Via America’s Lawyer: Mike Papantonio and Trial Magazine Executive Editor Farron Cousins take a look at a recent decision made by the EPA is subjecting more than 110 Million American citizens to increased amounts of cancer-causing corporate toxins in their drinking water.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Thanks to a recent decision by the EPA, more than a 110 million American citizens will now be subjected to increased amounts of cancer causing corporate toxins in their drinking water. I’m with Farron cousins tonight and we’re going to talk about that. Farron, look, you know, I, I gotta tell you, we all expected the worst from the EPA here because I really, the only way I can describe the EPA lately, I’d say over the last two decades really is, is a captured as a captured agency. The, the industry has totally captured the agency. Don’t you agree?

Farron Cousins:                  Oh, absolutely, and now that we have, you know, Andrew Wheeler, who is still the acting EPA administrator, he’s more than willing to kind of carry on this legacy of let’s let corporations do whatever they want to do and I’m just going to sit here, run this agency and not actually enforce any of the rules. And that’s what we’re seeing right now. These chemicals that we’re talking about, these are the, perfluorooctane sulfonate, PFOS, and the, perfluorooctanoic acid.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. Let, let me give you the history on these because as you know, I tried the case on one of these. The, the, what happened was 3M decided that the PFAS was so dangerous that they stopped making it. They stopped manufacturing it and there’s the, the letter that came out in the trial on PFOA, was where they’re discussing the idea that they have a responsibility to, to citizens.

They have a responsibility to, to the government. They have responsibility to their shareholders to pull it off the market because it is so dangerous and the toxic cost and the financial costs down the road would be huge. So they pulled it off the market and so now they, they’re the ones that developed it.

They said it’s this dangerous, but now we have an EPA administrator who says, you know, Andrew Wheeler says, no we’re not going to actually say it’s dangerous. Matter of fact, we’re not even going to put any limits on what can be sold, any reasonable limits on what can be sold or what, what you find in your drinking water. So people are drinking this right out of the tap.

Farron Cousins:                  They are, and here’s the worst part, you know, you mentioned this has gone on for a long time and yes it has. This is not just Wheeler, I mean the EPA has delayed putting any legal limits on this for 20 years. So we’re going back four different administrations at this point from Clinton to Trump here. They all knew this, they all had the same material, except it’s evolved over the years to show even worse things. But even back in the late 90’s, they knew this stuff was toxic.

They knew it was going to cause cancer. And look right now, there is no legal limit on PFOAs and PFOS’. Michigan right now has 15 sites contaminated by the PFAS Chemicals. They lead the charge. New York 10 sites, but 110…

Mike Papantonio:             North Carolina.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah, North Carolina is absolutely contaminated with Gen-X and 110 million people, just to put it that way, if you’re staying in there with two other people, one in three of you roughly percentage wise, is drinking these chemicals on a daily basis.

Mike Papantonio:             And what we know about the chemicals has been related, clearly been related to cancer. If you take a look at, we’ve talked about on this show, take a look at the, the, The Devil We Know that’s on Netflix right now. It really, really tells the story. Okay. So the point is I don’t really see relief for agencies. I mean for consumers. This is an agency that has for 20 years decided I’m not going to do this.

And the reason why is the lobbying money is so big. The influence of these companies that make this is just so monstrous that it’s really tough for the consumer to fight back. How does the consumer go to Washington and say, you know, well, what about us? Can we give you some? There is no lobbying money that the consumer gives. And the unfortunate thing we’re going to have to live with this, Wheeler certainly is not going to pull us out of it.

Farron Cousins:                  Just to make one more note here, the EPA in December, December 2018, so two months ago, they said that these particular chemicals, we’re talking about, they cause developmental effects in fetuses or women who are breastfeeding. Low birth weight, accelerated puberty, skeletal problems, testicular cancer, kidney cancer, liver damage, thyroid damage, cholesterol changes.

Mike Papantonio:             And in all that, Wheeler says, no, we’re not going to give you any limits that you can actually go by.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.