Players in Top Environmental Case Trade Stories on WHAV

Photo: Dan Kennedy, right, makes a guest appearance on the Open Mike Show with Tim Coco, left.

It was a reunion of sorts when Dan Kennedy and Gerry McCall spoke to each other for the first time in nearly 30 years last night during WHAV’s Open Mike Show. Both played very different roles during a landmark Woburn toxic-waste trial that involved six families that experienced a death of a child from of leukemia.

Kennedy was a reporter for the Woburn Daily Times Chronicle from 1979 to 1989 and covered the trial of W.R. Grace & Company and Beatrice Foods Company. The companies were accused of contaminating two municipal drinking water wells in east Woburn. Kennedy won the New England Press Association’s top award for his reporting of the verdict. McCall, of Methuen, worked for what was then the state Department of Environmental Quality Engineering.

“I was the one who shut the wells down,” McCall told Kennedy. McCall also said one of his associates discovered a private well had been cross-connected with the town water supply, potentially exposing more people to cancer-causing chemicals. Kennedy, who is seen Friday nights on WGBH’s Beat the Press program, thanked McCall for filling in gaps all of these years later.

“You did do a good job. Boy, thank you for calling Gerry. That is so interesting,” Kennedy said.

The case was chronicled in Jonathan Harr’s best-selling book, “A Civil Action.”