced or replaced.

pm_me_my_own_comment2 karma

So basically everything the water touches a lot has to be replaced?

BobBowcock3 karma

No... anything the water corroded, or filled with sludge or sediment. Much of the system is in great shape. But inside homes and businesses... pretty much a total loss.

ghostofpennwast2 karma

>heavy metals feed bacteria

What bacteria eat metal?


BobBowcock1 karma

You are correct... this is an excellent report.

lighthouse7273 karma

As Erin said Flint is the tip of the iceberg for lead. I noticed that most of the cities in the news recently that are showing high lead levels are using chloramine. Are some of these cities using orthophosphates with the chloramine and still finding high lead levels? If yes, can you name some of the cities please.

BobBowcock2 karma

About a third (rough estimate) of the communities Erin and I are working with are using phosphates to counter corrosive water leaching. Those that do not are significantly contributing to the leaching of lead in their Drinking Water... Many people look to lead service lines as the only problem, today we are hearing about all of the school drinking fountains... that is lead leaching from brass fixtures... water meters are 17% lead!!! The USEPA Safe Drinking Water Act Lead & Copper Rule was designed to allow utilities to game the numbers and reporting. The Lead action level is 15 ug/L and yet in Hannibal, Missouri a home had a test result of 280 ug/L and the system still reported compliance... (new math). How would you like to be that homeowner? As far as other communities... Tyler, TX, Washington, DC... I could go on and on... we know of hundreds.

errgreen1 karma

What are your suggestions to the people who live in these areas?

BobBowcock2 karma

We must all ban together to demand REAL compliance with the intent of the Disinfection Byproduct Rule and the Lead & Copper Rule. The cheating and dangerous practices that have been allowed must stop... we are fooling ourselves. The money we have saved is going to cost us a 1,000 times more to fix later.

errgreen1 karma

I admit, I have never even thought about this. I did look into a water testing kit, but most seem to be the 'turns a color if dangerous levels' sort of kit, nothing with exact numbers.

I know this is late, but do you think that infrastructure all together is a bigger problem? I feel that water is THE resource to have, so this really should trump all the others.

tbh, most of us rely on people like you to shine the light on these dangerous practices, so thanks. :)

BobBowcock1 karma

There are not really any good field test kits available on the market... so don't waste your money.

There are so many aspects to providing safe drinking water. Source protection, treatment technologies, storage, and distribution are all very important in their own right.

DrThroatbanger2 karma

Two questions:

1) How big of an issue is prescription medicine in our drinking water? 2) How long before South Florida is completely underwater?

BobBowcock1 karma

  1. Prescription and non-prescription drugs are becoming a very significant issue in the Drinking Water in the United States.

  2. As for South Florida... not in our life time... much of it is below sea level now and engineering still fights back mother nature.

[deleted]1 karma


BobBowcock1 karma

California's water problem is REAL... but also political, seasonal, and cultural. The concept of large lawn is growing to be culturally unacceptable... and politically unlawful. It has taken time.

[deleted]1 karma


BobBowcock2 karma

More to the point... I live in California on an acre... I took out ALL of my lawn area and am on drip irrigation to native plants. I recommended this as a place to start.

ClutchCity881 karma

Is there any precedent to the Flint crisis and how were those resolved?

BobBowcock3 karma

Actually yes... Washington, D.C., 2001-2004...

But history repeats itself... Washington, D.C. is in CRISIS TODAY... but they are lying and denying!

The discovery of widespread lead contamination in Washington, D.C. drinking water resulted in a U.S. Congressional investigation that damaged the scientific reputation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), left thousands of children with lifelong health risks, and led to a re-evaluation of the use of chloramine in public drinking-water systems.

Our same Dr. Marc Edwards (Flint-Crusader), an expert in plumbing corrosion, discovered lead levels at least 83 times higher than the accepted safe limit while performing research into premature pipe corrosion for the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (WASA).

Dr. Edwards found that the decision to change from using chlorine to chloramine as a treatment chemical had caused the spike in lead levels. After the Washington Post ran a series of front-page articles about Edwards's findings, resulting in widespread public concern, the United States House of Representatives conducted an investigation. The House found that the CDC had made "scientifically indefensible" claims in a report that had indicated there was no risk from the high lead levels. The Post investigation uncovered evidence of widespread misreporting of lead levels at water agencies across the United States, leading to regulatory crackdowns and changes in Environmental Protection Agency policies.

