California Wasteland: Erin Brockovich Still Fighting for Neighbors Over Contaminated Drinking Water

Full Statement from Shell Oil Co. to "Nightline":

Shell's priority is the health and safety of the Carousel community. We remain focused on conducting the environmental investigation of the Carousel neighborhood so that all of the regulatory agencies and most importantly, the residents of the Carousel community have the facts about the environmental conditions of their properties. Thus far, the regulatory agencies including the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles County Public Health Department and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment have indicated that the test results do not show any imminent health or safety risks to the residents of this community.

In addition, Shell is working under the direction and oversight of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board to develop a Remedial Action Plan, which will determine the appropriate actions for specific properties in the Carousel neighborhood. If it becomes necessary to relocate residents during this process, Shell will take appropriate steps to minimize the inconvenience and compensate residents for related expenses.

We are taking this very seriously and remain open to answering questions and addressing concerns with the residents in the Carousel community.

Full Statement from Halliburton to "Nightline":

Halliburton has publicly acknowledged our responsibility for contributing perchlorate to groundwater in the area of our former Osage Road site in Duncan and expressed our regret to those affected. Duncan is the birthplace of Halliburton and it has been our community too, since 1919. As such, addressing this issue to ensure that the needs of those affected are met has been an imperative. Because it is the right thing to do, Halliburton has voluntarily taken a number of response actions to protect public health and the environment.

Before Ms. Brokovich's firm was ever involved, Halliburton had publicly disclosed this issue, informed potentially impacted residents, worked with the community and regulators, held a public meeting, and put real solutions in place.

Working closely with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ), we believe we have clearly identified the extent of the contamination. Moving forward, we believe hooking up private well owners to public water supplies is one of the best long-term solutions. To accomplish this, Halliburton is paying to extend several public water lines in the area, and much of that work has already been completed. In the interim, Halliburton has volunteered to supply affected residents with bottled water. To be clear, working with private well owners to identify their concerns is a voluntary effort on our part and was not compelled by state or federal regulatory action or by plaintiffs' lawyers. We have also worked with risk assessment experts to recommend strategies for residents to deal with any contamination safely and effectively. We will continue to work with impacted residents and the community to address any concerns that may arise.

We are actively working with the ODEQ on long-term solutions to address this issue and have entered into ODEQ's Voluntary Cleanup Program. As a result, ODEQ will closely supervise our cleanup of this site.

Halliburton has stated publicly that we will compensate anyone who has suffered adverse health effects or property damage as a result of perchlorate from our site. Additionally, Halliburton has put in place a claims process to facilitate the resolution of residents' claims. We believe that this process will be more timely and effective than litigation in addressing the real needs of impacted residents.

Halliburton would note that Ms. Brokovich's law firm has filed a lawsuit against Halliburton related to this matter, and therefore she has a financial stake in the outcome of that litigation. Although only 28 residences have been identified as having wells with perchlorate in excess of the EPA interim health advisory limit, Ms. Brockovich's firm alone has sued Halliburton for in excess of 100 residents.

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