UPDATED: SnowGlobe facing lawsuit over carcinogen levels at 2018 event
Carolyn Cox, a senior scientist at the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), told the TDT that the CEH that their measurements showed benzene levels above state standards in 2018. The benzene was introduced to the crowd via the diesel-powered energy generators used at the event. Benzene is a known carcinogen. Additionally, it poses a severe risk towards reproductive health.
“We were really focusing on the reproductive harm because the typical audience at a music festival is younger people, so there are a lot of young women that either could be pregnant or want to get pregnant so we’re concerned about protecting those people,” Cox told the Tahoe Daily Tribune.
Former manager of South Lake Tahoe Frank Rush told the TDT that he believes SnowGlobe acted under federal compliance for their 2019 event, and the lawsuit shouldn’t jeopardize SnowGlobe’s future with the city.
LATEST UPDATE: SnowGlobe has issued a response to the ongoing lawsuit, officially disputing claims that benzene levels were above California’s “safe harbor” maximum. Read the full statement below:
“CEH’s Proposition 65 lawsuit is about not having warning signs on site during the 2018 Festival. SnowGlobe disputes that the 2018 Festival operations released “significant amounts” of benzene, as CEH alleged, or any amount of benzene above California’s highly conservative “safe harbor” levels. SnowGlobe also disputes that CEH used a valid method for determining benzene exposures at the 2018 Festival. In 2019, as a precautionary measure to avoid further litigation, SnowGlobe posted warning signs, although SnowGlobe strongly disputes that there were any exposures to benzene due to Festival operations above California’s “safe harbor” levels. Because of SnowGlobe’s commitment to the environment and to avoid litigation with this environmental group, it has entered into a settlement with CEH regarding the Proposition 65 warning sign requirements. Our long- term goal for SnowGlobe is to transition into a completely sustainable event — an ambition inspired both by the South Lake Tahoe community’s culture of environmentalism and our team’s personal belief in the importance of conscientious and ethical event planning. We’re happy to report that with guidance from the amazing team at Waste Free Earth, we’ve made significant steps year over year towards reaching our goal.”
Photo credit: SnowGlobe via Facebook