The small town made famous in the Julia Roberts hit film Erin Brockovich is back in the news as residents face a deadline today to either sell their homes to the power company or stay and have a water treatment installed at no cost. So far about 60 per cent of the homeowners of Hinkley, California, who live within a mile of a chromium contaminated plume have decided to move. The rest, according to early reports, have decided to stay. Scroll down for video. In the movie Erin Brokovich' which is based on true events, Roberts plays a hard-bitten, single mom working as a paralegal for a grumpy attorney with a heart of gold. She stumbles upon the fact people are getting sick from a polluting power company and helps successfully sue the corporate behemoth in a class-action lawsuit.
Abandoned building in Hinkley, CA. Photo: Victor Solanoy. In real life, Hinkley, California, is not doing so hot. The chromium pollution is spreading, and the residents are at a loss for what to do. Chromium-6 pollution is spreading to formerly unpolluted wells around the city. They tested tap water samples from 35 cities and found chromium-6 in 31 of them. But at nearly 13 parts per billion, the water there is still considered safe according to the year-old EPA standard ppb.
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I had the pleasure of speaking to Erin Brockovich about why businesses should give back to the community and her latest bestselling book called " Hot Water. What are some ways that businesses can give back to the community? Should all businesses do so?