Chronicle Journal: Finance

California Water Service Announces Support for Setting Public Health Goals for “Forever Chemicals” in Drinking Water

SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- (NYSE: CWT)—Continuing its track record as an industry leader in providing a reliable supply of clean, safe, and affordable drinking water, California Water Service (Cal Water) today announced its support of state efforts to set public health goals for two of the most prominent “forever chemicals” found in drinking water.

“As a water provider, maintaining safe, clean drinking water is paramount and our No. 1 priority,” said Martin A. Kropelnicki, Cal Water President and CEO. “Our customers depend on us to provide high-quality drinking water. That’s why Cal Water is already taking steps designed to protect our customers from ‘forever chemicals.’”

In July, the California State Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) proposed establishing stringent public health goals for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), broadly known as PFAS. PFAS are chemicals widely used in non-stick and stain-resistant coatings, waterproofing, polishes, and paints.

OEHHA is proposing “forever chemical” goals of one part per trillion and below, about 70 times lower than today’s federal non-binding recommendation.

“We have also called on the state and federal governments to take additional action, including encouraging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to establish a federal drinking water regulation of these chemicals, and advocating for legislation at the state level to prohibit the use of certain products that contain the compounds,” Kropelnicki said.

In addition to taking steps designed to protect our customers from “forever chemicals,” Cal Water was one of the first water utilities in America to use advanced technology to treat for chromium-6, the contaminant made famous by Erin Brockovich. The technology has since become a model for other cities and utilities in their treatment of chromium-6.

Cal Water’s support for these goals is consistent with its ongoing commitment to work to protect customers from current and future water contaminants. Director of Water Quality Sophie James outlined Cal Water’s support for the OEHHA goals in an op-ed in Capitol Weekly this past Friday.

California Water Service, the largest subsidiary of California Water Service Group, serves about 2 million people through 492,600 service connections in California. The utility has provided water service in the state since 1926. Additional information may be obtained online at www.calwater.com.

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (“Act”). The forward-looking statements are intended to qualify under provisions of the federal securities laws for “safe harbor” treatment established by the Act. Forward-looking statements are based on currently available information, expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections, and management’s judgment about the Company, the water utility industry and general economic conditions. Such words as will, would, expects, intends, plans, believes, estimates, assumes, anticipates, projects, predicts, forecasts or variations of such words or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. They are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may vary materially from what is contained in a forward-looking statement. Factors that may cause a result different than expected or anticipated include, but are not limited to: natural disasters, public health crises, pandemics, epidemics or outbreaks of a contagious disease, such as the outbreak of coronavirus (or COVID‐19), governmental and regulatory commissions’ decisions, including decisions on our GRC and on proper disposition of property; consequences of eminent domain actions relating to our water systems; changes in regulatory commissions’ policies and procedures; the timeliness of regulatory commissions’ actions concerning rate relief and other actions; changes in water quality standards; changes in environmental compliance and water quality requirements; electric power interruptions; housing and customer growth trends; the impact of opposition to rate increases; our ability to recover costs; availability of water supplies; issues with the implementation, maintenance or security of our information technology systems; civil disturbances or terrorist threats or acts; the adequacy of our efforts to mitigate physical and cyber security risks and threats; the ability of our enterprise risk management processes to identify or address risks adequately; labor relations matters as we negotiate with unions; changes in customer water use patterns and the effects of conservation; the impact of weather, climate, natural disasters, and diseases on water quality, water availability, water sales and operating results, and the adequacy of our emergency preparedness; and, other risks and unforeseen events. When considering forward-looking statements, you should keep in mind the cautionary statements included in this paragraph, as well as the annual 10-K, Quarterly 10-Q, and other reports filed from time-to-time with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Company assumes no obligation to provide public updates of forward-looking statements.

Contact: Yvonne Kingman, 310-257-1434


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