Erin Brockovich joins fight over heavy metal pollution in Portla - KPTV - FOX 12

Erin Brockovich joins fight over heavy metal pollution in Portland

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Erin Brockovich (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme, file) Erin Brockovich (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme, file)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

One of the country's most famous activists is joining the chorus of voices calling for action after heavy metal pollution was discovered in Portland neighborhoods.

Erin Brockovich is teaming up with New York City-based law firm Weitz and Luxenberg P.C. to investigate reports of cadmium and arsenic in the air and soil, the firm said in a news release Friday.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality said it discovered the contamination near Bullseye Glass Company in southeast Portland and Uroboros Glass in north Portland.

Both companies have since ceased using those chemicals.

"I can't believe that in this day and age companies would knowingly allow their dangerous chemicals to pollute the air. It's outrageous. We have known for decades the harm these toxic chemicals are capable of causing," Brockovich said in a statement.

On Tuesday, DEQ said it was requesting $1.5 million from the state to improve monitoring and licensing of emissions. The agency is also working to compile a list of facilities statewide that are using heavy metals. 

Brockovich is most famous for her role in uncovering a decades-long chromium leak that contaminated groundwater in the small town of Hinkley, California and pursuing a lawsuit against Pacific Gas and Electric.

Julia Roberts won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Brockovich in a 2000 film bearing the activist's name.

Brockovich this year also joined a lawsuit over lead contamination in the water in Flint, Michigan.

Weitz and Luxenberg was one of the law firms involved in a lawsuit with oil company BP following the Deepwater Horizon disaster that spilled oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

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