GPW: Self-Tempered Anarchy since 2009

Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
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stories along The Way

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

[HexWatch 2011] Q: What Is The Difference Between "Legal" and "Moral?"

A: Is it one man's life?
Or perhaps the life and future well-being of family and friends who love him?
This photo was taken last Thursday at Headworks. See that little man out in the middle of those tractors and trucks? He is a living example, the difference, between what is legal and what is moral.
Even as PHG (Public Health Goals) and MCL (Maximum Contaminant Levels) thresholds for Chromium 6 in California are ostensibly going down to about 20% of what they used to "legally" be;
Even as Disney has "legally" stonewalled USEPA for years over what they added to the clean water pulled from underground wells to protect the pipes in their air cooling system;
Even as LADWP sits on a "legal" Cr VI assessment for future Headworks Park visitors and maintenance workers while somehow completely failing to assess the present Cr VI cancer risk of workers in the field for 40 hours a week until the year 2017...;
Even as the mayor's office, L.A. City Council's Energy & Environment Committee and the local union have all been notified, testified to, linked to....
There has been not one response.
"What's the difference?" you might ask. "There's no need to respond. It's all legal."
And you're right. Legally, nobody has to tell the man in the picture wearing a tee-shirt that he should be wearing a hazmat suit to protect his lungs from Cr VI inhalation and his skin from dermal absorption. Legally, no one has to warn him that continual Cr VI exposure can lead not only to skin rashes and eye irritation on a daily basis, but the ever-increasing possibility of infertility, cancer and his internal organs simply shutting down at some future date. Nobody has to tell him that Chromium 6 is one helluva dangerous chemical.
And we can be fairly certain that nobody has.
From LADWP to Disney to City of L.A.; all is quiet, all is legal -- for now. Nobody has to say anything, so they don't.
And when everything is legal, our community safely becomes indifferent.
That's the difference between what is moral and what is legal.