The problem was addressed in 2004 by adding additional treatments to the water, preventing the chloramine from dissolving lead in the water mains, solder joints, and fixtures.

In 2010, the CDC reported that 15,000 homes in the Washington, D.C. area might still have water supplies with dangerous levels of lead.

ClutchCity881 karma

Thanks for the response!

BobBowcock1 karma


sheeshmack1 karma

Can one protect themselves from the water problem by drinking distilled water (made from a distiller machine)?

What other methods should one employ to protect themselves in the meantime?

BobBowcock2 karma

I do not like the idea of distilled water. We need some mineral in drinking water to keep it balanced and safe... Zero Water is dangerous.

There is a correlation between the consumption of distilled water and the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Cells, tissues, and organs do not like to be dipped in acid and will do anything to buffer this acidity including the removal of minerals from the skeleton and the manufacturing of bicarbonate in the blood.

The longer one drinks distilled water, the more likely the development of mineral deficiencies and an acid state.

sheeshmack1 karma

Would you recommend any type of water filters then? I'm afraid of consuming lead and other harmful long term substances in the water supply.

Also, is there a map where one could visualize the data to see how problematic this has become regionally ?

BobBowcock1 karma

An Ion Exchange filter specifically designed to remove lead is best.

As for a map, there really isn't one. Erin and I are working on one, but the data is just overwhelming.

lighthouse7271 karma

Have you and Erin gotten any invitations from TV shows to speak about chloramine and the health symptoms it causes?

BobBowcock2 karma

No... but we welcome them. Television really hates complex topics... but Erin and I can explain it in understandable terms.

Utilities that have switched to chloramine as a means of complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act Disinfection Byproduct Rule have really pulled a dirty trick on their consumers.

Rather than cleaning the water of Total Organic Carbon (TOC) as the USEPA has directed... utilities are feeding ammonia to sequester reactions with chlorine. The "combined chlorine" chloramine is very dangerous when used this way... Not only does it form its own more toxic byproducts, it also:

  1. Causes Immediate and Long-Term Medical Problems.
  2. Destroys plumbing, fixtures, and rubber gaskets. Destroys Real Property.
  3. Causes Nitrification and Distribution System Biofouing, leading to bacteriological outbreaks in communities.
  4. Reduces Water System Security.
  5. Causes Environmental Damage.

Eternal_Rabbit1 karma

What is the root cause of contaminated water in shale plays that have been frac'ed? In Texas they have been frac'ing for decades with no noticeable consequences, so is the cause poor drilling practices, or terrible oil and gas corporations who are only concerned with the bottom line? Are companies deliberately cutting corners, or are they hiring companies to drill that cut corners?

BobBowcock1 karma

That is a massively complex question...

Fracking is as old as me and Erin... it is a baby boomer too, 1964.

When you say shale plays... I am thinking Pennsylvania/Ohio. So, first response is... the complex geology is not understood and so many things could go wrong. You cannot compare geology in Texas with the shale plays. Not Oklahoma/Kansas or California's Central Valley; they all are different.

Most of the contamination out there is caused by bad practices, bad people, cheaters, and midnight dumpers.

There is a great deal of corner cutting going on... and Big Oil companies are "aiding and abetting" bad behavior.

I will tell you... in the early years, 1964 to 1994, oil development companies’... "Specialty Chemical" suppliers destroyed many of the drinking water aquifers in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Kansas.

talyakey1 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA. I drink the tap water in Cleveland and in Morrow County Ohio. Should I feel safe doing so?

BobBowcock2 karma

Cleveland has some issues... I'd rate it about a 6 on a scale of 1-10.

First... their Annual Water Quality Report gets an "F" because it is full of useless information and devoid of anything meaningful.

Second... they use Powdered Activated Carbon in the water for absorption of organic material that can cause unpleasant tastes and odors... when they should really change out their filters and use granular activated carbon which will remove so much more... and really protect against Lake Erie algae blooms.

