Water board finds new culprit for cancer-causing chemical released in SLO. What’s next?

Photo: Greg Mortka, left and Mark Nishibayashi install a passive soil gas probe near the airport fire station. Areas of the SLO airport were tested July 26, 2016 for TCE [trichloroethylene] in an effort to determine a source of contamination, hundreds of soil probes collected data. David Middlecamp dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

It has been nearly three years since water regulators told the Noll family that they were guilty of polluting the water beneath their San Luis Obispo neighborhood with a cancer-causing chemical.

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department issued a notice on Christmas Eve 2015 that trichloroethylene, or TCE, had been discharged into the groundwater in the small rural neighborhood south of San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport far above safe levels.

Those who had been drinking and showering in the contaminated water were at higher risk of liver or kidney damage and cancer, the notice said.

In January 2020, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board issued the Nolls — who rent out a few buildings at 4665 Thread Lane — a cleanup and abatement order to remediate the chemical pollution.

The board believed TCE had been dumped on the Nolls’ property decades ago and made its way into the drinking water wells of 13 properties near the intersection of Noll and Buckley roads.

Since then, Janice Noll and her brother, John, have been paying more than $50,000 every year to maintain water filters on the wells to keep their neighbors from being exposed to […]

SPOILER: “Now there’s a new culprit.”

Full article: www.sanluisobispo.com