Disney Praised for Wastewater Treatment in Anaheim, Spanked For It in Burbank

Sarah Tulley posts on Orange County Register's Around Disney blog today that Paradise Bay lagoon at California Adventure in Anaheim will soon be refilled with 16 million gallons of water that was recycled through central Orange County's Groundwater Replenishment System, which converts sewage into drinking water. Disneyland Resort won a state award last month for the project, which has already replenished the Rivers of America water at Disneyland. An Orange County Water District flack says in the post, “It's visionary what they are doing.”

So, would that make polluting air, land and water with the same cancer-causing chemical compound Erin Brockovich exposed make Disney un-visionary?

A federal judge in Los Angeles this week refused to dismiss a lawsuit accusing Disney of dumping wastewater contaminated with hexavalent chromium–the same stuff Brockovich found gurgling up in Hinkley, California–at its Burbank studios.

Four Burbank residents and attorneys from the Los Angeles office of Environmental World Watch, Inc. allege in their suit that Disney is violating the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by regularly pumping groundwater for the air-cooling system on their 50-acre studio lot, adding chemical compounds and then dumping the spent water through “well water disposal lines.”

The pipes connect to the city storm drain that empties into the Los Angeles River. Water testing has shown concentrations of hexavalent chromium in the wastewater that exceeds state standards, according to the suit.

U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson denied Disney's motion to dismiss the suit, disagreeing with Mouse mouthpieces who contend the plaintiffs lack standing and failed to state a claim. Pregerson also denied Disney's bid for a stay based on the dismissal of a similar lawsuit in Superior Court.

It's been nearly a decade since Julia Roberts lit up the screen as the title character in Erin Brockovich (which was not a Disney film in case you were wondering), but hexavalent chromium is sooooo hot right now!

The California Environmental Protection Agency has been taking comment all this week on a proposed level of hex chrome in drinking water. Public health and environmental experts suspect the cancer-causing chemical contaminates drinking water in more than 500 communities statewide.

Meanwhile, hex chrome is among a slew of nasty substances China is imposing new restrictions on.


These will be discussed at a Nov. 10 conference at the Irvine Marriott titled “It's Not Easy Being Green: Complying With Global Environmental Regulation.” The conference is presented by IPC, which was founded in 1957 as the Institute for Printed Circuits, but changed that in 1999 to the Institute
for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits, although it kept the IPC initials.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *