two years after hexavalent chromium was discovered around County Road 112
in Midland County
, residents say the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
has failed them, by recently concluding their investigation.
But tonight residents gathered before Erin Brockovich
, a woman they believe in.
"Their property has been trespassed upon. They didn't know about it, it was concealed from them. Their health has been impacted", says Brockovich
, the President
of Brockovich Research
is legally allowed to be at 100
parts per billion, but in Midland
it's traced at 5000 parts per billion.
Brockovich says those levels are far worse than in Hinkley, California
, the case made famous by the Motion Picture
with her namesake.
In Hinkley, PG & E
eventually paid residents a combined $333 Million
, the largest settlement paid for a direct action lawsuit in US History
Midland County residents, like Sheldon Johnson
, are poised to file a direct action lawsuit of their own.
needs to take responsibility and find us a viable water source. If this is what it takes then that's what it takes", says Mr. Johnson
A legal action called a "202 petition" is filed now, and pending a Midland Judge
's approval, that will let attorneys interview Schlumberger employees under oath.
If Midland attorney Brian Carney
and lawyers with the famed Girardi and Keese Firm
find sufficient evidence, they may file a formal lawsuit against the corporation.
"We'd like to know what their processes were, what chemicals were used and over what time frame", says Carney
residents have cited kidney problems, cancer and dying animals in their neighborhood.
That's why, despite the potential for a record breaking monetary settlement, Brockovich insists it's about more than just the money.
I don't want that to be the solution but if they don't come up to the plate, these people deserve that justice", she says.
The hearing that will decide whether the depositions take place will be held before Judge Hyde
in Midland. A date has not yet been set.
Schlumberger denies that they had anything to do with the chromium contamination.
- published: 19 Nov 2010
- views: 1629