We can’t have job-killing regulation! Instead, we get people-killing pollution:
HINKLEY, Calif. – At the end of “Erin Brockovich,” a housewife sick from toxic chromium weeps with joy as she’s handed her portion of a historic $333 million settlement between residents of this small desert town and the utility that poisoned their drinking water.
In real life, that woman is Roberta Walker. She still lives in Hinkley, using her share to buy a new home in what she thought would be a safe four-mile distance from the toxic plume of chromium.
Earlier this year, she and other residents learned that the pollution, which Pacific Gas & Electric was required to clean up, was once again moving and had seeped into their groundwater.
Now, Brockovich has returned to the town that made her famous and is once again rallying residents, sampling the water, and at a water board meeting on Wednesday, her associate is expected to announce that the contamination may be worse than the utility says.
For Walker and others involved in the original case, these developments are like stepping back in time and are a haunting reminder that a landmark lawsuit and a blockbuster movie are no guarantee of safety.
“We didn’t bring a giant to its knees, all we did was wake it up,” Walker said. “This is not happening again — I can’t believe it.”