She became famous after Julia Roberts played her in a movie about her life called ‘Erin Brockovich’. In 1993 she took on the Pacific Gas and Electric Company as a legal clerk without much education. The case concerned the contamination of the groundwater in her home of Hinkley, California by Chromium 6 or Hexavalent Chromium which had been used to prevent corrosion in the cooling towers at the local Compressor Station where waste water had leaked into the groundwater…The case was settled for $333 million – the largest in US history. But that is not the end of the story. Clean up continues and we have our own ‘Hinkleys’ in Australia as well in the town of Oakey, Queensland and Williamstown NSW.
Interview from Adelaide Festival of Ideas