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Erin Brockovich Sequel in the Works: Hinkley Still Scene of Crime, PG&E Still Bad Guy

Looks like Pacific Gas & Electric is up to its usual tricks out in Hinkley, handing out swimming-pools worth of bottled water, buying up seemingly useless land in the middle of nowhere and causing horses to drop dead where they stand. Who you gonna call? Only the No. 1 girl power-house on HBO daytime!

The Environmental Working Group dropped an evidence bomb in December:

Chromium-6 levels in Riverside tap water were still the third highest of any city in the U.S. -- and that's not to speak of outlying tumbleweed towns like Hinkley.

The study apparently set OG health lawyer Erin Brockovich's gears to turning. According to the Associated Press, the real-live Brockovich will be attending a real-live Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board meeting out in the desert today, after speaking with the very same Roberta Walker who, in the original lawsuit's movie adaptation, "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 December, when the new study dropped, Brockovich was already seething:

"It is sometimes difficult to understand why I still have to warn the public about the presence of hexavalent chromium in drinking water 23 years after my colleagues and I first sounded the alarm," said Brockovich. "This report underscores, in fairly stark terms, the health risks that millions of Americans still face because of water contamination."

Walker and family, too attached to desert life to leave completely, moved four miles away from the PG&E plant, thinking that'd be enough to buffer the toxic plume of chromium-6. However -- while PG&E only reports a two-mile plume -- Brockovich and L.A. cohort Bob Bowcock think their new tests show "the contaminated area is twice as big as the utility's estimates."

Which would explain the dead horse.

Even in the safety of Google satellite, this thing makes us cower in fear:

Erin Brockovich Sequel in the Works: Hinkley Still Scene of Crime, PG&E Still Bad Guy
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We'll update with Brockovich's big announcement out in the boonies today. As for you, Julia: Break out the push-up bras and Independent Woman run-ons, because it's evil corporation-bashin' time.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]