Hexavalent chromium was made famous by lawyer Erin Brockovich and a lawsuit against Pacific Gas & electric which alleged the company was leaking the toxin into the ground water of Hinkley, CA, and had been doing so for decades. Residents of Hinkley won their lawsuit, with the company paying $333 million in damages to the 600 townspeople, some of whom had become terminally ill.
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In 2009 California became the first state to try and set a limit in drinking water, proposing a "public health goal" of 0.06 parts per billion. According to the report by the EWG, 25 of the cities tested had levels in excess of the limit proposed by California.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Mrs. Brockovich said "This chemical has been so widely used by so many industries across the US that this doesn't surprise me. Our municipal water supplies are in danger all over the US. This is a chemical that should be regulated."