Discover more from The Brockovich Report
A Simple, Effective At-Home PFAS Solution
Plus, PG&E Skirts Prosecution As Californians Remain Vulnerable To Wildfire Damage
Let’s start with a solution today. I wanted to let you all know about a new water filter. The Purefast cartridge from CycloPure, Inc., is compatible with Brita pitchers, and it can remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from drinking water.
“These $45 filters can provide up to 65 gallons of PFAS-free water, replacing 700 single-use water bottles,” said CycloPure chief executive officer Frank Cassou in a statement.
DEXSORB+ uses renewable cup-shaped cyclodextrins, derived from corn starch, to bind and remove all 40 PFAS targeted in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) PFAS Roadmap. It’s the first-ever, corn-based adsorbent that can purify water.
“We hope this will be an affordable option for people concerned about PFAS exposure based on where they live or work,” he noted.
Cassou explained that the technology can rapidly bind a variety of PFAS compounds faster and more efficiently than other filtration materials, like activated carbon.
Purefast took two years to develop, including rigorous testing under different conditions.
“In lab, we confirmed zero PFAS detection for 65 gallons of water filtration,” he said.
Each Purefast cartridge comes with a package and prepaid label to return the filter to Cyclopure’s lab, where the contaminants will be converted into salts and safely disposed without harming the environment.
At Cyclopure’s lab, DEXSORB+ can also be regenerated, allowing the team to re-use their technology for a variety of water filtration purposes.
Check out their website to learn more: https://cyclopure.com/product/purefast-filter-cartridge-for-pfas
FYI: I’m not a sponsor for this product, just spreading awareness for those in need!
Now for the rant.
Oh, PG&E, will you ever learn?
On Monday, Pacific Gas & Electric agreed to pay more than $55 million in penalties to avoid criminal prosecution for two large wildfires sparked by its power lines in northern California.
The company does not have to admit wrongdoing in the settlement for 2021’s Dixie fire, the largest single (i.e. non-complex) wildfire in recorded California history, or the 2019 Kincade fire in Sonoma County.
Unfortunately, this settlement is a drop in the bucket to the nation’s largest utility provider, accounting for less than 0.3% of the company’s annual revenue and only a few million more than it paid its chief executive, Patti Poppe, last year.
By comparison, the average salary for chief executive officers of the companies that make up the S&P 500 Index was $15.5 million in 2020.
The penalty payment covers investigation costs, helps expedite payments to victims, hires up to 200 more workers to bolster safety, subsidizes fire safety programs at community colleges, and funds monitoring by an independent consultant.
So yes, the company will also undergo five years of oversight by an an independent monitor.
But here’s the thing: we’ve been here before. It’s the same supervision the utility faced under criminal probation for a natural gas explosion that killed eight people in 2010.
The state still faces record-breaking drought conditions, which could fuel another intense and dangerous wildfire season.
And the California auditor reported at the end of March 2022 that state officials are failing to hold California’s electric utilities accountable for preventing fires caused by their equipment.
The report to the California Legislature found that the new Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety approved utility companies’ wildfire prevention plans even when they were “seriously deficient.” Included were plans by Pacific Gas & Electric, California’s largest utility, which was held responsible for sparking the state’s deadliest wildfire, the Camp Fire that killed 85 people in 2018.
According to the 91-page report, “neither the energy office nor the Public Utilities Commission has done enough to ensure that the companies prioritized upgrades where they are most needed—in high fire-risk areas.”
Since 2015, uninsulated power lines and older, failing equipment have caused six of California’s 20 most-destructive wildfires.
Where is the accountability? When will PG&E change their ways?
Case in point: The Camp Fire in 2018 was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. It was the result of a PG&E transmission tower failing, something that was easily preventable. It would have cost about $19 to repair a hook that had worn away. That fire cost the state more than $16 billion.
The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting different results.
I can’t imagine how PG&E execs sleep at night. The company’s wrongdoings continue to kill people, destroy homes and businesses, injure first responders, and incite massive evacuations. Once again, they’ve bought their way out of criminal charges. If that doesn’t make your blood boil, I don’t what will.
Sound off in the comments below! Tell me a solution you’re excited about or an environmental situation you need to rant about.