For those of you who have never heard of Erin Brockovich, she’s an American legal clerk and environmental activist and she’s pretty famous – so much so they made a movie about her with Julia Roberts playing the Erin.
Brockovich is a household name because in 1993, despite not having any legal qualifications, she managed to build a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company who were responsible for a groundwater contamination incident in Hinkley. The case was settled in 1996 for US$333 million – the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit in U.S. history. So, naturally, when Erin has something to say, people listen.
Today, Erin took aim at Biden and rightfully so. She has called out Biden’s decision to appoint an ex-DuPont consultant and a chemical industry insider onto his Environmental Protection Agency transition board. Michael McCabe, she explains, was a former deputy Environmental Protection Agency administrator but who then “jumped ship to work as a consultant on communication strategy for DuPont during a time when the chemical company was looking to fight regulations of their star chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) also known as C8. The toxic manmade chemical is used in everything from waterproof clothes, stain-resistant textiles and food packaging to non-stick pans. The compound has been linked to lowered fertility, cancer and liver damage.” In other words, she explains, Michael McCabe was actually advising DuPont on how to “avoid regulations”
Erin goes on to explain that PFOA “pollutes the blood of nearly every American and can pass from mother to unborn child in the womb. This toxic product of industry is a stable compound not easily broken down in the environment or in the human body, giving it the nickname “forever chemical” and that McCabe joined DuPont at a time when they were facing heavy litigation for dumping 7,100 tons of PFOA-filled waste in West Virginia, contaminating the drinking water of a 100,000 people, which resulted in a rise of debilitating illnesses in that community. This case was also immortalised on film by the 2019 movie ‘Dark Waters’.
Erin concludes her article by addressing Biden directly and calling on him to “do the right thing” and not “bring the fox back into the hen house.” Brockovich makes it clear that, in her opinion, DuPont executives “should have no place in the Environmental Protection Agency.”