Third… they are still adding Fluoride to the water above NIH/CDC recommended doses... and frankly the fact they add it at all is ridiculous.

I have mixed feelings about them adding Orthophosphate to the water to inhibit lead corrosion of plumbing fixtures. If it is needed great... otherwise, fix the underlying problem before adding more chemical. I think they are trying to balance the fact that they make the water corrosive over using coagulant aid Potassium Permanganate, an oxidant.

put_the_punny_down1 karma


BobBowcock3 karma


I visited Port Lucie last year... and literal just cried. Erin and I will be focusing on that issue for the coming year.

put_the_punny_down1 karma


1900grs1 karma

Do you have any thoughts on the federal government recreating the Civilian Conservation Corp to address the country's severe infrastructure problems - including century plus old crumbling storm and sanitary lines? If not a federally guided CCC or similar initiative, what would be the best route in update these systems?

BobBowcock3 karma

Amen... you are singing my song. I have talked about infrastructure replacement using a "bounty" program. We give tax intensives to people for putting solar panels on their homes... why not rebates for lead water line replacements.

As for the larger municipal distribution systems... let’s look to real property tax assessments (done right). Too many big corporations move to town... causing distribution systems to be over built... then close down and stop paying the water bill. If it were tied to the property... and not the commodity.... the people wouldn't get stuck with the bill.

1900grs1 karma

As for the larger municipal distribution systems... we need to look to real property tax assessments (done right). Too many big corporations move to town... causing distribution systems to be over built... then they close down and stop paying the water bill. If it were tied to the property... and not the commodity.... the people wouldn't get stuck with the burden.

That's an interesting concept. It's hard for me to wrap my head around that in respect to industries that are already established (or long since shuttered), especially in places like Detroit and Flint. If it's tied to property tax assessments, where is the incentive to reduce use and conserve water? If tax values decrease, how do budgets handle that since presumably there wouldn't be a direct correlation between water consumption and tax value? Thinking industrial operations here. Unless the tax assessments are just another tool to utilize to increase funding.

I like the concept Minnesota has with their Watershed districts that have taxing authority - although that's more surface water, groundwater, and drainage. But it's an entity with taxing authority over a resource instead of just a watchdog group.

BobBowcock2 karma

The key phrase was "done right"... open, transparent, and approved by the local community!

Take a City Master Plan with all of the lot sizes, then measurements for all of the frontages. You then do a calculation of lot size and frontage.

Lot size and zoning determine water duty and the frontage... how much pipeline the property has dedicated to it. The result is a "share" factor.

Add up all of the infrastructure and water duty components, use the water model to calculate frontage... and divide them out proportionally.

Water commodity charges will then go to the water bill. The monthly basic service charge should account for all fixed charges... (salaries, insurance, overhead). The commodity charges are for the water purchases, treatment, and delivery costs (chemicals, electricity).

You pay for what you use... period. If you exceed the zone demand charge quantity, a premium will apply.

The concept is based upon a shut in GM Factory in Flint... the property has value because it can be resold as "On City Water"... which has value that is inherent to the property... and thus should be borne by the property. If a factory can just turn off the water and walk, the community must make up the difference… which isn't right.

The concept is based upon a shut in GM Factory in Flint... the property has value because it can be resold as "On City Water"... which has value that is inherent to the property... and thus should be borne by the property. If a factory can just turn off the water and walk... the community must make up the difference, which isn't right.

1900grs1 karma

Thank you for expanding on that. It's an interesting concept and creates an ownership of the resource infrastructure. (But maybe being on Flint City water isn't such a great selling point at the moment?)

I sadly see many of these abandoned industrial and brownfield sites sit idle while new facilities are constructed on green space since financial institutions are refusing to lend if there's a hint of environmental issues on a property. There's another former GM property (Willow Run) south of Flint and west of Detroit (dealt out in the GM bankruptcy and has a trust to finance clean up). They tried saving the building for reuse, but for many reasons, couldn't. Not nearly enough money in the trust to clean up the multiple contaminated groundwater plumes. So maybe now they're trying to sell it as a testing ground for self-driving cars. Don't know if "On City Water" is a good selling point on that one.

