Wednesday, July 7, 1999

Lawyer says Village Park
water was contaminated

By Harold Morse


California lawyers hope to discuss a voluntary survey mailed to 2,000 homes in Village Park, where a rash of birth defects have occurred, in a community meeting tonight.

Water contamination will be the topic of the 7 p.m. meeting at Wahiawa Library.

An environmental researcher for the firm Masry and Vititoe said no preliminary conclusions have been reached from the first questionnaires to be returned.

"The first receipt in our mailbox today were 119 (returned questionnaires)," Audrey Hyrne said yesterday.

There has been no chance to evaluate them yet, she said.

Edward L. Masry, senior partner of Masry and Vititoe, said he believes there is evidence that water contamination took place some time in the past at Village Park.

"The answer to that is at this point, yes," he said. "At some point in time there was something wrong with the water."

He said his firm and two other California law firms are looking into the matter.

Although no lawsuit has been filed, potential defendants include companies who used, delivered or manufactured a pesticide used on nearby pineapple land.

Erin Brockovich, director of research for Masry and Vititoe, will attend tonight's meeting at Wahiawa Library.

Hyrne said Brockovich is well-known in California for her environmental work, which will be dramatized in a forthcoming motion picture.

Representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state Department of Health and Honolulu Board of Water Supply also will serve as resource persons.

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