The Irish Independent has reported that Erin Brockovich,
the environmental campaigner who successfully challenged one
of America's biggest companies and inspired a Hollywood movie,
has urged an Irish community to demand answers about toxic
Ms Brockovich extended her support to the Cork harbour community
amid mounting fears over the long-term environmental and health
implications of toxic waste dumped at Haulbowline Island (Click
Her comments came as it emerged that one of the substances
at the centre of the Haulbowline Island scare is Chromium
6 - the same carcinogen involved in the case Ms Brockovich
successfully fought in California. That case inspired the
smash-hit Hollywood film 'Erin Brockovich' which earned
Julia Roberts an Academy Award.
It is now feared that up to 500,000 tonnes of toxic waste
could be stored on the Cork Harbour island - which, for 50
years, was home to Ireland's only steel mill.
The US environmental campaigner urged Cork harbour communities
to report anything unusual and to demand detailed answers.
"Don't be afraid to ask questions if you see something alarming
and don't be afraid to report it" - she said.
"If the water is turning a funny colour, if there is a lot
of dust, if you are having respiratory problems - be vigilant"
- she warned. Ms Brockovich stressed that it was now vital
that other groups come to the assistance of the Cork harbour
residents - particularly in relation to health and environmental
"I would certainly hope that environmental groups will rally
to come out there to get some testing done. I would clearly
take a look at any water contamination that is occurring"
- she told Cork radio station, Red FM.
"On windy days observe any blown dust - and I would encourage
the community out there to stay after the Government or the
company to give them some answers about how much Chromium
6 there is" - she added.
Environment Minister John Gormley has been challenged to
confirm precisely what will be done with the estimated 500,000
tonnes of toxic waste at the former Irish Steel/Irish Ispat
site. Mr Gormley has rejected claims that there was any attempted
'cover up' of the Haulbowline toxic waste issue (Click
To access Ms Brockovich's website - Click
Source - The Irish Independent