It's a complex issue, no doubt. I'm not trying to poke holes in the concept. It's intriguing and has me thinking. Which ever way we go, it's going to take money to fix this because it's a big problem.

BobBowcock2 karma

Please poke holes... I believe that makes all ideas better. It is almost impossible to cover every point in an AMA. This is just a place to toss out ideas and get people thinking... so it is a success. It is my first one and I don't type so fast!

1900grs1 karma

Ah, you're doing good. Thanks for taking the time to do this and to address my questions.

I've had the fortune (or misfortune?) to work on some large environmental remediation and compliance projects in Michigan in recent years. Seeing the poor state of infrastructure, issues dealing with legacy sites, issues dealing with current operating sites - there's a lot to address and money is a big issue. Funding isn't the only issue, but it's a big part of the feasibility of tackling these issues. We need to get money in the pot somehow.

BobBowcock2 karma

Yes we do... and no two water utilities will have the same answer for the same question. Local control and local solutions is key. We are all equally responsible to become informed and participate in the process. Those in-charge have an obligation to be truthful...

Brewhaus32231 karma

How is the overall state of our water and the attitude towards the importance of clean water today vs twenty years ago, from both corporations and individual citizens?

BobBowcock2 karma

The Safe Drinking Water Act is a baby at just 40-years old.

When I started... we were concerned with a handful of contaminants and simple disinfection. Back then, we talk about the hardness of water... now we work about how hard the water will make us. (Bad Viagra in drinking water joke)

Drinking Water is ultimately where everything will end up... pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products; all present new challenges.

The good news is we can treat for virtually everything...

The bad news is... as an industry, we are in denial.

For some unknown reason... Drinking Water is not treated as the priority it should be. In some instances Drinking Water professionals are getting into bed with corporate polluters when rationalizing a problem away suits both of their interests.

Today... I think the average citizen is beginning to become more educated about the importance of safe drinking water as are many corporations. Sadly... the federal government and the defense industry are still the biggest polluters of our water.

Brewhaus32231 karma

Thank you for the response and thank you for doing what you do.

BobBowcock2 karma

You're most welcome... thank you for the question.

Emilykallday1 karma

This seems to be a problem all over America right now. Are there cities/states that are more concerning to you than others, like a top ten? And if so, what are they and what is being done to warn those that live there?

BobBowcock1 karma

Yes... some states are really BAD: Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Florida, and Oklahoma. Some states are getting better: Ohio, New York, California, Tennessee, and Arkansas.

Sadly... some states actually recommend practices to cheat to the utilities they regulate.

Very little is being done to inform... we must learn to be more self reliant. Demand your utility tell you everything they sample for... regardless of the result. You'd be shocked... if you don't test for it, you're guaranteed not to find it.

probablyblazed1 karma

What solutions can we pursue to ensure our drinking water is best case scenario regardless of where we live?

BobBowcock2 karma

Get a copy of your system’s Annual Water Quality Report. Then ask the utility to tell you what industrial pollutants, pesticides, herbicides, and pharmaceuticals they test for. Ask them what chemicals the water system is vulnerable to. Figure out where you are located in the distribution system (how old the water is). What chemicals does the water utility use.


Then, if you identify concerns for your family, investigate ways to remove those concerns from your water supply. (filtration, ion exchange, or additional disinfection)

Knotfest1 karma

Good day!

I am not too sure if you could help me with my question but since it is related to hydrogeology, you might be able to help me.

I am currently studying geothermal energy recovery, but lately, I met more and more people, that believe that geothermal energy just won't be as important and as prevelent in the future, as I might think.

What do you think about it? Do you think that geothermal will play a considerable part in our future energy supply? Would you recommend going into the geothermal business or is it a dead end?

Any answer is much appreciated. Best regards.

BobBowcock1 karma

Tough question... but I strongly support renewable geothermal energy. There are several locations in California that are working out very well.

forava71 karma

Why was this ignored in Flint before the crisis even happen? Also, let's say a year ago, could have measures been taken to stop Flint from being so bad?

BobBowcock1 karma

Yes... I was on the ground in Flint last year. I presented them with a list of very easy, cost sensitive alternatives for them to follow. Most were ignored. Money, complacency, and pride are always what get in the way.

