It's already been more than a decade since the success of the movie Erin Brockovich, but Brockovich herself is real and joining a familiar environmental fight here in Georgia. The river contamination case against King America Finishing continues, and now perhaps the celebrity status of Brokovich will create more buzz around the pollution case.
Last Friday, the famous environmental advocate met and spoke with Ogeechee Riverkeeper members and others in the community who are part of the fight to clean up the valued river and KAF's act. She and her partner want to further evaluate the contents of the river over a long period of time to get a perhaps more accurate picture of what may have been responsible for the largest fish kill in Georgia's history.
KAF hasn't gotten a severe slap on the wrist for the contamination that the Ogeechee Riverkeepers believe is coming directly from the factory. A reason behind the lack of consequence is because environmental officials did test the water and found that there were not excessive levels of chemicals in it.
The renewed plan to help support the water contamination case against KAF is to run more routine tests on the river over a long period of time. One test, according to Brockovich, isn't enough to get a clear picture of what is going on in the river and whether KAF is causing pollution and the subsequent death of wildlife.
This isn't just a case against the factory; it is a case that seeks to change how authorities regulate waste discharge processes among companies. The status quo puts business profit over the importance of protecting the environment. That must change.
Source: Savannah Morning News, "Erin Brockovich reinvigorates Ogeechee River fight in trip to Savannah," Mary Landers, Nov. 2, 2012