toxic chemical contamination of one town’s drinking water

Forget Halloween, ‘The Devil We Know’ tells real-life story

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ROCKPORT – On October 21, the Maine-based public health organization, Environmental Health Strategy Center, joins The Riley School in Rockport for a screening of the shocking new film, The Devil We Know, in advance of the documentary’s wide release on Netflix in 2019. 

This documentary tells the riveting, shocking story of corporate misconduct and widespread toxic chemical exposure, according to a news release.

The screening will take place Sunday, Oct. 21, 2-5 p.m., at The Riley School Theatre. The film will be followed by an informational reception with refreshments.

The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Register online at

Hailed by Variety as “a riveting tale of long-term irresponsibility and injustice,” the documentary that debuted to wide acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival this year unravels one of the biggest environmental scandals of our time: the widespread toxic chemical contamination of one town’s drinking water supply, and the astonishing lack of regulation of the chemical industry. 

The Devil We Know portrays the lives of citizens in rural Parkersburg, West Virginia who take on the multinational chemical corporation DuPont after discovering it has been knowingly dumping a toxic chemical into the drinking water supply. 

As the citizens of Parkersburg rise up against the forces that polluted their town, the story extends to dozens of other American cities. In fact, at least 6.5 million Americans in 27 states are drinking water tainted by the same toxin. 

Here in Maine, children and families across the state are unknowingly exposed to toxic chemicals in their food and drinking water, according to a news release. 

At the screening, the Strategy Center will describe its work for safe drinking water for Maine families whose wells are contaminated by arsenic, and its campaign to phase out PFAS and other toxic chemicals in our food that are linked to cancer, infertility, and learning disabilities. Audience members will learn ways they can get involved in this work and take action for safe food and drinking water.

“Children learn and grow best when they are healthy," said Rebecca G. Clapp, of the Riley School, in the news release. “It concerns me as an educator that unintended exposure to toxic chemicals is linked to asthma, allergies, learning disabilities, and serious illnesses. It feels important for parents, grandparents, and everyone in our community to learn about and support work in our state to protect all of our children's health."

“As a mother, I was extremely shocked to learn there is no real oversight of industrial chemicals before they go to market in this country,” said “The Devil We Know” director Stephanie Soechtig. “When we heard about what happened in Parkersburg, West Virginia—how a handful of citizens took on DuPont—it seemed like the perfect story to highlight and bring to life a very pressing social issue: our daily exposure to toxic chemicals.”

This is the first event in the Riley School series “Raising Healthy Children in a Changing World.” 

Event Date: 

Sun, 10/21/2018 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Event Location: 

The Riley School Theatre


73 Warrenton Road
Rockport  Maine  04856
United States

Contact Phone: 

(207) 236-2739