Seabreezes11 karma

It seems like the municipal fire fighting is just an exercise in frustration and the Safe Water Drinking Act on the national level is too abstract, as well as ignored. Should be be addressing water on a state level, and if so, how do we go about it?

BobBowcock1 karma

All of the states have a Safe Drinking Water Act program... they are administered differently in each state. Some are much better than others. Find out who your state administrator is and get after them. Since the Flint Crisis has been unfolding, many states have stepped up their game... if yours has not, you need to find out why.

VizslaHugs1 karma

Do you think there will be a mass exodus of people who have no choice but to leave the southwest United States?

BobBowcock1 karma


I think there are a number of solutions... we just have to start getting serious about them.

kusajiatwork1 karma

How does Pittsburgh PA's water rank?

BobBowcock1 karma

Poor. The city sequesters chlorine disinfection reactions with ammonia which is causing biofouling and legionella outbreaks. They are in a serious stage of denial right now.

kusajiatwork1 karma

Brita filter does at least something right? :|

BobBowcock1 karma

Chlorine and some organics removal... change it frequently or it does more harm than good.

kusajiatwork1 karma

Are there any other brand filters that you would recommend? I live in an apartment so buying a whole hard core water filtration setup isn't really an option.

edit: What about lead? Any filters that also deal with that?

BobBowcock2 karma

I don't recommend any one in particular. I would go with an under the sink ion exchange filter for the heavy metals and granular activated carbon for chlorine and organics.

kusajiatwork1 karma

Will definitely look into it, thank you for answering all of my questions, shame people don't take WATER seriously. :/

BobBowcock1 karma

Most definitely.

ethandavies1 karma

what is your favorite song by Queen?

BobBowcock1 karma

Bohemian Rhapsody... unless I'm out at the pub with the guys... Fat Bottom Girls

lighthouse7271 karma

Do you know what toxic chemicals are in the Flint River (ones that contributed to the lead leaching and health effects)?

BobBowcock1 karma

There are no specific chemicals in the Flint River that contribute specifically to the water leaching lead. The Flint River is definitely polluted... but the corrosive nature of the water is from the overuse of chemicals at the treatment plant; this is what caused the corrosion.

[deleted]1 karma

I have been doing research on the possibility that lead poisoning can be transferred from a blood donor to a recipient through blood transfusion. I am speaking of donors who have lead poisoning and donate blood to blood banks. It appears as though there are no means of detecting lead in blood prior to donation. They do however detect diseases of course. I have high concerns due to the fact that blood is leaving Flint or other high lead areas, and going out into the world for blood transfusions etc... The thought has haunted me, thus the research on this topic. 'I do work with blood and plasma daily and familiar with the whole process' I also feel something should be in place to detect lead levels before donating blood. Im sure costs may be a bit stifling. I understand that hospitals may test blood before the blood transfusion to the recipient. But are they checking for lead? I will list some information below.
'Can lead be transferred from a blood donor to someone who will be receiving a blood transfusion?'

Please give me your thoughts on this research. Thank you. 1. Bearer CF, Linsalata N, Yomtovian R, Walsh M, Singer L. Blood transfusions: a hidden source of lead exposure. Lancet (London, England). 2003;362(9380):332. Epub 2003/08/02. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(03)13989-x. PubMed PMID: 12892977;

