Erin Brockovich Attends Meeting In Duncan To Discuss Contaminated Water Problem

Wednesday, July 27th 2011, 1:10 am
By: News 9

Dana Hertneky, News 9

DUNCAN, Oklahoma -- Erin Brockovich may be a bit of a celebrity, but the hundreds of people who came out to the meeting in Duncan on Tuesday night were more concerned about their water.

Earlier this month, Halliburton Company told residents that around their north site, the ground water was contaminated with perchlorate, and residents are advised to stop drinking and bathing in it immediately.

Folks in this rural neighborhood north of Duncan say almost every home has someone with some sort of thyroid problem.

"It's painful, it hurts," says Tina Womack, a resident in Duncan who has thyroid problem. "I can't have surgery and I don't have insurance, so it's stuck there for a while."

But earlier this month folks found out what may be going on, Halliburton notified residents that until 1991, it was burning rocket fuel at this site, and as a result ground water was contaminated with perchlorate, known to cause thyroid problems.

06/11/2011 Related Story: Halliburton Admits Tainting Duncan Water.

Now Erin Brockovich, who gained her fame after Julia Roberts portrayed her stories in Hinkley, California, has taken her efforts to Duncan.

Brockovich told nearly 500 people who filled the room that her team is launching a full environmental investigation,

"We have crews out here testing for four days, we are going to probably be here for three or four more days, and then everyone will go back home to analyze the data, the community are getting themselves engaged, so they will start contacting us, we will come back out. So it is a process, but the first thing we want to do is find out whose wells are in fact contaminated," Brockovich says.

Ron Hayden with the Halliburton Company says that they are taking this problem seriously.

"The company is engaged fully, we are trying to get information to respond correctly, respond rapidly," Hayden says.

Halliburton has already started connecting residents to a public water supply, and is supplying all of them with bottled water.

People here aren't only concerned of Perchlorate, they are also concerned about radiation and other chemicals in the ground water. Brochovich and her team say they will be testing for that as well.

Attorneys from New York and a local attorney are now talking to residents about taking legal action.