Environmental activist Erin Brockovich said, "I get 10,000 emails a month from 120 countries and territories." The woman at the heart of
Environmental activist Erin Brockovich said, "I get 10,000 emails a month from 120 countries and territories." The woman at the heart of Hinkley's chromium-6 water contamination fight continues to advocate for communities dealing with pollution issues. (Rachel Luna/San Bernardino Sun)
Erin Brockovich, the woman who helped Hinkley residents land a $333 million settlement against PG&E and inspired a Hollywood movie staring Julia Roberts, will discuss the future of the tiny desert town in a live chat beginning right here at 2 p.m. (ET) Tuesday.

She will be joined by Roberta Walker, a longtime Hinkley resident who brought Brockovich to town, as well as San Bernardino Sun reporter Jim Steinberg and metro editor Ryan Carter.

Walker, who discovered that many houses near PG&E's compressor station had chromium-6 in their water wells, contacted 150 law firms before making contact with a Los Angeles law firm where a partner told a young legal clerk, Erin Brockovich, "to go out there and see what's going on." Brockovich's crusade to hold PG&E responsible for the contamination in Hinkley was the basis for the 2000 movie "Erin Brockovich".

Now, 13 years after the movie that made the town famous, Hinkley's future hangs in the balance as the toxic plume spreads and residents continue their exodus, making the city more and more a ghost town.

For more on Hinkley and life after "Erin Brockovich," check out this special report from the San Bernardino Sun, Hinkley: A Ghost Town in the Making.


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