From Darkness To Light

9 Dec 2022

Brian Devine, 1st Amendment intimidation fail at SJBPH public meeting about water testing

Posted by Adam Howell

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Brian Devine, Environmental Health Director for San Juan Basin Public Health, failed to intimidate me from video recording what I could see in public at a public meeting at Durango Public Library.

Brian Devine

Brian Devine, of SJBPH

At a public presentation that Peter Diethrich was giving on behalf of SJBPH, Devine told me that I couldn’t video record members of the public in the library without getting their permission first.

In response, I told him that he was wrong and soon after recorded everyone at the meeting.

Before starting the meeting, Devine and Diethrich went out into the foyer to have a private conversation.

More importantly, the presentation that Peter Diethrich, the SJBPH Environmental Health Senior Program Manager gave about their well testing service was informative.

To a public audience of five people, Diethrich gave a PowerPoint presentation about testing for PFAS chemicals that they claim will be free.

Brian Devine is the boss of Peter Diethrich.

Peter Diethrich, of SJBPH.

To be clear, someone will pay for the testing, but it won’t be the property owner who allows the contractor on their property to collect the sample(s).

SJBPH received a grant from Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment to implement testing of the drinking water.

Specifically, a contractor out of Denver will be collecting the water samples to test for the presence of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), said Diethrich.

PFAS chemicals can be found in the lining of non-stick frying pans and in spray foam that firefighters use to put out fires, among other places.

However, it is unknown if PFAS chemicals are used in oil and gas drilling operations, since the chemicals that the industry uses are proprietary, said Diethrich.

Public health officials are concerned that the chemicals may cause reproductive harm in women, he said.

PFAS have been associated with a multitude of adverse health effects, including dyslipidemia, hypertension, and more recently, Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP), according to a study published in ScienceDirect.

To read more about the testing program, see the CDPHE web page about it by clicking here.

Adam Howell is a writer who believes in free press and the importance of the constitution. He can be reached by clicking on this link to the contact page.

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