On Nov. 15 Steve Holland, director of risk management and safety for the UA, told the San Manuel Miner newspaper that the UA didn't learn toluene had been detected in the April samples until Turner Labs called Lloyd Wundrock, UA environmental safety officer, on May 10, 2000 14 days after the sample had been taken.
Holland says that Turner Labs informed Wundrock that toluene had been detected in the April Samples. This raises the question of what else Turner Labs told Wundrock during the call.
Specifically, did Turner Labs tell Wundrock that they had run two tests on the April samples or not?
The reason this question is important is because two tests are required to validate the presence of contamination, and since the UA believed only one test had been run the UA decided to make a completely unscheduled trip to Page-Trowbridge to obtain additional samples for confirmation tests.
If the UA was told on May 12 that two tests had already been run, there would have been no reason to make the unscheduled sampling run.
Since records show that Turner Labs conducted two tests on the April samples (the first on May 2 and the second on May 3, 2000) and both of the tests detected toluene, there are two obvious possibilities as to what Turner Labs told Wundrock on May 12
Possibility 1: Turner labs did not tell Wundrock that two tests had been run; only that a test detected toluene
Perhaps Turner Labs called Wundrock to tell him about the test results from the April 26 samples and perhaps Turner labs simply forgot to tell Wundrock that they had run two tests and that both of the tests detected toluene and other contaminants. Perhaps because of this oversight the UA had to go to the expense of re-sampling and re-testing.
While it may be possible that this happened, it is rather far-fetched to actually believe that it did.
For example, it would be odd for Turner Labs a call the UA to report the status of the tests run on the April 26 samples yet fail to mention to their client that two tests had been run on these samples.
The possibility that Turner Labs would fail to tell the UA that two tests were run becomes all the more odd when one considers that Turner Labs called Wundrock specifically to inform their client about the status of the tests run on the April samples.
The possibility becomes odd to the point of being ridiculous when one considers that Cliff Russell, a representative of the Oracle Town Hall, called the lab on Oct. 31 to ask about the tests run on the April samples and Turner Labs told Russell that two tests had been run and that both tests detected toluene.
Why would the lab tell Russell, 6 months after the tests were run, that two tests were performed and that both tests detected toluene yet fail to inform their client of this same information a few days after the tests had been completed?
Bottom Line: it is not reasonable to believe that Turner Labs failed to tell Wundrock that two tests had been run.
Possibility 2: Turner labs told Wundrock that two tests had been run and both tests detected toluene
If Turner labs told Wundrock on May 12 that two tests had been run and that both tests detected toluene, there would have been no need for an unscheduled trip to Page-Trowbridge, as the finding of toluene would have been confirmed by two tests.
So, if we assume that Turner labs told Wundrock that there had been two tests both of which detected toluene, why did the UA go to the expense of making an unscheduled re-sampling run and as well as the expense of re-testing the new samples 5 days later?
One possible answer is that Turner Labs told Wundrock that they had run two tests and that one of the tests was invalid for some reason or another, so the UA decided they had to get another sample.
But if that is the case, why didn't the UA inform ADEQ that Turner labs had performed two tests and because one of the tests was invalid a second round of sampling and testing had to be done?
The UA report to ADEQ is completely devoid of any mention of why the unscheduled sampling run of May 17 was required. In fact the report says that the toluene detected in the April sample could not be attributed to lab errors. In other words, the test results were valid.
More interestingly, if Turner labs told the UA that two tests were run and that one of the tests was invalid, it would be completely unnecessary for Holland to tell the press and the public the story that a second sampling run was necessary was because there had been no second test.
It would not be necessary for Holland to elaborate on this story so as to give a reason for why there was no second test, much less offer an elaboration that is contradicted by the official record (i.e. Holland said there was no second test because the duplicate sample, which would be used for the second test, was not at the lab, but in a refrigerator at the UA risk management offices. Unfortunately, Holland's story is contradicted by the chain of custody form which shows that the lab had the duplicate).
Furthermore, if one of the tests was invalid, why did Nancy Turner, president of Turner Labs, tell the public in a letter to the editor published in the San Manuel Miner Nov.15, that toluene was reported to the UA because it was detected by both tests run on the April 26 samples?
In other words, if one of the tests was invalid, why would Turner Labs use an invalid test as a basis to report the fact that toluene was detected in the other test? If both tests were valid, why was one of the test reports withheld?
As of this writing both Holland and Turner have refused to answer questions regarding their stories.
Bottom line: if Turner Labs told Wundrock that two tests had been run, then the UA willfully ignored this information and pretended that it didn't know that a second test was run.
Another Possibility -- one that comports with the facts:
Given that it is not reasonable to believe that Turner Labs failed to inform the UA that two tests were run on the April samples, we must consider another possibility. A possibility that comports with the facts -- for example this one: