Bad water? It’s the cheese. Hilmar Cheese brings good jobs to California farm town, but polluted water, too
By Jane Kay
Photos by Craig Lee
Environmental Health News
September 13, 2010
The story of Hilmar is a classic tale of a company growing rapidly, bringing good jobs but also environmental threats to a rural farm community. In an ironic twist, though, it isn’t corporate outsiders pitted against town residents; the owners of Hilmar Cheese are descendants of the community’s founding families. Much of the well water around the cheese plant, located in the agricultural heart of California, isn’t fit to drink. And Hilmar Cheese is the likely culprit, new documents show.
Hilmar’s contamination has seeped deep into the aquifer where people, including Rita and John Sanders, draw their drinking and irrigation water. (More…)