10 Years After Toxic Plume, Morgan Hill Community Works for Normalcy

"MORGAN HILL -- Ten years ago this month, community leaders were shocked by the discovery that a company that manufactured road flares here had disposed of toxic chemicals improperly, creating a 10-mile-long underground plume of perchlorate, a chemical used in rocket fuel."

"The perchlorate tainted hundreds of drinking water wells in southern Santa Clara County. It was the most high-profile pollution case in Silicon Valley since 1981, when industrial solvents from IBM and Fairchild Camera were found to have contaminated groundwater in South San Jose, ending high tech's image as a clean industry.

"People worried about the health impacts, but also about 'How am I going to sell my house?'" said John English, a

After a decade of cleanup work and millions of dollars in studies, however, the perchlorate problem is now slowly ebbing into history.

The plume, which once stretched from Morgan Hill to Gilroy, has shrunk from 10 miles long to 1.75 miles long today."

Paul Rogers reports for the San Jose Mercury News January 26, 2013.


Source: San Jose Mercury News, 01/28/2013