Your metaphor of the day: the “vintage” air-conditioning system at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, Calif., has apparently been leaking carcinogenic chromium 6 into the area’s groundwater.
A consultant hired by the Environmental Protection Agency recently identified the Disney property among a list of facilities being “investigated as potential sources of chromium contamination in groundwater,” according to an April 2012 report recently posted on the agency’s website.
Authorities have long been aware of chromium 6 contamination in San Fernando Valley groundwater and have already identified a number of companies responsible for contamination, including aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp. Lockheed paid $60 million to settle claims with roughly 1,300 residents in 1996 alleging that exposure to chromium 6 and other toxins at its former aircraft manufacturing plant left them with cancer and other maladies.
Authorities note that the levels discovered don’t appear to pose a threat to public health, though surrounding cities use the aquifer to augment their water supplies.
This is not the first time Disney has been implicated in chromium pollution.
The city of Burbank received complaints from neighboring residents about potential chrome 6 contamination from the Disney site in 2006. The neighbors subsequently filed lawsuits in 2009 and 2010 alleging Disney dumped chromium 6 contaminated wastewater into settling ponds near the Los Angeles River.
Disney called the allegations meritless and cited the results of the California Department of Public Health study that found there was no threat to public health from the discharges.
That’s a hell of a response: We didn’t do it and if it we did it wasn’t bad. What this company needs is some sort of moral lesson presented in an easily digestible form of entertainment, perhaps involving an animated bear or rabbit. Include a song: “Pollution’s Not the Solution.”
Maybe Pixar could throw something together.