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Video: Central Basin Dir. Leticia Vasquez Calls Downey’s Water ‘Undrinkable’

Central Basin Director Leticia Vasquez-Wilson  in front of a Downey water well, the video is at the end of the story.

 

BY BRIAN HEWS • April 5, 2021

In a shocking video shot by a blog the name of which HMG-CN will refrain from publishing, controversial Central Basin Director Leticia Vasquez was seen accusing the city of Downey and their city-owned water company of pumping “undrinkable water” to the city’s residents.

The blogger also slammed Coca-Cola and other companies for using the undrinkable water.

The March 22, 2021 YouTube video shows the blogger introducing CB Director Leticia Vasquez-Wilson as a “water director in Southeast L.A. giving a tour of Downey’s water facilities helping us to understand troubling patterns of water contamination.”

Vasquez then shows a Feb. 2021 memo from Downey Public Works, “let me go through some of this water contamination which is really troubling.”

The memo stated that the  city’s water had not exceeded the Response Levels of 10 parts per million (ppt) for PFOA and 40 ppt for PFOS.

Response Levels are measured on a rolling four-quarter basis, taking the last four quarters and dividing those numbers by four.

But the city’s memo stated, “these are the first quarter (2021) numbers, since only the first quarter sampling has been completed the other three quarters are considered to have zero values,” meaning the numbers did not take into account previous measures.

According to the well numbers on the memo, the PFOA ppt’s were above Response Levels of 10 ppt in almost every well; the PFOS were above Response Levels of 40 ppt in only a couple wells.

“We are working to bring attention to this particular issue,” said Vasquez, “our citizens deserve to have clean safe water that is drinkable, and unfortunately it’s not drinkable.”

Vasquez does not live in Downey and the city is not in her district, Downey is part of Division One, represented by Martha Camacho Rodriguez.

The video then showed pictures of the entire Downey City Council with Vasquez adding, “we demand our Mayor and City Councilmembers take action to clean up our local water supply.”

“Extremely strange,” said one angry Downey resident, “the elected director of a water agency that Downey buys water from is running around Downey with a little known blogger frightening people calling Downey’s water undrinkable.”

Although the numbers are alarming, the water is certainly not undrinkable with state law mandating the water agency notify the state and list actions it will take to correct the situation.

Downey lawyers felt the same way and fired off a letter to the blogger and Vasquez-Wilson calling the video and statements false and defamatory.

An ironic twist since the litigious Vasquez-Wilson uses her husband-lawyer Ron Wilson as her personal false and defamatory lawsuit cudgel.

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Central Basin’s Leticia Vasquez threatening candidates using puppet attorney husband Ron Wilson as foil

 

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The letter called out Vasquez-Wilson for implying she was a Downey water official, “the implication is that Ms. Vasquez Wilson works for a regulatory body that oversees Downey’s water supply, anybody watching would believe Ms. Vasquez Wilson was speaking as a member of this “oversight” organization.

Furthermore, Ms. Vasquez Wilson was not giving a tour of Downey’s water facilities. She was standing outside of locked gates, she was not authorized to enter the Downey facilities, and to state she was giving a “tour” was a false statement designed to mislead viewers, especially in conjunction with the implication that Ms. Vasquez Wilson is from a regulatory agency.”

In regards to the response levels the California’s Health Code states that when water PFOA and PFOS exceeds the Notification Level it does not pose a significant health risk but warrants notification. Notification Levels are established as precautionary measures.

Above Response Levels and the agency or city must take additional steps to reduce exposure, such as filtering.

But the Code makes clear that the water is not undrinkable.

“You have published false statements on your YouTube video stating that the City’s water source contains PFOA and PFOS at levels that exceed State standards. By doing this, you are injuring the City in its ability to provide services to the City’s residents and creating unnecessary panic and fear in residents.”

The City’s lawyers then asked for an immediate retraction and removal of the video.

 When the video was brought to the agency’s attention by HMG-CN, Board President Art Chacon immediately sent a statement:

“We received notice that a video was published online by Leticia Vasquez-Wilson regarding the City of Downey and their water quality.  We have asked our general counsel to review the video and want to state unequivocally that we do not condone, approve or support Ms. Vasquez-Wilson’s decision to publish the video.  We would like to state very clearly that the Central Basin Municipal Water District values the City of Downey as a customer and we believe they are in full compliance with the established state drinking water quality standards.  The Central Basin Municipal Water District was established to protect groundwater resources by providing imported water as a source of replenishment and as a supplemental water resource for our service area.  We are committed to work with our customers on local resource development, expansion of recycled water, improving imported water access across our service area and providing secondary support for groundwater treatment if/when necessary”.

 

RELATED:

Central Basin Director Leticia Vasquez Removed From the Metropolitan Water District Board For Her ‘Problems and Lawsuits’

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