The City of Oceanside, California protects its drinking water supply from an unregulated contaminant

The City of Oceanside v. The Dow Chemical Company, et al.

San Francisco Superior Court, Case No. CGC-05-439807

Oceanside, California is a coastal community located between Los Angeles and San Diego. It operates a water system that delivers drinking water to thousands of customers.  During routine water quality testing, Oceanside discovered that six of its groundwater wells contain 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (“TCP”).  TCP is considered “likely to be carcinogenic to humans,” but there is currently no regulation prohibiting the presence of TCP in drinking water.

Oceanside retained SL Environmental Law Group (then known as Sher Leff) to investigate the source of this TCP contamination and pursue legal claims against those responsible.  SL’s investigation revealed that TCP was an unnecessary impurity in agricultural products sold by Dow Chemical and Shell Oil and that these tainted agricultural products had been sold to farmers in Oceanside.  Represented by SL, Oceanside filed a lawsuit against those chemical manufacturers. The case was settled out of court and before trial.  The settlement proceeds have allowed Oceanside to pay for a treatment facility that will remove TCP from groundwater for years to come.