FENNVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) - Residents in Fennville blame Birds Eye Foods for contaminatingtheir well water with heavy metals.
24 Hour News 8 reported last year that high-profileenvironmental activist Erin Brockovich and her expert team startedlooking into the problem.
About 100 people met Thursday night at the Fennville DistrictLibrary for an hour-and-a-half Q&A session with one of thoseexperts -- Bob Bowcock.
"The goal tonight was to exchange information between thecommunity, and to get some of the questions that have beenfrustrating them for a long time answered," he said.
Bowcock says the team officially started its investigationThursday.
24 Hour News 8 reported last summer the Michigan Department ofEnvironmental Quality is investigating higher than acceptablelevels of arsenic and manganese in some water wells in thearea.
DEQ officials believe Birds Eye Foods is responsible. Birds EyeFoods doesn't discharge heavy metals directly but DEQ officialssaid the organic compounds it does discharge cause oxygen depletionin the groundwater, allowing the heavy metals to come into contactwith the water.
We also profiled one family that has filed a federal lawsuitagainst Birds Eye Foods because their well was tainted witharsenic.
Other neighbors continue to raise questions.
"My biggest concern was to find out where the contaminated areawas," said Tina Hammer who attended Thursday's meeting.
"One of the questions I asked was absorption through the skin,you know, when you shower or bathe," added fellow residentSharlotte Paridee.
Bowcock says this background will help them move forward.
"I'm going to spend tomorrow on the phone with the DEQrepresentative and see if we can offer them any assistance, askthem some specific questions, see if we can broaden the scope oftheir work and see if we can get testing started."
Bowcock says Brockovich will be in Fennville sometime in Marchto get a personal look at the situation.
Brockovich was portrayed by acress Julia Roberts in the 2000movie bearing her name. Roberts won an Oscar for the role,portraying Brockovich who successfully fought a gas and electriccompany that was polluting and making people sick.
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