  1.  Bearer CF, O'Riordan MA, Powers R. Lead exposure from blood transfusion to premature infants. J Pediatr. 2000;137(4):549-54. Epub 2000/10/18. doi: 10.1067/mpd.2000.108273. PubMed PMID: 11035837. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the exposure of premature infants to lead from blood transfusions.
  2.  Ettinger AS, Wengrovitz AM. Guidelines for the identification and management of lead exposure in pregnant and lactating women: US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; 2010. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/publications/leadandpregnancy2010.pdf.
  3.  Gehrie E, Keiser A, Dawling S, Travis J, Strathmann FG, Booth GS. Primary prevention of pediatric lead exposure requires new approaches to transfusion screening. J Pediatr. 2013;163(3):855-9. Epub 2013/04/16. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.03.003. PubMed PMID: 23582137. OBJECTIVE: To facilitate further assessment of transfusion-associated lead exposure by designing a procedure to test packed red blood cells (pRBCs) prepared for transfusion.
  4.  Mycyk MB, Leikin JB. Combined exchange transfusion and chelation therapy for neonatal lead poisoning. The Annals of pharmacotherapy. 2004;38(5):821-4. Epub 2004/03/18. doi: 10.1345/aph.1D475. PubMed PMID: 15026564. OBJECTIVE: To describe the results of combined exchange transfusion and chelation therapy in a neonate with an elevated blood lead level (BLL).
  5.  Rhainds M, Delage G. Health risk assessment of lead exposure from blood transfusion. Epidemiology. 2006;17(6):S492.
  6.  Sundararajan S, Blatz AM, Dearborn DG, Varnes AW, Bearer CF, El Metwally D. Toxic Metal Contamination of Banked Blood Designated for Neonatal Transfusion. Journal of Clinical Toxicology. 2015;2015.
  7.  Zubairi H, Visintainer P, Fleming J, Richardson M, Singh R. Lead exposure in preterm infants receiving red blood cell transfusions. Pediatric research. 2015;77(6):814-8. Epub 2015/03/12. doi: 10.1038/pr.2015.53. PubMed PMID: 25760547. BACKGROUND: Preterm infants may inadvertently be exposed to lead from the packed red blood cell (pRBC) transfusions with almost no or very limited data available. The aim of the study was to quantify this exposure in preterm infants </=30 wk gestational age (GA).

PubMed is not a full text database. Many citations have abstracts available. Some citations in the summary display may have FREE ARTICLE or FREE PMC ARTICLE links to free full text. Contact local libraries for other needed articles.

BobBowcock1 karma

This is fascinating research... but I am not a doctor.

I will tell you that they do not test for environmental toxic exposure in blood donors... so this research could be true for lead, mercury, PFOA, and any other exposures the donor may have experienced.

amyklippel1 karma

Of all of the cities/ countries you have visited, what location do you believe is in the worst state as far as drinking water?

BobBowcock1 karma

St. Charles Parish, LA, Tyler, TX, Hugo, Ok...

Bloomydave1 karma

How long or how many severe contaminations do you believe it will take before our nation truly recognizes the problems and demands change?

As Americans, it's seems as though we really take this resource for granted and neglect the fact that it is a precious precious one at that.

My home town of Bloomington, Indiana has problems the community isn't willing to event bat an eye at.

BobBowcock1 karma

I think that as a nation we are as close as we have ever been. I believe we will either turn the corner very soon or all will be lost within the next generation.

Yes, I am familiar with the TTHM violation in Bloomington... they too are aware of the problems they are causing... but just won't step up and do the right thing.

guitarjamman1 karma

Do you think Mobil/Exxon honestly care about all the pollutants (MTBE specifically) their underground storage tanks have leaked over the years? Are they for the people in this situation, or is it more of a "here is some money, leave us alone"?

Also, when a company has polluted the ground water, are they in charge of the environmental testing, or does the city/town hire their own firm and recoup money through a lawsuit if it gets there?

BobBowcock1 karma

I think that Exxon/Mobil has gotten off very cheap on addressing all of the contamination they have caused with the waste chemical they blended back into gasoline.

Traditionally... the polluter controls the process. We are working to change that. Damaged water utilities need to step up and take the bull by the horns and make sure the water is safe... then, afterwards, they can recover expenses through either a settlement or lawsuit.

AdOpsDude1 karma

Hello, thank you for doing an AMA. What do you think about the situation with the gas leak in Porter Ranch, CA? Do you believe that the wells should ever be operating again knowing that the risk for a repeat of what has already happened is possible?

BobBowcock2 karma

Sadly, the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility near Porter Ranch is the largest storage facility for the 8th largest economy in the world... it cannot be replaced.

That being said... all of the wells in it should be immediately reconstructed to 2016 standards and all those that cannot be should be immediately sealed. What happened was 100% due to neglect. The regulators were lazy and complacent... and, as a result, we all suffered. Society needs to start seriously punishing bad behavior when it comes to environmental crimes.

[deleted]0 karma


BobBowcock1 karma

Crisps... someone been out a little late in the pub tonight?