Howard Owens of The Batavian reports Brockovich sent environmental Robert Bowcock, investigator with California-based Integrated Resource Management, to conduct tests. Bowcock told Owens the report released by the district "wasn't even close to science" and he came to LeRoy at the request of affected students' parents, who said government officials hadn't been transparent with them at a Jan. 11 meeting. Bowcock's team wanted to collect water and soil samples from various sites suggested to them by residents. One site was of the 1970 train wreck, which the Environmental Protection Agency is charge of cleaning up. Bowcock said he was "shocked" by the site's condition, which included leaking barrels of contaminated water and soil. (Batavian photo)
Bowcock and others tried to walk onto school property last weekend, but were stopped by local police and told they didn't have proper permits to gather soil samples. Superintendent Kim Cox said the district has worked "very closely" with professionals to keep the community "involved and up-to-date," but she should have been notified ahead of time about the team's arrival. She said any samples collected by Bowcock would be invalid because "they would have been collected in an unprofessional manner." District lawyer Bill Albert labeled the presence of Bowcock and reporters at the school as "criminal activity." (Read more) The Batavia Daily News has dedicated an entire page on its website to the LeRoy mystery illnesses here.