(WKBN) – Consumer advocate Erin Brockovich talked with our sister network NewsNation about the events unfolding in East Palestine following last week’s train derailment and the controlled release of vinyl chloride.
Brockovich said she is skeptical of government reports as to the extent of contamination, either in the water or the air.
“After 30 years of what I’ve been through and what this community is going through, they know. Come on, it’s vinyl chloride, it’s in the air, the fish are dying, really? Does that give you comfort that maybe I should be in this area, probably not,” she said.
Brockovich warned community members to trust their own instincts and if something doesn’t feel right, say so.
“If you feel unsafe, then get out of harm’s way. If you feel unsafe, stay sheltered in place, if you’re questioning that it’s all clear and think it isn’t, listen to that voice,” she said.
Brockovich also advised that residents document what is happening to their health and to document or videotape the fish that are dying or anything else that seems out of place in the community.
“I think it will be critical. You will have to defend and protect yourself at this moment because I don’t think that all the answers are there, they will be, but they’re not. So for in the moment, use your own instincts, keep yourself safe, ask questions, if you’re uncertain get to safety, if you see something, say something and document it,” Brockovich said.
Brockovich earned national attention after she spearheaded a successful lawsuit against a major company on behalf of people who had unknowingly been exposed to toxic waste. She was a law clerk at the time. A 2000 film was produced about the event starring Julia Roberts.
NewsNation contributed to this report.