The story investigated the lack of regulation of the toxic chemical compound chromium (VI) found in the drinking water for Hinkley, Calif., almost 20 years after a class-action lawsuit. The suit was made famous in the Hollywood movie Erin Brockovich.
Regulators have been slow to act on the problem of chromium (VI) in Hinkley and elsewhere in the country because chemical industry scientists have cast doubt on whether or not the chemical is toxic.
KSJ Tracker praises this collaboration as a way to tell this story that may not have otherwise been told. The blog’s author, Deborah Blum, writes:
“In a media world in which these kinds of collaborations increasingly support in-depth reporting, this is an outstanding example of such work – thoroughly reported, beautifully told, and revealing. … It may never be the subject of a movie starring Julia Roberts. But it’s a strong reminder that this is not just a story about the lives of people in a little desert community but it’s the story of our own lives as well.”