The Real Deal New York

“Erin Brockovich” contaminant found in nearly every Suffolk County Water Authority well

September 28, 2016 05:48PM

Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich (Credit: Universal Pictures)

Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich (Credit: Universal Pictures)

Suffolk County’s got carcinogens comin’ outta its ears, as Julia Roberts’ “Erin Brockovich” might say. Varying levels of Chromium-6, a toxic element linked to cancer that was the focus of the hit film, have been found in 751 of 808 water samples from water authority wells across the county. Ranging from .033 parts per billion in a Montauk well to 0.54 parts per billion from one in Wainscott, the samples are far from the maximum-contaminant-level, or MCL, according to Kevin Durk, a director at the water authority. There are no national standards for Chromium-6 in drinking water, according to the East Hampton Star, but in California — where the real-life Erin Brockovich trial took place — scientists pegged the safe level at under 0.02 parts per billion. [EHS] — Cathaleen Chen