Despite the movie’s finale, the real town of Hinkley had no happy ending: Part 3

Residents said they face major health concerns after being exposed to contaminated water. PG&E is continuing its remediation efforts to clean the Hinkley water, but experts say it will take decades.
8:33 | 06/11/21

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Transcript for Despite the movie’s finale, the real town of Hinkley had no happy ending: Part 3
Julia Roberts. The winning the Oscar for best actress really elevated Julie Roberts. But it also lifted Erin Brockovich from what kind of obscurity to a level of fame she might never minute errands first television appearance ever I have. In fact throughout pop culture Erin Brockovich even became a ver. Hey. You can Erin Brockovich to. Out of this case I had to pull in am Brockovich I'm Eric rockets. Yeah you know. I think that Aron has become a metaphor for a person who's not going to take no for an answer. Flat anti plaque half singson. Like even want. She's been relentless determination. Act. I can't be bought off for sideline made. The difference all our values were still talking about this in that movie came up 21. Years ago. It was almost before it's time. Okay. Because it was about environmental pollution that we are and then froze. Today. Unfortunately for the residents Hinckley California. If they were expecting a Hollywood ending. They would be sadly disappointed. Darren caught up with the Roberta walker on the spot where neighborhood once was. Now it's just barren landscape. Can you believe CNN. Thirty years we have this reunions of the same issue going on dirty different years later you know yeah. Case. A girl walker was the inspiration for the character in the movie names on it since he's played by mark held convert we'll go and. The judge came back with a number. He's gonna make them pay. 333. Men. The money did not fix the problem for me not at all hiding in received a fraction of that if I had that much money. I wouldn't be working three jobs and made it look like we lawn. And we. Really didn't. He Jamie can go to court nobody got time. Now they went to jam. So as the years progressed there was something money didn't fit although it is often hard to know the exact cause of illness that's Roberta believes her family's exposure to years of chromium six. Wreaked Havoc on their health. I've had five stomach surgeries B a four breast surgeries at most of my daughters had tapped. Hysterectomies fibromyalgia. My one daughter has lupus and my husband had prostate cancer. And we've all have asthma. After Brockovich exposed to contamination of Hinckley is water supply PG and he began to systematically by of the homes in the. This is South Carolina where I used to live finance hair how almost nineteen years property values for the residents in the. Plummeted. To fractions while. Wet dirt worked its deal only buyers were PG and he if they're not people kidding well water contaminated from your chromium six personal liability. She's need owns a large portion of what used to be the Hinckley community. Got over 3000 people living. Basically and now there's a little over 300. Now in 93 Roberta sold her home to PG&E which they later pulled dose she use the money to build a second home six miles from the compressor plant believing she would be safe from the contamination. That belief changed. If you look. It's traits to the west of me. We'll see white roof tops. Chesapeake Jeannie plans they had sent a plume was just second mile and a half radius from the station. Bob ten years ago I got some information that the plume is growing and I. Crap I couldn't believe it. It is chromium six begin to percolate fund these online evaporation ponds into the ground water there's a concentration of chromium six. It begins to migrate we feet underground water and asks what improvement. On that I forget the day she called me and she says she didn't end. Struck by exhaling chromium thanks. Once again Roberta found herself selling their home to PGA need this time choosing to move out of Hinckley for good. The house now sits empty and she can't even go on the property. This was our dream house. I mean it was just all green and and beautiful in and everything is just dry. And gone. My dream house is gone. I'm sorry. Roberta left the town already on life support. The local store and gas station in church all close. And finally the heart and soul looking through the town's only school with shuttered. Back in the days this campus was alive the community was alive. This was. I'm great heartbreak yeah. King please god. It's a ghost town. That's a good way to ends and community and America. And poison and and it's people who. I'm surrounded on three sides would open desert as far as I can sing. Only yeah. Eighty miles this stands. On a clear day. I love it here. Among the holdouts is petty harbor whom still owns a ranch on the outskirts of town. Don't wanna clean air one and teasing plan and then just wanted to give away from wounds rampant crime. To make sure did not drink orders savings and I have to reverse osmosis unit homes under my sinks. Facing its worst quarter could go to anymore I give him secured by sort of carries. My best guess is this. The dogs tumor did come from their well water in the chromium six spent this well has some arsenic and uranium also and kitchen is not responsible for them and. Since settling in 1996 lawsuit PG&E has been working to cleanup the contaminated ground water. One messed. Involves pumping the tainted water and onto alfalfa fields but the vegetation converts the chromium six and a non toxic chromium three. PG NE denied ABC news' request for an interview but provided to state. PG&E has made significant progress in cleaning up the highest concentrations of chromium six in ground water. The remedy has removed more than 70% of the estimated release. We are committed to doing what's right for the Hinckley community and we will be here until we finish the job. Finishing that job. Could take another forty or fifty years. Erin points to what happened to this town is a cautionary tale. And since the movie she's become a passionate advocate for clean water and hot spots like Flint, Michigan. Who sit falls new York. And Tyler. Taxes. They're reporting to me for help because they are concerned that the pollution in their towns is what's making them and their children sick. Spitting on an. Act after three decades of working as an environmental advocate Erin once again it's a call from Hollywood. They will not please. Hurled larger than life persona has captured the imagination of the producer of Grey's Anatomy. No and a well known TV yet you need to sit back down they would get no political leader Barack mixed it was just like fire fight at a bottle. There was no way that I wasn't gonna create cash.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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