Imagine that you have a farm with a creek running through it. You water your garden and some livestock out of that stream. One day you notice that your garden is dying and your livestock are getting sick. You ask your upstream neighbor if he’s seen anything similar. He hasn’t, but says in passing that he’s been poisoning plants in the creek. He then tells you not to worry because he decided that the poison in the creek would not go past his property line and into yours.
Sound absurd? That’s because it is! Nevertheless, our state Senate has passed a bill which does exactly that for groundwater contamination. Senate Bill 612 moves the compliance point (where concentrations are toxic) from a location close to the source, downslope to the owner’s property boundary. It’s as if, by legislative declaration, gravity will cease to work and not move the contamination onto the adjacent property.