Erin Brockovich to investigate Ogeechee pollution

Environmental advocate made famous in movie visits Savannah on Friday

Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 2:57 PM
Last updated 7:28 PM
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SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The beleaguered Ogeechee River has a newfound friend in Erin Brockovich.

Erin Brockovich  Special/ Morris News Service
Special/ Morris News Service
Erin Brockovich

The environmental advocate made famous by her fight against tainted groundwater in California will appear at Love’s Seafood in Savannah this week to kick off an investigation and to support the Ogeechee Riverkeeper.

“We’re not just coming to stir the pot,” said Bob Bowcock, an environmental investigator who works with Brockovich. “We’re coming to open an investigation. Erin likes to use her celebrity to call attention to things and get people to step up and do the right thing.”

The Ogeechee was the site of the state’s largest fish kill in 2011, with 38,000 fish estimated dead, all downstream from the King America Finishing textile factory in Screven County. In the subsequent investigation, state regulators determined the factory had been operating a flame retardant line without a water discharge permit for five years.

Brockovich made a name for herself as a tough talking, provocatively dressing young mother of three who as a legal assistant in the early 90s helped win a $333 million settlement with a California utility. Now she consults with communities around the country facing environmental and other consumer issues. She’s been involved in another 100 cases with settlements totalling more than $1 billion, Bowcock said.

It was Brockovich’s fondness for the more than 200-strong network of nonprofit Riverkeeper organizations around the world that sparked the invitation to bring her to Savannah, said Ogeechee Riverkeeper Dianna Wedincamp. That and the fact that several local citizens advocated to bring her here.

Brockovich is not accepting a fee or travel expenses for the appearance.

She’ll have a press conference and visit with the public from 5-7 p.m. Friday at Love’s Seafood.

Love’s is a fitting venue, said Sheila Galbreth, whose sister and brother-in-law, Donna and Fulton Love, own the riverfront restaurant at U.S. 17 and the Ogeechee.

“All of us have spent many a day in the Ogeechee River,” she said. “Under the circumstances, I’m not sure I’d want to put my big toe in it.”

Brockovich is also fundraising Thursday in Atlanta at a $100-a-ticket gathering at the home of Krista Brewer and Gary Flack, with the proceeds going to GreenLaw’s case on behalf of the Ogeechee Riverkeeper.

Bowcock said he and Brockovich will kick off their investigation with a presentation of how they work and what other investigations they’ve carried out around the country.

“As we understand what’s going on with discharge, we want to either help the regulatory community step up and do more or if there are people experiencing chemical pollution on their property, talk about what’s their role and responsibility.”

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seenitB4
84100
Points
seenitB4 10/31/12 - 03:42 pm
4
1
WOW

Wow sweetson...I see what you mean,...this is outstanding in many ways....(O O)....veery much so..

saywhatagain
409
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saywhatagain 10/31/12 - 03:45 pm
3
2
Lookout

Just because you won some environmental lawsuits does not mean what you claimed was true. You just managed to scare a jury of non-scientists that it was. Hold onto your wallets boys. The lawyers are on the way to "help" us.

justthefacts
21089
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justthefacts 10/31/12 - 04:14 pm
4
0
Well

She's takes a good picture!

Riverman1
81348
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Riverman1 10/31/12 - 04:17 pm
4
0
JTF, hush.....:)

JTF, hush.....:) ....I do love what she and the organization are doing. Protect the river and lake.

dwb619
89621
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dwb619 10/31/12 - 06:28 pm
3
0
pint of oil

I'd pour a pint of oil in the river, just to get her to interview me.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 10/31/12 - 06:38 pm
3
1
Excuse me while I eliminate some undue Cynicism

New book? NO
New Movie? NO
Kooky Environmental Activists ? NO

She still seems sincere to the cause of clean water and has championed several other water clean up projects.

Maybe she can bring some media exposure to the river's, problems?

Dixieman
13854
Points
Dixieman 10/31/12 - 07:31 pm
2
3
Yet another

Riverkeeper press release uncritically reproduced in the AC. These folks are jobkillers and socialists. Wake up.

KSL
124790
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KSL 10/31/12 - 08:22 pm
5
1
Now that is a professional

Now that is a professional picture, if I ever saw one!

Little Lamb
44857
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Little Lamb 10/31/12 - 09:47 pm
4
1
When?

I wonder if she had those done before or after she won the PG&E lawsuit?

soapy_725
43598
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soapy_725 11/01/12 - 07:36 am
0
1
I feel another reality show coming on.
Unpublished

Honey Bo Bo brings Erin to Jawjah. Or better still. Erin can host Midville's Red Breast Festival.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 11/01/12 - 08:18 am
4
1
Maybe the naysayers who call

Maybe the naysayers who call environmentalists names should go down and have a big ol' fishfry at these fish kills. Obviously it's all just big socialist jobkilling lies and everything's perfectly safe, right? All you have to do is scoop 'em out of the water and pick 'em right up off the bank. While you're at it cook up some genetically engineered french fries and hush puppies.

Little Lamb
44857
Points
Little Lamb 11/01/12 - 08:57 am
1
1
Chief of Love Road

Just looking at a map, I would say that Sheila Galbreth and Love's Seafood Restaurant patrons would be more affected by pollution from Fort Stewart than from King Finishing way upstream.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/01/12 - 09:09 am
4
1
Little Lamb & Techfan

LL
Sometimes making a small mountain out of a mole hill helps ;-)
I believe it is a "cover" picture from one of her books.

Techfan
There are environmentalists who are sincere, and really trying fix things.

Then there are Tree hugging wacko's out there looking for Media attention, $$$, and fame. All while pimping the cause for person gain.
e.g. Al Gore - who preaches Global warming and set up a company that stood to make over $100's of Millions every year handling the trading of Carbon Credits. BTW: under the Carbon Credit plan you & I would have to paid $$ to operate your car, house and BBQ grill. These are the types an I and most others serious take aim on.

Dixieman
13854
Points
Dixieman 11/01/12 - 09:28 am
4
3
Poem for her

I'm a do-gooder environmentalist
Quite photogenic, as you can see.
I won lots of money in lawsuits
So I could pay for my Double D's.

seenitB4
84100
Points
seenitB4 11/01/12 - 09:39 am
4
1
Give the devil her due

OK ...just to be fair....I can see the day that we will pay dearly for clean air & water.....we need to do a better job with this problem....some may go overkill but I have seen pollution in South Augusta from the plants....you dang well know what I'm talking about.....yellow soot particles & the smell .....trees coated & lungs are too.....not just pollen either.....all year problem....& fish floating from the poisons coming from some plants.....soooo the danger is there.

faithson
5097
Points
faithson 11/01/12 - 12:26 pm
2
0
the value of clean water

a philosophy that can justify the defilement of our environment is evil, period. Any and all resources should be brought to bear on such an inexcusable attitude.

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