Erin Brockovich Holds Town Hall Meeting on Chemical Spill

By: Andrew Colegrove, Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Andrew Colegrove, Cathleen Moxley Email
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- People affected by the chemical spill that’s affected drinking water came to the Charleston Municipal Auditorium Monday night for a town hall meeting held by famous consumer advocate Erin Brockovich.

In the movie “Erin Brockovich,” she was played by Julia Roberts. In the film, she fights against a gas and electric company and helps residents of a small California town win millions after being poisoned by a chemical in the ground.

"We don't know a lot of information yet, we will eventually get it," Brockovich told the crowd of about 100 people.

Neighbors affected like Beth Kerns who turned out still have a long list of unanswered questions.

"(The chemical) had to be coming out very slowly over a period of time, and that's my concern,” Kerns said. “How long have we been subjected to this?"

Hattie Johnson is among those who’ve been without water. She says she’s happy to have someone of Brockovich’s stature in West Virginia helping.

"She stands for those of us who can't represent ourselves," Johnson said.

Brockovich says in her 20 years of this kind of work, this chemical is something she and her team aren't familiar with, but these types of instances, usually on a much smaller scale, repeat across the world far too often.

"Let's go to the source,” Brockovich said in an interview with “These types of facilities are everywhere. How is it that we better oversee them so that this type of disaster doesn't happen in the future?"

Brockovich says she's not being paid to be in West Virginia, but she’s not ruling out the possibility of getting involved in some of the lawsuits.

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