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  1. #1

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    Disney Studios sued for polluting the earth and ground water

    The Burbank Leader is reporting that Burbank based Walt Disney Studios is being sued by Environmental World Watch and 4 residents of Burbank for polluting the local area and ground water with chromium 6.

    Chromium 6 is the same chemical that PG&E used that poisoned the land and groundwater of Hinkley, California, and was later featured as part of the main storyline for the movie 'Erin Brockovich'.

    Disney officials have denied using Chromium 6, and have presented a soil investigation report conducted by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control conducted in October 2006. The CDTSC that found chromium levels in the area were “below levels of concern” and well within California and Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

    The Platiffs are contending that the Disney Studios has been adding Chromium 6 to pumped groundwater that the studios uses for its air conditioning systems. The water is then sent through disposal pipes out to the intersection of Keystone st and Parkside Ave, going into the ground under Polliwog Park, then being emptied into the Los Angeles River. Soil samples taken at these locations found unhealthy levels of Chromium at depths up to 25 feet.

    Lawyers for Disney recently tried to have the case dismissed citing that the plainiffs can not prove that the Chromium came from the Disney Studios, but U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson denied Disney's motion.

    For more on this story please go to Burbank Leader > Archives > Publicsafety > Disney lawsuit still on docket






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  2. #2

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    Re: Disney Studios sued for polluting the earth and ground water

    My, that is Shocking!

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  3. #3

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    Re: Disney Studios sued for polluting the earth and ground water

    The plaintiffs face an uphill battle. Disney recently recieved an award from the state of California for their water conservation efforts in refilling Paradise Bay at DCA. This little bit of evidence I would think would look good in Disney's favor especially since Disney is claiming there is no way the plaintiffs can prove it.

  4. #4

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    Re: Disney Studios sued for polluting the earth and ground water

    From the OSHA Fact Sheet on Hexavalent Chromium:

    Some major industrial sources of hexavalent chromium are:
    • chromate pigments in dyes, paints, inks, and plastics
    • chromates added as anti-corrosive agents to paints, primers and other surface coatings
    • chrome plating by depositing chromium metal onto an item’s surface using a solution of chromic acid
    • particles released during smelting of ferro-chromium ore
    • fume from welding stainless steel or nonferrous chromium alloys
    • impurity present in portland cement

    Given that the plantiffs found high levels of hexavalent chromium in the residential neighborhood right next to the eastern boundary of studio property, combined with the info in those first two bullet points, makes a very strong case against Disney as being the source.

    For those who are familiar with this area of Burbank, it would be difficult to find another likely source for the hexavalent chromium other than the working movie studio next door. I doubt the neighboring houses are engaged in regular industrial processes at the level necessary to contaminate the ground and ground water to this extent. Disney is clearly the smoking gun here, since there are no other corporate campuses nearby.
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    Re: Disney Studios sued for polluting the earth and ground water

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
    The plaintiffs face an uphill battle. Disney recently recieved an award from the state of California for their water conservation efforts in refilling Paradise Bay at DCA. This little bit of evidence I would think would look good in Disney's favor especially since Disney is claiming there is no way the plaintiffs can prove it.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Disney Studios sued for polluting the earth and ground water

    Can we really tell if the Chromium came from paint though? And if it did, there is a paint place just 1 block up from the studios (Eiffel Paint). Maybe the chromium didn't come from them.
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    Re: Disney Studios sued for polluting the earth and ground water

    When I read the title of this thread, I thought it had to do with the release of "Beverly Hills Chiahuahua."
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  8. #8

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    Re: Disney Studios sued for polluting the earth and ground water

    Quote Originally Posted by OogieBoogie View Post
    Can we really tell if the Chromium came from paint though? And if it did, there is a paint place just 1 block up from the studios (Eiffel Paint). Maybe the chromium didn't come from them.
    Read the second bullet point again:

    • chromates added as anti-corrosive agents to paints, primers and other surface coatings

    The hexavalent chromium could be added to the cooling system, to prevent interior corrosion, which is what the lawsuit alleges Disney did.

    As for the first bullet point, there is also the possibility that the deeper ground contamination came from paint used to construct props and sets. I know that WED/MAPO used to incorporate asbestos in practically every set and prop they built for the theme parks, so it's possible that hexavalent chromium was also used during the same time period in the studio's paints.

    Given the size and scope of the Disney Studios compared to Eiffel Paint, as well as the specific location in the residential neighborhood where the plantiffs did their soil/water testing, I doubt the paint place is responsible.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Disney Studios sued for polluting the earth and ground water

    Interesting.....

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    Re: Disney Studios sued for polluting the earth and ground water

    I think the 2006 report has some significant pull for Disney. If a state department says that it is below "levels of concern" I would think that they weren't coerced into making such a certified statement.

    I also agree that the judge should not have just waved the issue by since the movie "Erin Borokovich" did demonstrate the significant health concerns from exposure to Chromium 6. So if the unhealthy levels have been shown at Polliwog PArk and the LA River, then shouldn't those same levels consistently show up elsewhere along the water path upstream from there? Simply follow the trail. It will lead you to the source, not just the big-named company.
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    Re: Disney Studios sued for polluting the earth and ground water

    Quote Originally Posted by Orcatime View Post
    So if the unhealthy levels have been shown at Polliwog PArk and the LA River, then shouldn't those same levels consistently show up elsewhere along the water path upstream from there? Simply follow the trail. It will lead you to the source, not just the big-named company.
    Exactly what the OP stated: "The water is then sent through disposal pipes out to the intersection of Keystone st and Parkside Ave..."

    If the drainage water at Keystone and Parkside is contaminated, there's your smoking gun. Keystone and Parkside is right next to the eastern boundary of WDS property. No other company resides at that intersection.
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    Re: Disney Studios sued for polluting the earth and ground water

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy View Post
    Exactly what the OP stated: "The water is then sent through disposal pipes out to the intersection of Keystone st and Parkside Ave..."

    If the drainage water at Keystone and Parkside is contaminated, there's your smoking gun. Keystone and Parkside is right next to the eastern boundary of WDS property. No other company resides at that intersection.
    If WDS is the only company there, and only their drainage system goes to that intersection, then yes I think it needs to be looked into.

    However (since I don't know the geography of the area), if the water drainage at the intersection includes drainage from other pipes, I'm suggesting that the other pipes (if there are any) be explored as well. It would just make some good planning sense that, at places such as an intersection, there would be >1 drainage pipe going to the intersection and one going out. Then the 1 going out could have the accumulation of chemicals from several places.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Disney Studios sued for polluting the earth and ground water

    Good for these guys, looking out for the local environment. I hope Disney gets its act together and does the right thing, instead of trying to stonewall with a bunch of stupid lawyer tactics that just make it look more and more guilty.

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