Tainted Paradise

A couple months after a November wildfire devastated Paradise, California, resident Kyla Awalt’s insurance company told her it was time to move back home.
But the town still has no potable water; preliminary tests indicate the fire contaminated pipelines with cancer-causing benzene and other volatile organic compounds. Returning residents—many low-income retirees—must fend for themselves, shelling out thousands for water tanks.
“That's not protecting public health,” says Whelton, a Purdue University civil engineer. “That's not what we're supposed to be doing with a population that has gone under trauma like this; we're supposed to help them.”

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