Read the full article by Molly Shelly (Central Maine)

This is the second of a two-part report. Read the first installment here

“As the state continues to uncover wells in Fairfield that are contaminated with high levels of toxic ‘forever chemicals,’ renowned environmental activist Erin Brockovich and water expert Bob Bowcock are now offering their expertise to the community in order to rectify the situation.

Brockovich, who is well known for her role in the case against the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. of California in 1993 and was the subject of a movie starring Julia Roberts, became involved in the Fairfield case during the first week of January. A local resident simply emailed her nonprofit organization, the Erin Brockovich Foundation.

‘It started because one community member didn’t feel that they were getting the answers,’ Brockovich said in a recent interview on Zoom. ‘I got an email from a family that was concerned.’

Since then, Brockovich and Bowcock have been helping Fairfield-area residents mobilize and helping the state push the investigation along to remove these chemicals from the environment.

‘The solution to this can’t always just be a lawsuit,’ Brockovich said. ‘The solution has to be identification, community organization, the solution at some deep level has to be clean up.’ 

‘Bob and I have worked together for 20 years, and we’ve learned the best way is to (make) contact with the people on the ground. Having community meetings, getting them organized and moving them in the right direction and working with local officials and state officials on how to treat the system and get people safe water.’

So far, the Department of Environmental Protection has identified 29 wells in Fairfield that are contaminated with levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — PFOA and PFOS that are higher than the 70-parts-per-trillion limit allowed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Results from residents Ashley Gooldrup and Troy Reny’s well show levels of PFOA at 4,220-parts-per-trillion and PFOS at 10,700-parts-per-trillion…”