WNCN investigation into toxic water catches Erin Brockovich's - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

WNCN investigation into toxic water catches Erin Brockovich's attention

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WAKE FOREST, N.C. -

National environmental advocate Erin Brockovich visited Wake Forest families affected by toxic water.

Brockovich is best known from the 2000 movie "Erin Brockovich" starring Julia Roberts.

Saturday, Brockovich met with residents like Jo Anne Quaranto, one of two dozen families who recently found out their wells are contaminated with a carcinogen, trichloroethylene, commonly called TCE.

"I'm hoping that with an extra voice, besides yours, with an extra voice now people are going to step up and they're going to take this seriously because it is not going away. And it's going to be here for a long, long time. We don't know what health effects we are going to have after this," said Quaranto.

An NBC-17 Investigation previously revealed the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources knew about contamination at a nearby house in 2005 but did not alert neighbors.

"This is the way it always happens. A community on well water, they think they're in a clean, pristine, safe place and lurking under there somebody has known something and didn't tell them," Brockovich said Saturday.

Brockovich, who works with a law firm inCalifornia, says some people wrongly assume her team's environmental efforts are about bringing down big businesses.

"That can't be farther from the truth. Everybody in every community wants to have a company and a job. That's how we take care of our families. But they're frankly tired of the deception and being poisoned."

Brockovich met withWakeForestfamilies to discuss their concerns resulting from the water contamination including, health issues, property values and legal rights.

"We need companies to do the right thing. Nobody is asking them to do anything else. Do the right thing. We have a problem here. You've already hid it. Stop hiding. Face the elephant in the room. Let's deal with it. Do what is right by these people. Get them out of harms way before their health deteriorates. Make it right by them. Move on. Do business."  

 

Charlotte Huffman

An award-winning journalist with an investigative edge, Charlotte has driven legislative change with reports on workplace safety concerns and contaminated groundwater. Contact our Investigative Team anytime HERE. More>>

Poison in the Water

There are at least 2,000 sites statewide where DENR knows there is TCE contamination that is likely spreading into the water of unsuspecting families. More>>

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