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Congressman Harder Questions Lack Of Groundwater Safety Oversight In Ripon

RIPON (CBS13) - A local congressman is demanding answers tonight after seeing our reports that uncovered holes in city water records tied to a chemical known to cause cancer.

Our investigation was prompted by parents asking for answers after a growing number of kids were diagnosed with cancer.

Julie: Is that safe for folks to drink?

Public works official: It's within the state guidelines.


As we reported, the city recently shut down a drinking water well due to elevated levels of concerning chemicals linked to the former Nestle decaffeination plant in Ripon.  Records show they're migrating towards homes and schools.

The city insists the water is safe, but we found inaccuracies in city water reports and years they did not test the water for the chemicals at all. We also learned there has been no reported testing for the chemical in the air or soil in a decade.

Julie: What can be done to ensure the city of Ripon is doing everything they can to protect folks?

Rep. Josh Harder: That's what the regional and state authority should have been doing. That why I wrote this letter, to make sure that oversight, which clearly hasn't been happening to the degree it should have been, is actually being moved on now.

Rep. Harder is demanding specific answers from the water board on how they intend to address the issues raised in our report. He is also looking into designating Ripon as a what's called a Superfund site, which would allow for federal funds to help clean up the groundwater and address the issues.

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