Katie Damien, 2013, 60 min
Program I starts: 8:00pm
*Winner: Best Documentary Feature
My Toxic Backyard chronicles one rural community’s struggle to get clean, safe water. When an old manufacturing plant closes and moves away, it leaves behind contamination from chemicals dumped directly onto the ground. Over the years, the toxic chemicals began to leak into the water table. Residents in the area drank high levels of contaminated water for years, not knowing what was making them sick.
Even after community members alerted the Environmental Protection Agency, the site was not deemed a threat and toxins continued to leak unchecked for years. When the site finally became designed a Superfund site and was ranked among the worst contaminated sites in the nation, the community expected a cleanup and safe water, but instead the site seemed to enter a perpetual state of tests and evaluation with little, to no action.
Unfortunately the problems of this community are not isolated. One out of every four Americans lives with in a four mile radius of a Superfund site. Do you know what’s in your water? Your air? In the ground around you? The struggles that this community is facing are just the examples being presented in a system that has failed them for decades.